Open pollinated and hybrid watermelons are ideally suited to Canadian home gardens. They are ripe when the fruits easily slip off the vine.
Sowing: Select a south facing, wind-sheltered site and direct garden sow 5 seeds 2.5 cm (1”) deep per hill. Space hills 1.5-2 m (4-6’) apart. Thin to 3 to 4 plants per hill. In short season areas, start seeds in peat/paper pots indoors 4 weeks before planting outdoors. Seeds need a warm soil to germinate properly. Ideally 24°C(75°F) soil temperatures. Do not sow into soil cooler than 21°C(70°F) or germination will be affected. Transplanting: When the weather has warmed and danger of frost has passed transplant 5- 7.5 cm (2-3 “) apart in rows 1.5-2 m (4-6’) apart. Keep the vines evenly watered throughout the growing season. Use floating row covers and plastic mulch to warm the soil will produce better yields.
Harvesting: When the grey-green skin colour starts to turn a buff-yellow at the spot where the fruit sits on the ground and the fruits slip off easily they are ready to enjoy!
Tip: Try tapping fruits with a finger…if you hear a “punk” or hollow sound, it’s ready to pick!
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