How to grow watermelons in containers
Cultivating watermelons in pots is a great way for an amateur gardener with limited space to grow these refreshing fruits on their own. Whether you are gardening on the balcony or just looking for a better way to use your limited space, growing watermelons in containers is feasible and fun.
For your venture to be successful you need good preparation that begins before you even plant your watermelon seeds. Start by selecting the containers. You should choose containers large enough to allow your watermelons to thrive. Watermelons grow fast and require a lot of space and water so it is advisable to use containers 20 liters or larger. You can use commercially available pots or make improvised pots, eg barrels. In any case make sure that the containers have several drain holes.
Fill the containers with a light mix of soil to buy from nurseries. Do not use soil from your garden. This will quickly squeeze into the container and make it difficult to grow watermelons. Place the containers beforehand in a sunny place so you don’t have to move them later.
Once the pots are ready you should start sowing. You should choose a variety of watermelon that can grow in containers. The compact varieties that make small fruits are the right ones. Eg Sugar Baby, Crimson Sweet, Moon and Stars, Golden Midget, etc.
For best results you will begin the sowing process in February in an indoor protected area to control the temperature. You should sow the seeds when the soil and ambient temperatures are at least 21 degrees Celsius. Before sowing, soak the seeds in water for at least half an hour. If some of them float it means they are useless and will not sprout. Throw them away! Plant the remaining seeds in a bed or in pots with sowing soil at a depth of 3-5 cm by placing 3 to 4 seeds in each hole (in each pot). Water well.
After 7 to 10 days the seeds will germinate and the seedlings will appear. The time of planting depends on the temperature, humidity and depth of planting. The soil should be constantly moist during the vegetation period.
Two weeks after sowing, check the pots or holes that the seeds have sprouted. Remove the weakest seedlings and hold two seedlings in each hole or pot. Peel the vibrant plants. You will let them grow there until they are overcast. Keep watering regularly.
When the last frost season (mid-March) is over, you can move the seedlings outdoors to a bright spot. Transplant the seedlings together with their soil to the large containers you had prepared when the weather was warm enough and the soil temperature was steady above 21 degrees Celsius. (mid April). Water well after transplanting.
Once you have finished transplanting your watermelons into the pots, you will need to provide some support to the plants. Watermelons need a lot of space, and you do not have them so grow them in containers. You can give them the space they need upstairs. Watermelons are basically climbing plants, so you can help them climb by placing vertical triangular supports (eg reeds) or some kind of pergola in the pots. With strings, loosely attach the plants to the supports.
If you grow your watermelons in containers in an urban area or on a high balcony, you may find that there are not enough insect-pollinators to pollinate the flowers. watermelons. You can fertilize them manually by transferring pollen from male flowers to females.
As soon as the first fruits appear on your watermelon you will need to give the plant extra support for the fruit as well. Use a flexible, flexible material, such as a pantyhose or shopping net, to create a hammock under the fruit. Attach each end of the hinge to fixed points on your pergola or supports. As the watermelon fruit grows, the hammock will stretch to fit and support the larger fruit.
Watermelon containers should be watered daily at temperatures below 27 degrees Celsius and twice daily above this temperature. You can lubricate with water soluble fertilizer once a week, or with a slow release fertilizer once a month.
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