Watermelon is a juicy treat of the summer season. You can buy watermelon from the market but the flavor which you got from homegrown watermelon is tremendous.
WHEN TO PLANT WATERMELONS?
The botanical name of watermelon is Citrullus Lanatus. It belongs to the family of cucumbers and likes to grow in warm and humid climates. When watermelon gets full exposure to the sun and protected from winds then it will produce large and sweet fruits.
The watermelon plants will start producing flowers in the late spring and you will get fruits throughout the summer season.
The best time for planting watermelons is spring when the danger of the last frost passes. As we are growing watermelons in grow bags and they are easily portable.
So you can keep them inside or in the greenhouse to protect them from frost. In this way, you can jump to make sure your seedlings will grow in the moist soil and receive bright light. The suitable temperature for the seedlings should be between 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
BUSH OR SHORT VINE VARIETIES OF WATERMELONS FOR SMALL SPACES
There are so many incredible varieties available so it can be difficult to choose one. As we are growing watermelons in the grow bags that’s why we have small space. Here we are discussing some varieties which are best for small spaces.
1-BUSH CHARLESTON GRAY
The fruit of this variety has an oblong shape and is small in size. It contains high sugar. The weight of the fruit can be 10 to 13 pounds and the maturity time is 90 days. The plant of this variety needs space of 3 to 5 feet. This is best for small gardens.
2- BUSH JUBILEE
The maturity time of this variety is between 90 to 100 days. The fruit contains high sugar and the sweetest taste. The size of the fruit can be 24 inches and the weight is about 25 to 35 pounds.
The color of the skin of the fruit is a light green rind with green stripes. The color of the flesh is bright red. The plant of this variety needs space of about 3 to 5 feet.
3-BUSH SUGAR BABY
The maturity time of this variety is about 75 to 80 days. The fruit has sweet and juicy red flesh. The size of the fruit is small with a round shape. The weight of the fruit can be 12 pounds. The color of the skin of the fruit is dark green rinds with no stripes. This variety is best for the home garden.
WHY USE GROW BAGS FOR GROWING?
Grow bags are an alternative to pots. This will work great if you want to grow plants inside the greenhouse or they also work best for those gardeners who have limited space for growing. They are very flexible containers that work well for growing everything.
If you don’t have a permanent garden or want to start growing the season area then you should think about growing bags. These bags are very helpful if you want to start growing in the winter season.
The benefits of growing bags are as follows.
- These bags allow the roots of the plant to breathe.
- Drainage is very important in the growth of any plant and these grow bags provide better drainage than pots.
- Grow bag is lighter and portable as compared to heavy pots. In this way, you can change the position of bags for maximum sun exposure.
- You can easily empty these bags and store them for winter.
- If you are facing the trouble of poor soil quality in your area then grow bags are an excellent option for you.
- Grow bags are available in different sizes. Typically they range from 1 to 30 gallons. You can choose a small grow bag for growing seedlings and large ones for trees and big plants. You can choose the size according to your needs.
The following are drawbacks of grow bags.
- This bag will not give you an attractive look so it is not the ideal choice for every gardener.
- These bags are not durable as ceramic or other hard materials do.
- If you are looking for an elegant container option then this is not for you.
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GROW BAG IS AN UNUSUAL WAY OF GROWING WATERMELONS
You will be surprised to know that you can grow watermelon in grow bags. In this article, we are going to discuss with you all the simple steps of growing watermelons in grow bags.
It is an unusual and different way of growing but the results which you get are very interesting. The main advantage which you will get after growing the watermelon in the grow bags is that these are very easily portable.
You can move them according to your choice. In the daytime, you can place the grow bags outside and when the night comes you can place them in your greenhouse or indoors.
THINGS YOU NEED FOR GROWING WATERMELON IN GROW BAGS
The following things you need for this project.
- 7 gallon of grow bag
- 5 gallon of compost
- Four cups of vermiculite
- A handful of azomite
- A handful of bone meal
- Handful of potassium
- Seeds of watermelon
STEP 1: PREPARING POTTING MIX FOR FILLING THE GROW BAG FOR GROWING WATERMELON
Well-tilled and rich soil is needed for watermelon seed. Make soil amendments by adding compost and manure for increasing the nutrient level.
A slow-release fertilizer will boost the growth of the watermelon by providing the required nutrients. A high-quality potting mix will cut down on your maintenance and labor.
For preparing the potting mix, you need 5-gallon compost and four cups of vermiculite and now mix both things well. This party mix you create is very loose. Your plants will get proper air for breathing.
Compact soil is not good for your plants as it will suffocate the roots of the plant. Don’t use garden soil in the grow bags, as they are very compact, loose soil is recommended for the healthier growth of plants.
If you are growing plants in the ground then you can’t maintain the fertility of the soil. But now we are growing watermelons in grow bags so you can easily manage the soil and provide all the required nutrients to the plants.
STEP 2: FILLING THE GROW BAGS WITH POTTING MIX
When you finish the process of mixing the vermiculite and compost. Place the grow bag in the plastic bucket. The reason is that when you’re filling the bag it will prevent the wastage of potting mix.
When the grow bag is up to three-fourth filled then add a handful of azomite in the potting mix. Azomite is very important as it is a soil amendment product.
When the plant starts growing, the roots will also start stretching and they try to find a way in the soil or the potting mix. At this time azomite will provide all the nutrients to the plant.
When you add azomite to the potting mix then fill the bag with the same potting mix. After that add, a handful of bone meal and a handful of potassium. Now make all the things properly. Now add the cow manure to the prepared soil in the grow bag.
STEP 3: SOWING SEEDS OF WATERMELON IN THE GROW BAGS
- After filling the grow bags now is the time to sow the seeds of watermelon.
- As watermelon plants have long taproot so they can’t transplant well. It is better to sow the seeds directly where you want to grow your watermelon plants.
- Make a little hole in the potting mix for sowing seeds.
- You can easily buy a packet of seeds from any local nursery or gardening store. You will get all the information on the packet about how to plant when to plant watermelon. This information and instructions are very helpful during the planting process.
- Place three seeds in the little hole which you make in the potting mix in the grow bag.
- Now cover the seeds with a light layer of potting mix.
STEP 4: WATER THE WATERMELON SEEDS AFTER SOWING IN THE GROW BAGS
After covering the seed with potting mix, now is the time to water the seeds. Make sure the newly buried seed will get an adequate amount of water this will help them to set them in the new environment easily.
Water the plant thoroughly and wait for it to drain. When the soil soaks the water, once again repeat the process.
WATERMELON PLANT CARE
You added fertilizer at the time of the planting but as your plant grows then there is a need for more nutrients for healthy growth. When you see your watermelon plants start to flower and fruits then this is the right time to add fertilizer. The liquid fertilizer is a good option but with less amount of nitrogen.
Watermelon plants produce both male and female flowers. The pollination process is completed by natural pollinators like bees and butterflies.
You can also perform the hand-pollination process for producing more fruit. When the pollination process is complete then after 40 days your plant will start producing fruit.
PESTS AND DISEASES
As you are growing watermelon plants in grow bags then there is less danger of pests and diseases. But too much humid or too hot conditions or cold climate or waterlogged soil will result in many diseases.
Pests such as cucumber beetles or aphids are also harmful to watermelon plants. So you should keep an eye on your favorite juicy watermelon plant for protecting them from tiny little monsters.
If you want a healthy and productive plant of watermelon then allow the main vine to grow. When your plant is young then you should remove side branches of the plant so they will not grow more. If you see any stem is affected by any disease then remove it.
Usually, you can harvest watermelon plants after 80 to 90 days. But the harvesting period depends upon the variety which you are growing and the climate in which you are living.
There is no special and clear sign of ripe watermelon fruit. There is no change in the color of the skin of fruit after ripening. For this purpose, you have to knock with your fingers on the surface of the watermelon.
If you hear a dead and shallow sound then it means the fruit is ripened. The other method is checking the tendril if it is fading and half dead, it means that the fruit is ripened already. If it is faded then it means watermelon fruit is overripe.