Melon to Watermelon 3421 what is that

Exotic vegetables Growing, caring for and harvesting watermelons in the garden

Put young plants

The young plants come into the bed as soon as it is safely frost-free. After planting, they should be covered with thin, white fleece. This protects against cool nights and pests.

Soil and location

The location is more important than the soil, says Martin Krumbein. The watermelon is a delicate plant that needs protection from cold, drought and wind. In order to produce large, sweet fruits, it needs to be sunny and a high temperature sum, i.e. many warm sunny days in the course of the growing season.

A medium-heavy, humus-rich soil that can store water and nutrients well is ideal. Cultivation does not work on too light, sandy soils. Even on loamy soils, the harvest prospects are slim. Very important: At the beginning of flowering, the fleece must be removed so that bees can pollinate the flowers.

Maintain melons

Melons should by no means dry out and need to be watered regularly. Watering is particularly important when the first fruit sets appear. Make sure that the water has penetrated to a depth of 20 centimeters. The yield can be increased by adding a liquid fertilizer every week.

Melons - growth and maturity

Melons are annual and, like pumpkins, form meter-long, climbing shoots with dark, hairy leaves. Depending on the size of the fruit, four to eight fruits can grow on a melon plant. Depending on the variety, melons are ripe from August and are harvested into September. The maturity can be recognized by a strong yellow coloration of the lying surface. Another sure sign that the fruit is ready to eat is when the first leaf has wilted before the fruit. The kernels are sometimes still light, but that doesn't matter and doesn't reduce the taste of the melons.

Variety tips

Melon culture is not yet widespread in Germany, and the variety trials are still at the beginning. The Erfurt teaching and research center for horticulture is testing the watermelon cultivation of various varieties for the first time this year. Nevertheless, Martin Krumbein can already give some recommendations.

A better known variety that has grown well and grows well in warm areas is 'Crisby'. It makes medium to large fruits and is a striped variety type. Small-fruited varieties such as 'Mini-Love' and two seedless varieties 'Gatinho' and 'Tigrinho' are still being tried.

Obtain seeds from melons

Melons from the supermarket are mostly F1 hybrids, the seeds of which in turn cannot be used as seeds because they develop different properties from the mother plant. Seeds can only be obtained from genuine seed varieties. It is therefore worthwhile to find a way to become a trusted organic gardener.

Diseases

Melons are very robust and not susceptible to disease. The only thing that can affect the plant is powdery mildew or damage from birds or mice.