Why Are My Watermelons Small?
Watermelons are small fruits, which means they have very little space inside them. If you compare it with apples or pears, you will see that watermelons don’t even fit into those categories. They are actually much smaller than grapes!
The reason why my watermelon is so tiny is because its seeds do not get enough room to develop properly. Usually, watermelons produce one or two seeds per fruit.
However, if the fruit is too big then only one or two seeds will be produced. This is why some of my watermelons are still green when I harvest them.
When you look at the size of a normal watermelon, you would think that it’s just a regular sized melon. But it isn’t!
Watermelons are classified as “stunted” since their growth does not reach the full potential. A normal watermelon has a diameter of around 3 inches (7 cm). The average size of a watermelon is between 1 inch and 2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm) in diameter.
If your watermelons are stunted, then they are smaller than what you’re used to seeing from other types of fruits like apples or peaches.
Stunted Watermelons should be planted a lot earlier than regular watermelons. They also need a lot of extra care because they are more prone to attacks from weeds and insects.
All of the fruit is used for making watermelon wine and other alcohol drinks.
The leaves are commonly used in herbal medicine.
Stunted Watermelons prefer hot weather, and can be found growing in hotter countries in the middle east. These Watermelons are used to produce delicious wines.
Stunted Watermelons are smaller than a regular golf ball, and about the size of a ping-pong ball. They are easy to miss, so you may have to look carefully!
If you want your watermelons to grow normally instead of stunted, then you need to make sure that they get enough sun light and water in the right proportions.
Why Are My Watermelons Rotting?
There are several reasons why your watermelons could be rotting.
One of the most common reasons is that your growing medium doesn’t have enough drainage. Let the soil dry out before you water it again.
If the water can’t drain from the pot then the roots will start to rot and so will the fruit.
Another reason is if you have a lot of rain or it’s humid in general, let the soil dry out and don’t water as much.
Another reason why your watermelons are rotting is because the temperature is too cold at night. Once the sun goes down the temperature needs to be above 60 degrees or the watermelon will start to rot.
The last reason why your watermelons could be rotting is due to fungicide damage. Even if you don’t spray it on, the film from the wind or from another plant in the area may have some chemical on it that’s detrimental to your plants.
The best thing to do when your watermelons start rotting is to make sure you harvest them as soon as possible.
You don’t want your whole crop to go bad right?
Here are some tips for how to pick a ripe watermelon.
How Do I Pick A Ripe Watermelon?
There are several signs that will let you know when your watermelons are ripe and ready for eating! Here’s what to look for.
First, your watermelon should have a healthy appearance. The outside of the rind should be free of any scars, nicks, or cracks.
Next, if you look at the rind from the side you should see a healthy green color. There shouldn’t be any yellow or brown spots.
When you tap on the rind it should sound very deep and hollow sounding. If it sounds more “slappy” then “deep and hollow” then it’s not ripe yet.
If you pick up the watermelon and swing it around you should be able to hear the melon sloshing around in the middle. If you can’t hear it, then it’s not ripe yet.
Ripe watermelons will also have a deeper hollow sound when you pick them up and swing them around.
Lastly, you can examine the underside of the Watermelon for any green patches. If you see any green patches, then your Watermelon is not ready yet.
It should be completely creamy in color.
Make sure to look at all the watermelons and pick the ripest one for eating!
How Do I Grow Watermelons?
So you want to learn how to grow watermelons from seeds?
It’s actually easier than you might think, all you need are these basic supplies.
Soil ( You can use regular potting soil or if you want to get really fancy you can try using a soil-less seed starting mix. )
Seed Starting Containers ( You can use individual cups, or a large container that will hold 8 cups. )
Seeds! ( Find out how many seeds you need by looking at the back of the seed packet.
Each packet tells you how many square inches the seed packet contains. Divide that number by the size of your pot and cups. Each cup or pot needs to contain that amount of seeds, so you will need as many pots or cups as you have seeds. For example, an average packet of watermelon seeds needs 60 seeds. Dividing 60 by 8 ( the size of a cup or pot) equals 7.5. You will need 8 pots or cups prepared with seed starting mix to sow these seeds. )
Marker ( To label your seed containers, you can use anything from a sharpie to a piece of duct tape with writing on it. )
Spray Bottle ( To keep the soil moist. )
Sunglasses ( To protect your eyes! Seriously, those seed packets contain a lot of seeds.
You don’t want to be scratching those little guys into your pots and getting pollen in your eyes. )
Water ( To keep the soil moist. )
How to Grow Watermelons
Take your containers and place them on a table or other flat surface where they can stay undisturbed until it’s time to germinate your seeds.
Next, you need to prep your containers. For each container you will need to fill it 3/4 of the way with soil or seed starting mix.
Then, take your spray bottle and evenly mist the soil until it is damp but not soaked. You don’t want water pooling on the top or the soil to be dry anywhere.
You also don’t want to over water it and have the soil mushy or muddy. You should be able to stick your finger into the soil about an inch and a half and make an indent without it being gooey or wet.
Once your soil is ready, take your marker and label each container with the type of seed you will be planting in it. Some seeds are good candidates for labelling with sharpie such as beans, squash, peas, and tomatoes.
For other seeds like carrots and flowers, you can use duct tape with writing on it to mark the containers.
After you have labelled your containers, it’s time to get those seeds soaking! Place the amount of seeds needed for each container into a separate bowl.
For example, if you are planting 8 watermelon seeds, take one seed and draw an X across it with a pen then cut the seed in half down the X. Repeat this process until you have 8 seeds cut in half.
Once all your seeds are soaked, it’s time to get planting! Take one seedling and hold it by the base between your thumb and index finger.
Then gently tap the tip into the soil until it is covered. This will help prevent the seeds from drying out. Repeat this process for all the seeds in that container.
Once you have all your seeds planted, mist the soil one more time and put the lids on your containers. Label your containers with the names of the plants you have planted and place them in a sunny window.
Make sure to keep the soil lightly damp but not soggy wet. You can do this by spraying the soil gently about once a day or every couple of days.
Make sure you keep an eye on them because different seeds will sprout at different times.
Many seeds will sprout within the first week, while others like tomatoes can take up to six weeks to sprout. You can speed up the process by keeping the soil consistently warm.
How To Grow Watermelons In Containers
Watermelons are fairly easy to grow in containers, however they do have a few special growing requirements.
They need an enriched soil mixture with a lot of organic material in it such as manure, compost, or rotted leaves. They also need a lot of room for their vines to sprawl and the plant itself will get very large over time.
They require full sun and lots of water, however, they do not like wet soil.
Your container should be at least 20 inches across and deep so that the roots have plenty of room to grow. Use your trowel to make the container into dampening holes in the soil for the seeds then place two seeds per hole and cover with soil.
Make sure they are deep enough that you won’t accidentally step on them or run them over later when you are weeding. Once they sprout, thin them out so that you only have one vine per container.
If you want ripe watermelons by summer, plant them in the spring in a soil heated using black plastic mulch. Alternatively, you can plant them in late summer for use the next summer.
Sources & references used in this article:
Macrolophus caliginosus in the biological control of Bemisia tabaci on greenhouse melons by O Alomar, J Riudavets, C Castañé – Biological control, 2006 – Elsevier
Fusarium niveum, the cause of watermelon wilt by B Sleeth – 1934 – researchrepository.wvu.edu
Chemically induced parthenocarpy in certain horticultural plants, with special reference to the watermelon by CY Wong – Botanical Gazette, 1941 – journals.uchicago.edu
2 Advances in the Biology and Management of Monosporascus Vine Decline and Wilt of Melons and Other Cucurbits by R Cohen, S Pivonia, KM Crosby… – Horticultural …, 2012 – Wiley Online Library
Glutathione alterations in melon and tomato roots following treatment with chemicals which induce disease resistance to Fusarium wilt by C Bolter, RA Brammall, R Cohen… – … and molecular plant …, 1993 – Elsevier
EFFECT OF MELOIDOGYNE INCOGNITA ON WATERMELON YIELD by RF Davis – Nematropica, 2007 – journals.flvc.org
Late-season vine declines of melons: pathological, cultural or both? by R D. Martyn – III International Symposium on Cucurbits 731, 2005 – actahort.org
… -harvest application of 2, 6-dichloroisonicotinic acid, -aminobutyric acid or benzothiadiazole to control post-harvest storage diseases of melons by inducing systemic … by AI Bokshi, SC Morris, RM McConchie… – The Journal of …, 2006 – Taylor & Francis