How to Sow Sweet Picnic Watermelon Seeds
The smaller fruited ‘ice box’ watermelon is dark skinned in appearance. A deep-green hard rind surrounds a fine textured, bright red flesh which is juicy and sweet tasting. The melons span to 8 inches, and can weigh up to approximately 8-12lbs allowing the option to trail throughout trellises; making them ideal when working with limited space. Early, drought resistant, and fast to ripen in short Summers, they can be grown outside in warm and sunny sheltered locations.
Growing Watermelons from Seed
- Prepare soil by digging and incorporating liberal amounts of well-rotted compost or manure over winter. If starting indoors, ensure sufficient warm temperatures ( 20-25 degrees ) are provided for good germination rates.
- Between April and May, sow 1cm ½ inch deep, in 7cm (3.5in) pots of free-draining seed sowing mix. Place in a propagator and keep the temperature between 20-25C (68-77F) until after germination, usually 5-10 days.
- Transplant into 13cm (5in) pots when the first true leaves develop for a few weeks.
- After the risk of frost, plant out 24 inches apart. After carefully hardening off plant out in a warm sheltered position in full sun or, under glass for a more reliable crop.
- Water regularly and feed with liquid fertilizer every 14 days.
Pinch out growing point at the 4 leaf stage and train the laterals (side-shoots) along the row. Hand pollinate if required.
- At harvest time approximately 75 days after seeding, tap the watermelon with your knuckles, if it sounds hollow, it’s ripe.