Watermelons can be grown in small and large spaces. When growing watermelons in small spaces, you want get the most from the few seeds planted. In such a case, a farmer will ask ‘how many watermelons per plant?’
Watermelon vines have male and female flowers. The female flowers develop into fruits after pollination. Usually, there are more male than female flowers. The ratio is about 7 male flowers to 1 female flower to ensure fertilization. Although there might be more than 4 female flowers, watermelon vines only produce between 2 and 4 watermelon fruits.
Because they only produce 2 to 4 watermelon fruits, you might mistakenly think watermelons need a small space. But if you have seen watermelon, you know how big the big ones get. In case you were wondering how much space does a watermelon plant need, here is your short answer. A watermelon plant will need about 3 to 5 feet of spacing from plant to plant.
Managing Tips To Get Most Watermelons Per Plant
Watermelons need a lot of care and water. Here are some tips to guide you along the way:
- First, invest in heirloom or open-pollinated seeds.
Choose these two types of seeds instead of the hybrid varieties commonly found in grocery stores if you want to grow the healthiest watermelons possible. In general, the quality of the fruit grown from heirloom seeds is higher and open-pollinated varieties are hardier than other types of seeds.
- Plant more seeds than you’ll need.
Since not every seed will grow into a healthy plant, it’s better to plant as many seeds as possible and remove the less robust ones later.
- Use a trellis to guide the vines.
If your garden is limited in square footage, you can keep the vines from taking over the entire yard by teaching them to climb a trellis. This may require a bit more work on your part, but it will result in a significant increase in available storage space.
- It’s important to prune your vines on a regular basis.
After your vines have begun to wander, you should inspect them carefully for any rotten areas that need to be removed using clean pruning shears. The bacteria and fungi that cause decay could spread to healthy vine tissue if these decaying parts were left in place.
- If you have room next to your watermelons, plant some useful crops.
Given the watermelon’s voracious appetite for fertilizer, legumes and other soil-enriching crops make great companion plants. Crop rotation with these plants can get your garden set up for watermelon planting the following year.
How Long Does It Take For A Watermelon To Grow
According to the homes and garden blog, most watermelon cultivars require around three months to mature from seed to harvest, with shorter timeframes for smaller melons and longer times for bigger ones.
About two weeks after your vines begin to trail, you should see your watermelon plants begin to blossom, first with the smaller male flowers and then the larger, fruit-bearing female flowers.
The native bees in your garden should be able to successfully pollinate all of your blooms. However, you can also pollinate them manually if you don’t have access to enough bees.
Collecting Watermelon Produce
When it comes to watermelons, there are no foolproof methods for determining when they are ready to be picked.
Many gardeners take the appearance of a brown, dry tendril close to the watermelon as a sign that the fruit is ready to be picked. Lightly beating your knuckles on the watermelon to check for the hollow sound of a ripe watermelon is another option.
These methods are not foolproof, so you may need some experience to reliably determine when your melons are ready to be picked.
The majority of watermelon cultivars can be harvested between 78 to 90 days following planting. One telltale sign that they are ready to be picked is a yellow patch on the part of their skin that has been in contact with the ground. In addition, there is a dry tendril at the joint between the stem and the vein.
Pollination times vary, thus not all watermelons ripen at the same time. This means we could have to harvest the same field more than once.
Watermelons require a manual harvest. Care must be taken when slicing watermelons so that the fruits don’t crack open and spoil before they can be sold.