Organic Gardening

Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.

Add to My MSN

Growing Watermelons — Tips From Experts at Willhite Seed

3/15/2012 1:20:00 PM

Tags: watermelons, growing watermelons, melons, seed companies, gardening tips

Black Diamond WatermelonIf you are thinking about growing watermelons this summer, you should check out Willhite Seed Inc. This seed company based in Poolville, Texas, has been specializing in watermelons for over 90 years. They currently offer 51 watermelon varieties! — 22 open-pollinated varieties and 29 hybrids.

Here are a few tips from the good folks at Willhite on growing this dee-licious fruit:

* Watermelons ordinarily are planted early in cold soils.

* Young watermelon seedlings emerge over a longer period of time (up to three weeks) than those of most other crops. One may plant beans, peas, sweet corn, radishes, lettuce, squash, etc., and obtain an instant good stand, but you don’t do this very often with melons — especially when planted by hand. Even under good conditions, it sometimes is difficult to get a good stand when you are growing watermelons.

* Good-quality mature melons are firm, fresh and attractive in appearance with good color.

* Color may vary from deep solid green to gray, depending on the variety.

* Ripe watermelons will have a dull rather than a shiny surface and the underside of the melon will be yellowish in color or beginning to turn from a white or pale green to light yellow.

* The flesh of a cut ripe watermelon should have a fresh, firm texture and bright color.

* Sweetness is largely dependent on variety.

Pictured here is ‘Black Diamond’ watermelon, an open-pollinated variety offered by Willhite Seed. This variety, according to Willhite’s online catalog, is a large melon with a glossy, solid black-green rind. It has deep red flesh that is sweet, tender and crisp and has large grayish-black seed. It is hardy and a good shipper, and the average weight is 40 to 45 pounds. When properly pruned and weather and soil conditions are favorable, one of these melons could weigh 75 to 80 pounds!

For more information on growing watermelons — including how to plant in hills and how to save seeds — see Growing Melons.

Photo from Willhite Seed 


Cheryl Long is the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She leads a team of editors which produces high quality content that has resulted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS being rated as one North America’s favorite magazines. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., powered in part by solar panels, where she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of heritage chickens. Prior to taking the helm at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, she was an editor at Organic Gardening magazine for 10 years. Connect with her on .



Related Content

Landrace Gardening: Survival of the Fittest

A photo essay showing off the stunning success of landrace gardening on my farm. This success was ac...

Kasco Mfg. of Shelbyville, Ind., Announces the Acquisition of Herd Seeder Corporation

Kasco is excited to offer these outstanding products to our own line of grain drills and overseeders...

Urban Gardening and Growing Melons

An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.

What Vegetables Would Grow Best in My Area?

A reader from Pacifica, California wants to know what vegetables will grow best when.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

MARGARET ANDERSON
3/23/2012 11:39:40 PM
I get more useful information from the seed catalogues that I did from the "article" !!!

ABBEY BEND
3/23/2012 7:03:22 PM
As already mentioned, mostly an advertisement, but then that is mostly what is published by Mother Earth anymore, ads and old rehashed articles! Almost no reason to read it anymore!

Robert Sorel
3/23/2012 2:58:17 PM
I agree with the previous post. This is really an ad for the seed company.

MEHILE ORLOFF
3/23/2012 1:17:32 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but this "Tips from the Experts" article seems a bit light on "tips" .... growing requirements and conditions seem to fall a bit shy of qualifying as a "tip" .... and I think we all know that when plants are "..properly pruned and weather and soil conditions are favorable.." you will get a more productive crop ;)







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.