The Scientific name of Watermelon is Citrullus Lanatus, it belongs to Cucurbitaceae (Gourd family). Watermelon is a trailing annual vine with tendrils. Watermelon plants leaves are coarse, hairy & pinnately lobed. There are hundreds of watermelon varieties having fruits with a smooth hard rind; usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots and a sweet, juicy interior flesh, generally deep red to pink.
Watermelon is an excellent dessert fruit; it is relished by rich as well as poor. The fruit juice makes an excellent refreshing and cooling beverage after adding a pinch of salt and black pepper. The fruits contain 92% water, 0.2% protein, 0.3% minerals 7.0% carbohydrates in a 100g edible flesh.
Types of Watermelon:
Sugar baby, Sugar Queen, Punto, Nelson, Cruiser, are some of the traditional watermelon varieties of India. Although watermelon is a fruit crop, it is treated as a vegetable when it comes to farming techniques of watermelon. Buy Hybrid Watermelon Cruiser.
Read more about growing cucurbit vegetables
Watermelon farming techniques:
Watermelon is grown on the ground, open farmland or yard gardens. Watermelon requires full sunlight, fertile well-drained, sandy soil with plenty of organic manures, a good source of irrigation. If grown on a large scale, drip irrigation system is recommended. Because watermelon fruits are large, the vine is not grown on a trellis; it is rather allowed to trail on the ground. Seed sowing always grows watermelon. Please make sure that you purchase good quality seeds of desired varieties meant for sowing purpose.
How many watermelon seeds do I plant per hole?
2 to 3 seeds are sown per hole. Few weeks after germination, only single, healthy seedling is allowed to grow at one spot & other slow growing seedlings are thinned out.
How long does it take to grow watermelon from seed?
It differs from variety to variety; on an average, the fruits ripen 80-90 days after sowing. All watermelon plant stages i.e. Seedling stage, flowering stage, fruiting stage happen within 2-3 months on most of the cultivars.
How many watermelons per plant?
About 2 to 3 melons can be obtained per plant in its single lifespan of 3-4 months. Usually, gardeners purposely keep only one watermelon per plant to harvest big sized fruits.
How do I know when a watermelon is ready to be picked?
Maturity in watermelon can be judged from withering of plants tendril, change in fruits belly color or ground spot to yellow and thumping test. The mature fruits on thumping give dull sound as against metallic sound of unripe fruits.
Cantaloupe or muskmelon is grown in a similar manner.