A watermelon is to know what the angels eat, Mark Twain proclaimed. This watermelon produces round striped fruit 6 to 8 inches across with bright red sweet flesh, thin rinds and small seeds. A good producer of fairly compact plants that can be grown on a trellis or on the ground. Melons require 7 to 9 hours of direct sunlight daily. They grow best when the soil temperature is 21 degrees or higher. Mulch, even moisture and warm soil is key to success.
For best results start the seed indoors about six weeks before its transplanting date, based on your own climate and conditions. Sowing indoors will provide an ample head start, until the soil is warm enough to host these sweet summer treats. For outdoor seed sowing, bury seeds an inch deep into a soil mound or a hilled row. Cover seeds or the root balls of the young transplants with displaced soil and water in deeply. Maintaining a moist but never wet consistently wet at all times through germination and transplanting. Melons will be ready to harvest about 45 days after the flowers appear.
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|Temperature (C):||21 - 30|
|Site:||Zone 3 +|
|Height (cm):||20 - 30|
|Spread (cm):||120 - 130|
Melons should be planted based on your region's own climate. Unlike most plants, the time to mulch watermelons is in late winter, before you plant the first seed or transplant. This will help the soil warm up quicker, provide nutrients, as well as retain its much loved even moisture. Hot weather is needed to produce the sugar necessary for sweeter fruits. 23 degrees and up.
Watermelon is recommended for increased blood flow and has been helpful in prostate health and erectile dysfunction because of its beneficial phytonutrients like citrulline and lycopene. It's in the name of lycopene. Get it? Like-go-peeing. Sorry. Little science joke there.
Harry Paris, a horticulturalist at the Agricultural Research Organization in Israel did extensive research on this fruit. He is quoted saying
The history has been screwed up from the very outset, Even the name for the modern watermelon. Citrullus lanatus is wrong. The citron melon, which grows in southern Africa, is one popular candidate for the watermelons' ancient ancestor. But Paris is doubtful. Lanatus means hairy in Latin and was originally the name assigned to the fuzz-covered rind of the citron melon (Citrullus amarus).
In his extensive research, he found Egyptians began growing watermelon crops around 4,000 years ago, which predates farming in southern Africa. 18th-century taxonomists are suspect to this misclassification in his opinion.