One of summer's highlights is fresh watermelon. However, the watermelon found in stores is often not as ripe or sweet as homegrown watermelon. A good melon for a home garden is the Black Diamond Watermelon, an old-fashioned seeded variety that does not require any special care. Its seeds are readily available and, as Fern Marshal Bradley explains in "The Exper'ts Book of Garden Hints," growing plants from seed is "the essence of gardening."
Things You'll Need
- Garden spade
- Black Diamond watermelon seeds
Plant Black Diamond watermelon seeds after all chance of frost has passed. Watermelon seeds sprout best when the temperature is consistently above 70 degrees F.
Designate a large area in your garden for watermelon cultivation. Each vine will be approximately 6 feet long. Plants should be spaced 3 feet apart.
Clear the area designated for your Black Diamond watermelon patch. Remove all weeds, existing vegetation and rocks.
Prepare your soil. Watermelons prefer soil full of organic matter. Mix equal parts of compost and manure into your soil with your spade.
Plant seeds 1 to 3 inches deep. Seeds can also be planted in raised mounds or rows. Raised mounds heat faster increasing soil temperature and hastening seed germination.
Water thoroughly and keep soil moist until Black Diamond watermelon plants are fully established. Established plants require deep watering every five to seven days.
Carefully add a thin layer of mulch to soil after seedlings sprout. Avoid damaging the seedlings.
Tips & Warnings
- In cold climates with a short growing season start seeds inside.
- Plant bright flowers like ruby flax or cosmos near your watermelon to attract pollinators. Watermelon's must be pollinated to set fruit.
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