Learn how to grow melons and watermelons in Houston.
Watermelons and melons are summer crops. The seeds need warm soil (15C or 60F) to germinate. You can start seedlings inside, in Houston around early March is the right time.
Place one seed per pot. And when the plant is about 10 cm or 3″ high, it’s time to transplant outside and fertilized with compost. Be careful when transplanting and do not disturb the roots.
You can also plant the seed directly into the ground; it is recommended to do a small hill (about 10 cm or 3″ high) and plant three seeds in a triangle, 3 cm. or 1″ deep. If all sprout, transplant or discard the two weaker and only grow 1 per hill.
All these plants grow a lot and need space horizontally or vertically. You can guide them on a trellis and hang the fruits using a pantyhose.
Watering should be directed to the base of the plant and deep, once a week. Plants can look sad (wilted) during the day in the heat, but at night should recover. If the plants look wilted in the morning, water. Another essential care is to place straw or a cradle with holes so that the fruit is not in contact with the ground as it may rot or be invaded by insects (in the photos you will see a basket for holding melon, very useful)
It is important to harvest at the right time, but it can be a little tricky to assess. In general, melons and watermelons should feel heavy, and in the case of melons, seeds must “dance” inside. The stalk that connects the watermelon or melon to the mother plant will begin to dry by itself, and the opposite end will be slightly soft. Always use a guide to estimate time for maturation. Write down when planted.
The watermelons and melons are among the easiest plants to grow; you only need a large area to plant and sun. Beware of squirrels, birds, and other animals, they love them, try to hide the fruits among leaves.
Visit our collection of articles on how to grow vegetables in Houston.