Juicy watermelons are a sweet treat in summer. This incredibly refreshing fruit is not difficult to grow. You can use this fruit as a water source in the hot desert climate.
You can grow watermelon effortlessly with seeds or from seedlings. It is better to grow watermelon from seedlings because the success rate with seeds is very low.
You can buy young seedlings of watermelon plants from any local nursery or gardening store easily. When you start your watermelon plants from seedling then your crop is ready to harvest earlier in the growing season.
Watermelon like to grow in warm climates and grow on vines. This sweet treat is ready to eat within 80 to 100 days but it depends upon the variety you choose for growing in your raised bed.
Why Grow Watermelon In A Raised Bed?
If you are facing the problem of limited space then a raised bed is a good solution to this problem. Most people think that you can’t grow watermelon in a raised bed as they need more space. Some extra care and effort make it possible for you.
There are many other reasons for growing watermelon in a raised bed. If you grow plants in a raised bed then you can control the growing environment. The maintenance of plants becomes very easy.
You can easily reach your watermelon plants and harvesting is much easier. When you grow plants in weeds will not steal nutrients from the soil as weeding is also much easier.
There is no need to get down to remove the weeds from the bed. If you have any physical issues then a raised bed is ideal for you.
You can maintain the fertility of the soil which is not possible if you grow watermelon in the ground. You can fill your raised bed with a high-quality potting mix that contains all the essential and basic nutrients for growing your watermelons.
Ideal Size Of Raised Bed For Growing Watermelon
The size of the raised bed is determined by what will be grown in it and how much space you have. You can easily build wooden raised beds without having any experience.
If you build your raised bed then it will not affect your pocket. The other option is you can also buy ready-made raised beds but they are expensive. You can also make a raised bed from concrete.
The ideal size of raised bed for growing watermelons is about 8 by 2 feet. You can grow 12 plants at a time easily in this size of the raised bed.
Avoid using too wide raised beds because you can’t maintain the plants easily. You can’t reach the plants that are at the center of the raised bed. These plants will be neglected and you will not get a healthy yield.
Best Bush Or Short Vine Watermelons For Small Spaces
If you want to grow watermelon in a raised bed then you should be careful when you are choosing the variety. In a limited space you should choose short and standard size varieties. Following are the few Bush or short wine water valence which are best for growing in our raised bed.
1- Bush Charleston Gray
This variety contains high sugar content and is ready for harvest within 90 days. The size of the fruit is smaller than the charleston grey variety but the flavor is the same.
The weight of the fruit is about 10 to 13 pounds and with a grey-green rind. The color of the flesh is deep red with a fine texture. This variety is suitable for growing in a raised bed or small garden. This is an open-pollinated cultivar.
2- Bush Sugar Baby
If you are looking for a bush variety of watermelon then this is a perfect cultivar for growing in raised beds or containers. The height of the watermelon plant can be 15 to 24 inches.
The juicy fruit is ready to harvest within 80 days. This is an open-pollinated variety and its wine spreads just 3 to 3 ½ feet.
3- Sweet Beauty
The weight of the fruit of this variety is about 6 to 7 pounds. The watermelon of sweet beauty variety is small oblong with dark and light green skin.
The color of the flesh is deep red with a sweet flavor. The height of this plant can be 10 feet and ready to harvest within 77 to 80 days.
4- Golden Midget
This is a personal size watermelon variety that weighs only three pounds. The color of the flesh is sweet pink with dark seeds. When the fruit ripens, the color of the rind is yellow and golden. The fruit will be ready to harvest within 70 days.
5- Little Darling
This is a small hybrid watermelon variety. The shape of the fruit is oblong at 5 to 7 pounds. The color of the rind is dark green with red flesh. The fruit contains high sugar which means it is very sweet.
This variety is ready to harvest within 65 to 70 days. Each plant of little darling can produce four fruits.
6- Mini Love
This variety produces a single serving size round watermelon. The weight of the fruit is about 3 to 6 pounds. Each plant can produce 6 fruits. The color of the flesh of the fruit of this variety is deep red and contains high sugar.
The height of the vines of mini love is about 3 to 4 feet. You can easily grow it in containers or raised beds. You can harvest the fruit within 70 days.
7- Bush Jubilee
This variety is ready to harvest within 90 to 100 days. The fruit has a sweet flavor because it contains high sugar. The size of the fruit is small and oblong. The weight of 24 inches long feet is about 25 to 35 pounds.
The color of the rind is light green with dark green stripes. The color of the flesh is bright red with a firm texture. This is an open-pollinated variety.
When To Plant Watermelon?
Watermelons like to grow in a hot climate so you should start them after a couple of weeks of the last frost. Watermelon plants easily grow in warm areas where summers are longer.
If you are living in a cold climate where summer is short then you should start the seeds indoors before the last frost. When the temperature is suitable you can transplant it into the raised beds of your garden.
If you want to grow watermelon from seeds then you can buy high-quality seeds from any local nursery or gardening store. You will get all the information and instructions about sowing. You should follow all the instructions so you will obtain a better yield of watermelon.
If you are living in an area where summers are short then start sowing the seeds indoors. You need biodegradable seed trays for this purpose. As the roots of baby watermelon plants are very delicate so they don’t like to be disturbed when you transplant them into raised beds of your garden.
Take the trays and fill them with a high-quality potting mix, in each tray sow 2 to 3 seeds. After this water all the seeds gently. To speed up the germination process you should keep the trays in a sunny spot where they get warm.
After a couple of weeks, you will see the seedlings will start emerging from the soil. You should keep those seedlings that look strong and healthy and discard the weak ones.
When your watermelon seedlings are ready to transplant then you should harden them off. The young seedlings should be kept in a sunny location for an hour per day.
Now increase the sun exposure time gradually day by day. If you are starting your plant from seedlings not sowing the seeds then there is no need to harden off. This step is essential for the seedlings that are prepared indoors for transplanting outdoors.
Soil Preparation For Filling Raised Bed
When you grow plants in a raised bat then you can maintain the fertility of the soil which is not possible when you grow plants in-ground. For filling your raised bed you should use high-quality nutrient-rich soil.
Aged manure will increase the richness of soil so you should add it for growing watermelon. You need sandy, loamy, and well-drained soil. The pH level of the soil must be 6.0 to 7.5.
The raised bed must be two feet high because watermelons have an expanded and strong root system. They need ample room that’s why the depth of the raised bed is very important.
For transplanting your seedlings into a raised bed you must wait until the soil gets warm. You should transplant the seedlings when the temperature is according to the requirement of watermelon plants.
Site Selection For Raised Bed
The selection of the site for your raised bed is very important. The location you choose must receive 10 hours of sunlight so you will get fresh and juicy watermelon.
For the production of fruit, make sure your plant gets full sun exposure. Choose open space so your plants get direct sunlight without any disturbance. Watermelon needs warmth and sunlight provides the required warmth. Watermelons grow in vines so the size of raised bed matters a lot.
Transplanting Watermelons Young Plants In Raised Beds
After hardening off the young seedlings now the next step is transplanting them into a raised bed. If you are living in a hot climate then you can easily sow the seeds in the raised bed.
When your fruit ripe it is the right time to harvest it. You should examine the fruit regularly when they get mature without wasting time picking them. When you sow the seeds or plant your seedlings you should count the days.
You must know how long a variety will take to fully mature. The tendril that is closed to the stem will start turning brown and dry. It is a clear symptom that your fruit is ready to harvest.
The other sign of ripe fruit is that the leaves will start turning brown. The lower side of the watermelon becomes yellow and the color of the skin becomes dull.