When and how to plant watermelons and melons for seedlings: favorable days in 2024

By Andrii MaistrenkoJun 24, 2024 07:32 AMGarden
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When and how to plant watermelons and melons for seedlings
When and how to plant watermelons and melons for seedlings. Source: bonnieplants.com

Watermelons and melons are renowned for thriving in warm climates, historically limiting their cultivation to southern regions. However, advancements in breeding have resulted in varieties with shorter growing seasons. SSPDaily elucidated how gardeners in less favorable climates can achieve a bountiful harvest of sweet fruits by germinating watermelon and melon seeds indoors.

Selecting the right seeds

When acquiring watermelon or melon seeds, consider their suitability for your region, ripening period, freshness, and fruit size. Large melon varieties flourish in warm climates, while smaller ones are better suited for northern regions. Nonetheless, fruit size does not affect taste or juiciness.

Planting watermelons and melons in 2024

The timeframe for transplanting seedlings after sowing typically ranges from 26 to 35 days. The precise timing for planting watermelons and melons for seedlings in Ukraine depends on factors such as region, variety, weather conditions, and lunar calendar.

In April, favorable planting days include the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 17th, 18th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 27th, and 30th.

For May, recommended planting days are the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 28th, and 29th.

However, April 25th and 26th are considered the most suitable for sowing watermelon and melon seeds.

Sowing watermelons for seedlings

Prepare a suitable soil mixture for watermelon and melon seedlings by blending one part substrate with one-third humus. Optionally, add fertilizers: a large spoonful of nitrogen and potash fertilizers, and three spoonfuls of phosphorus fertilizers.

Before sowing the seeds, pre-soak them in warm water at around +25 °C or a solution of an immunostimulant.

Due to the delicate root system, plant watermelon and melon seedlings individually in plastic containers or, preferably, peat pots. Place the seeds sideways in the soil, cover with potting mix, and enclose with foil until the first sprouts emerge. Maintain an optimal temperature of +22-25 °C for germination.

Transplanting seedlings to the greenhouse

In mid-May, consider transferring watermelons and melons to a heated greenhouse due to their aversion to cooler temperatures. Alternatively, postpone the transplant to a later date, which may be more prudent.

Prepare the soil by removing the top layer and adding a mixture of hay and humus to the bottom. Apply nitrogen-containing fertilizer and moisten with warm water. Cover with soil and consider using a cover to retain warmth.

Typically, watermelon or melon seedlings are planted with a spacing of 70 by 50 cm. However, specific distances between seedlings may vary depending on the variety.

When using plastic containers, delicately extract the roots and soil, gently transplanting the seedlings to form a soil lump 1-2 cm high. In some cases, two plants can be placed in one hole to allow growth in opposite directions.

Transplanting seedlings outdoors

It is advisable to transplant watermelon and melon seedlings outdoors in mid-June.

Choose an area where perennial grasses, wheat, or corn were previously planted. Ensure the soil was properly fertilized and watered in spring. Commence the hardening process for seedlings about a week and a half before planting.

For the planting pattern, a spacing of 140 by 70 cm or two holes per square meter is recommended. During transplanting, avoid burying the root collar of the seedlings too deeply.

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