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Old 06-12-2007, 07:53 PM   #1
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ISO help planting watermelons

My seven-year old, Daniel, would like to have some fresh watermelon, and requested we plant some seeds in the backyard.

Today, I returned home with a pack of seeds, and am a little confused by the directions. You can click on the image below for all the directions, but the part I am hoping someone can help me with is:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seed packet
...or sow 6 seeds over a hill 9 to 12 inches tall and 2 feet across.


What does this mean? I need mounds in the yard?

Thanks for any advice for growing Sugar Baby Watermelon.

Tom

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Old 06-12-2007, 08:26 PM   #2
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Hi, Tom. I'm a gardener but have no experience with watermelons other than eating them. However, we have some very experienced gardeners here who will surely have an answer for you.

I hope Daniel enjoys working in the garden with you and, equally, enjoys eating the fruits of your labor.
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW
What does this mean? I need mounds in the yard?
I am pretty sure that is exactly what they mean, although if you just plant then without the mounds I am sure they will still grow.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:26 PM   #4
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Tom....

The planting instructions are optimal for the home gardener. However: a smaller "hill" will be fine in your back yard! You do understand that this plant will produce vines 6-10 feet in length? In every direction!! One "hill" of watermelons will take up a lot of backyard space. It's a great project for father and son!! Good luck!

Enjoy!
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:17 AM   #5
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The hills help give you more space, kind of like 'stacking'. The vines the plant will produce are huge and will creep all over your garden. If you give them a bit of a hill to climb down, you can save a bit of space.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:27 AM   #6
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Watermelons are heavy feeders and require a lot of water. A very easy way to provide those things is to punch holes in the bottom of a large juice can (like Hi C comes in). Insert that can into the center top of the hill, and plant the seeds around it. Then, when you water and feed your plants, pour the liquid directly into the can. The liquids will drain down directly to the roots of the plants instead of running off the top of the soil.
As Uncle Bob said, the vines will run everywhere. They are sensitive and easily broken, so as they grow, it is advisable to put a mulch down underneath them to keep the weeds down. straw, landscape fabric or even several layers of newpapers will work. The mulch will also keep the developing melons off the dirt, preventing them from rotting on the bottom.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:31 AM   #7
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Two years ago, my other half got three watermelon seedlings and planted them in our small flower garden. I told her they would spread everywhere, but she didn't believe me.

Sure enough, three weeks later, guess what? Vines everywhere. I ended up building an A-frame out of scrap lumber, and some chicken wire. I draped the vines over and around the framework. Any resulting fruit were supported by old onion bags (the plastic mesh kind that 25 and 50 lbs of onions come in) and some S-hooks attached to the chicken wire.
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:58 AM   #8
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Just a funny story about my son (who was about 5 at the time) and watermelons. One July, he and his cousin ate watermelon at grandma's house, and planted the seeds. Grandma lived in Illinois, and we lived in Kentucky at the time.

We went home to Kentucky, and moved into a new house that fall. When I mowed off the garden area, I discovered that the previous tenants had planted potatoes, and they were ready to harvest. My son had a wonderful time digging (and eating) potatoes.

Come Thanksgiving, we headed back to Grandma's. First thing Rob said when he got out of the car: "Is it time to dig my watermelons yet?"
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Old 06-13-2007, 12:41 PM   #9
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No intent to highjack the thread.

My DW came home with a watermelon last night from the supermarket. What garbage! It tastes nothing like I remember as a kid. And where'd the seeds go?

I hope your planting produces some nice, flavorful ones.
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:30 PM   #10
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First off, the tiny "hills" you create when planting squashes, melons, etc., will not "give you more space". A plant that creates 10-20 feet of vine is not going to care about a little 12" hill - lol!!! (Whoever told you that Verablue was pulling your leg.)

You don't need to plant in "hills". Think of pumpkin fields - are they planted in hills? No. "Hills" just provide better drainage for the sprouting seed, which can easily rot without it. Big-time farms don't care about that; backyard farmers (like me) do. But it's not necessary. Normally you plant a number of seeds in a "hill" & then either pinch off or transplant more than 2 or 3 in each "hill". The vines will spread everywhere, but how rampant depends on the variety. Many "bush" & "semi-bush" varieties are far less invasive.

Once your vines start to produce fruit, remove all but 2-3 per vine to encourage growth to those few.

Melons are a lot of fun to grow - & SugarBaby is a good one to start with as the fruits remain small, are very sweet, & mature early.
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