Trying something new spices up life. You may have gardened for just a few years or all your life. If you’ve gotten in a rut by growing the same fruits and vegetables every year, try planting yellow watermelon, which isn't usually found in grocery stores. Most people have never even tried it. You will be delighted with the sweet honey-like flavor. Yellow watermelon is planted and cared for in the same manner as red-fleshed watermelon. It is, however, a hybrid (genetically altered). If you save the seeds to plant next year, you most likely will not get the same shape or flavor of fruit. In fact, many times the seed will not germinate, or if it does, will not produce.
Start your yellow watermelon seeds indoors. Watermelons are long-growing-season crops, harvested from 70 to 100 days from seeding. By starting your seeds indoors, you shave off as much as three weeks off the outdoor growing time.
Fill peat pots with commercial potting soil up to ¼ inch from the top. Mist the soil and stir it around to moisten.
Make three holes, with your finger, ½ to ¾ inch deep. Drop a yellow watermelon seed in each and cover, gently, with soil. If your seed packet directions suggest planting at an alternate depth, follow those directions. Every seed variety is different.
Place your peat pots into a metal or plastic tray. Add 1 qt. water to the bottom. The peat pots will draw the water up into the soil. Spray top of soil with a water mister, just to moisten. Place a sheet of clear plastic wrap over the pots on the tray to keep in the warmth. Place in a sunny window.
Remove the sheet of plastic wrap after the seeds germinate (when green sprouts pop out of the soil). Continue to mist the tops, keeping the soil moist. When you pick up a peat pot and it feels light, add 1 qt. water to the bottom of the tray.
Transplant the yellow watermelon seedlings when they are 2 to 3 inches tall and the last frost has passed in your location. Add compost to your garden soil for nutrients. Work the soil into mounds, 2 feet wide and spaced 6 feet apart. Use your hoe to create a mote around the mound for watering.
Dig a hole at the top of the mound, with a trowel, at the depth of the peat pot in a full-sun location. Drop the peat pot in the hole and gently move the soil around the sides, making sure the entire pot is covered. Peat pots are biodegradable, so you don't need to remove the seedling from the pot.
Fertilize your yellow watermelon plants every two weeks with a high-nitrogen fertilizer. When the blooms appear, switch to a high-phosphorus and potassium fertilizer. Add the fertilizer to the motes when you water. Water through the season about once a week.
Harvest your yellow watermelons. Use a combination of indications for ripeness: The green curly tendrils, close to the melon, turn brown, the rind color turns dull and hard and the bottom (touching the ground) turns light green or yellow. Use a hand clipper to cut the melon off at the stem.
Things You Will Need
- Peat pots
- Clear plastic wrap
- Trowel (small hand shovel)
- Garden clipper
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