There are a variety of delicious treats that you can grow right at home with your own greenhouse. Watermelon is one favorite that you can produce in your own backyard.
With planning and care, you can successfully grow this sweet treat in your own greenhouse. If you like, you can start your watermelons off in a greenhouse and then move them outside once they look like they’re healthy.
You can build your own greenhouse or opt for a prefabricated solution for better results. Prefabricated greenhouses come with features that can help you achieve watermelon growing success. Additionally, construction is a lot easier. Visit this website for an example of an awesome greenhouse add-on. Either way, your greenhouse will allow you to enjoy a tasty watermelon treat year-round.
The following sections cover 6 things that you need to know to help you succeed with greenhouse grown watermelons.A greenhouse will allow you to enjoy tasty #watermelons year-round. Here's what you need to know to help you succeed with #greenhouse grown watermelons. Click To Tweet
1. Keep It Simple
Building your greenhouse doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. The concept behind greenhouses is basic. They’re used for growing food during the off-season or in inhospitable environments.
You can build either a temporary or permanent structure to grow your watermelon. You’ll need to cover the frame of your greenhouse with some type of translucent material that lets in sunlight and heat. You’ll also want to consider what add-ons and features are available on the marketplace that can make your growing adventure easier.
2. Make Sure Your Watermelons Are Comfy
It’s important not to let your watermelons overheat. You’ll need to incorporate ventilation into your greenhouse that allows your crop to cool down on warmer days. This can consist of simple louvered vents that you can adjust as needed.
Ideally, the temperature inside your greenhouse should remain between 50° and 70° Fahrenheit (10 to 21°C). Most crops can take a 10° to 15° increase in temperature before you need to let in a little cool air.
Also, a fan can help you keep the inside of your greenhouse at an ideal temperature for growing your watermelon. As for heat, sunlight only provides approximately 25-percent of the warmth needed to keep your watermelon crop healthy, so you’ll also need a heater for your greenhouse in certain climates.
3. You Don’t Need a Lot of Space
In today’s world, real estate is in high demand. Resultantly, yard space is giving way to housing and leaving less room for growing food. Despite this, there’s a rising interest among people in growing their own fruits and vegetables.
Most people are aware that it’s possible to grow food on a trellis. However, they seldom think of growing watermelon vertically. This comes as no surprise, as watermelons are particularly heavy compared to nearly all other foods, but it’s absolutely possible.
4. Give Your Watermelons Support
If you’re going to go with a trellis, you need to choose a material that strong enough to hold the weight of your watermelons. Also, the material that you use to support the melons must hold moisture so that it doesn’t rot your crop. This can include T-shirts, cheesecloth or another type of breathable fabric.
To make your watermelon support, cut the fabric into squares and draw it together at the four corners. Next, tie the sling to the trellis to support your watermelon.
You may also need to use wire or wooden sticks to help support the melons during the growing process. Furthermore, remember to occasionally check how your watermelons are holding up on the trellis. You may need to add additional support as they grow bigger and heavier.
5. Start Your Melons Off Right
Watermelons won’t grow with love alone. They need lots of attention, so make sure that you check on and care for your watermelons often.
To start, you’ll need to fill the trays with a commercial greenhouse growing medium that’s infused with starter fertilizer. Don’t make the mistake of using a fine starter soil or plug mix for your watermelons, and don’t pack the growing medium tightly. When preparing your trays, fill the trays with as much water as possible and allow them to drain for 24-hours in the heat. The soil should reach 85°F (29°C) and remain the same during seeding.
When planting your seeds, dig 1-inch deep holes, and insert the seeds with the pointed side upward. Cover the seeds with a small amount of warm growing medium, but don’t water the soil again afterward. Finally, liquid tomato fertilizer is fine for nourishing your watermelon crop when needed.
6. Watermelons Need Pollen
You’ll need to pollinate your watermelon plants when the first flowers appear on the vine. The easiest way to do this is to use a small paint or pastry brush.
Lightly brush the inside of each of the melon flowers to spread the pollen. Let the melon flowers rest for 3 to 5 days afterward. If all goes well, you’ll see small signs of growth, which will soon turn into a full-sized watermelon.
In your greenhouse, you can plant your melons directly in the ground or in planting containers. The best time to plant them is between April and May.
If you go with planters, the pots should be 6 inches deep. Plant the seeds approximately a half inch deep into the soil. Let them germinate, and water the seeds lightly when the soil dries, and make sure not to over water them.
As your watermelon plants grow taller, remove any side shoots to focus growth. You want your plants to use all of their energy to feed the main shoots. In addition, flowers that don’t show signs of growth are male. You’ll need to remove those as well.
If you started your watermelon crop in smaller planters, you’ll eventually have to move them into bigger containers. You can also move your growing watermelons into a raised bed inside of the greenhouse. This will give your greenhouse grown watermelons more space, allowing them the spread out and grow. With a little TLC, your watermelons will grow into a tasty treat for the entire family.
Have you grown — or plan to grow — greenhouse watermelons?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.