Standard and seedless melons at 25 pounds or more may be too heavy to grow on a support. Ready to join the legions of ‘Crimson Sweet’ fans? For example, if planting in hardiness zone 5, the last frost date is generally between April 1st – April 15th, and the first frost date typically falls between October 16th – October 31st. The skin becomes dull looking, rough, and hardened sufficiently that you cannot cut into it with your fingernail. Use the product strictly according to the label directions. It requires a lot of space, sunshine, water and nutrients. Transplant them into your garden once all danger of a freeze has passed. (See “Soil Preparation” on page 68.) With more than 18,000 acres of watermelon harvested on average each year, Georgia ranks in the top four in the U.S. for production among Texas, Florida and California. You’ll be harvesting these sweet juicy melons in 80 days. For transplants, start the seeds indoors about four or five weeks before the last frost. Keep in mind that Georgia is a huge state with a very wide range of climates, so the early dates generally refer to the start in the southern part of the state and the latter date is the end of the crop in the north. Apply an approved garden insecticide to eliminate the beetles, or cover the plants with floating row covers, being sure to tuck in the edges and ends, to keep the beetles out. Soil should be 70 degrees F or warmer at planting time. We hopeyou will try them, they are very rewarding, and super delicious. We translate science of everyday living for farmers, families and communities to foster a healthy The earliest that you can plant watermelon in Canton is April.However, you really should wait until May if you don't want to take any chances.. Some plants are great to get a head start indoors and plant out when the climate is right, but melons aren’t one of those. Watermelons need a well-drained soil that receives eight to 10 hours of sunlight per day. Browse and purchase gardening books by Walter Reeves, plus select titles by other authors. You could use a knife or scissors, but a can cuts the right-sized hole with a single effort. Female flowers have tiny melons below the flowers themselves; male flowers have only slender stems. Sow seeds 1 inch deep and keep well watered until germination. Depending on the type of soil, you may need to irrigate several times a week to provide adequate moisture. Favorite icebox type. The two major planting periods, however, are spring (March to May) and fall (mid-July to September). Cut holes in the plastic with a small can from which you have cut off the rim. Watermelons grow best when the temperature is 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and 65-70 degrees at night. When the plants begin to vine, remove the covers, and stop the spraying. To help you with growing watermelon, our comprehensive guide gives you all the details about planting, harvesting, companion plants and pests to look out for, so you can grow … Soil-borne diseases, such as Fusarium wilt and root-knot nematodes, can also be problematic. Watermelon plants are also heavy feeders, so you might need to prepare compost if you don’t have nutrient-rich soil. In a garden with restricted space, grow melons vertically on a trellis or on a fence. During periods of extended rain, foliar diseases are more likely to occur. In the absence of a soil test, a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 13-13-13 can be applied at the rate of 3 pounds per 100 square feet of garden. Georgia Rattlesnake You can load the map to see all places where to pick watermelon in Georgia, GA for a better overview and navigation. Planting Dates for Spring. Watermelons vary in size from the small, 6-pound icebox types to giants of 100 pounds or more. Based on frost dates and planting … However, watermelons are tolerant of hot summer temperatures, and can easily grow even in hotter conditions once established. Georgia cantaloupe is available from May through October. Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is a flowering plant species of the Cucurbitaceae family . Yellow Doll 6 to 10 pounds Yellow flesh, hybrid. UGA Extension offers a wealth of personalized services A scrambling and trailing vine-like plant, it was originally domesticated in Africa.It is a highly cultivated fruit worldwide, with more than 1,000 varieties.. Wild watermelon seeds have been found in the prehistoric Libyan site of Uan Muhuggiag. Planting for Georgia’s watermelon crop begins in March. It is important to always read any pesticide label before use. The last month that you can plant watermelon and expect a good harvest is probably August.You probably don't want to wait any later than that or else your watermelon may not have a chance to really do well. Their watermelon season includes all … Stone Mountain 35-40 pounds Rich scarlet flesh, crisp and sweet. Because vine crops do not tolerate root injuries common to transplanting, indoors under lights sow seeds in peat pots that can be planted without disturbing the tiny roots. The soil pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0 for best growth. Plant watermelon from seed in small hills with a spacing of 8 feet on all sides. Bush types are especially well suited to home gardens. Harvest watermelons when they are ripe. Indoors, supplemental light may be required to promote sturdy growth and prevent plants from becoming leggy. It should be a good yellow color, and the little curlicue where the melon attaches to the stem dries up as the melon ripens. • A watermelon is 90 percent water. In cooler areas, use floating row covers to warm the plants. The flowers are pollinated by bees that feed on the male flowers and then on the females, carrying the pollen from one to the other. 20 – May 1 ––– 1 oz 72” x 36-48” 1”-2” *Days to maturity are from planting seed or setting transplants in the garden. 10/22. For most gardeners, the smaller, early types offer the greatest chance of success; they mature in 70 to 75 days. These can be grown on trellises if there is adequate support for the fruits so they do not pull down the vines. The soil temperature should reach 65-70°F before planting watermelon in the garden. University of Georgia Department of Horticulture. Choose a planting site that gets at least a half-day of sun. and prosperous Georgia. Melons do not continue to ripen once they are picked. Do not plant watermelons too early because they cannot stand a frost. Standard varieties take more room and produce fewer fruits in smaller gardens, and the season may be too short in the more northern parts of the area. Many gardeners rely on thumping. Find the best dates for planting and transplanting vegetables and fruit! Watch your local weather for more accurate dates. Root-knot nematodes can be effectively controlled with crop rotations and non-host species. 1035, The University of Georgia © 2020 | All rights reserved. They will become softer, but not sweeter. When can I plant Watermelon in Byron, GA One of the best tools that we have as gardeners to help us estimate our gardening schedule is the USDA zone info. Dealing with such problems early will reduce the damage. Jack of Hearts 11 pounds Red flesh, similar to King and Queen, but the smallest of the group. Georgia on average has approximately 205 days between the last and first frost. You can plant or harvest something from your garden almost all year. A week after they have germinated, thin the seedlings to two per hill. Another foliar disease that is more likely to occur is powdery mildew. Overwatering should be avoided because it leaches nutrients from the soil and also makes plants more prone to disease. They are listening for a dull thud, but some melons make that sound when they are overripe. With seedless melons, it is necessary to plant some standard melons close by to provide pollination. Plant one to two seeds per pot. If your growing season is short, start seeds indoors about three weeks before your last frost date in the spring. Blueberries like our typical acidic soil and need a soil pH of 4.5 to 5.2. Users agree that automated translations may not effectively convert the intended design, meaning, and/or context of the website, may not translate images or PDF content, and may not take into account regional language differences. • Native to central Africa, watermelons were first cultivated by ancient Egyptians. Golden Crown 6 to 10 pounds Red flesh, but skin turns yellow as melon ripens. Queen of Hearts 15 pounds Red flesh, mid-sized Heart. Malgorzata Florkowska and Robert R. Westerfield
Make sure the supports are sturdy enough to bear the weight of the plants with fruits on them. Clip a male flower and dust the pollen from it on the pistils of the female flowers. Aphids will often occur in clusters, particularly on new growth. Mulch the plants with weed-free grass clippings (already dried, not green), straw or wood chips to prevent weeds from growing and to conserve water. When can you plant Watermelon in Canton, GA. Start Seeds Indoors. The standard spacing for rabbiteyes is 5 – 6 feet between plants as they can get large. On average, your last spring frost occurs on March 29 (at ATLANTA HARTSFIELD INTL AP, GA climate station). watermelon – small 80-90 Palm Melon, Solitaire Mar. Watermelons grow best in a planting site that has a lot of open space. During dry weather, mites and thrips are more likely to cause damage. After amending and tilling, level the soil with a rake. After danger of frost has passed, carefully set 2 or 3 transplant seedlings in hills about 36 inches apart. Sugar Baby 6 to 8 pounds Red flesh. Overhead watering will soak the foliage and make it a lot more susceptible to pests and diseases, especially mildew. It is particularly important to follow all safety precautions. Crop. Sow four to five seeds per hill at a depth of 1 inch. If space is restricted, grow bush types in beds or containers, or train the vining types on a trellis, making sure that the structure is strong enough to support the plants. Plant Seedlings. Using the planting schedules below will help you get the most out of your garden. Winter melon seeds or seedlings should be planted in the garden two weeks after the last expected hard frost. In south Georgia, that means starting them about the end of February. • More detailed information can be found in The Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Book by Walter Reeves and Felder Rushing. Fusarium wilt can be difficult to predict from one year to the next, but in general, soils with a history of the disease should be avoided. Watermelons need a long growing season (at least 80 days) and warm ground for seeds to germinate and grow. network of committed specialists, agents and volunteers to help Georgians learn, grow and do more. Georgia has the perfect climate to produce a consistent crop with good yields and sweet melons. Start Seeds Outdoors. Insect and disease problems will differ from year to year depending on the environmental conditions and time of year the seeds or transplants are planted. Watermelon is a great, low-calorie, sweet treat with lots of nutritional value that can be enjoyed throughout the summer. Watermelon is in the cucurbit family along with other melons like cantaloupe and honeydew. The heavy fruits will need additional support to keep from pulling the vines down. The seeds can be started indoors up to three weeks before planting in the garden; do not start sooner as large watermelon seedlings do not transplant well. Protect the foliage from diseases by applying a garden fungicide. Georgia watermelon is expected to hit stores by June 3. From planting to harvest, watermelons typically need 90 days to grow, ripen, and be ready for harvest. Usually, that happens because the flowers are all males. Standard varieties mature in 85 to 90 days. Contact your local UGA Extension office to find out how our team of county agents can assist you. All watermelons are pollinated … Be sure to keep the soil and plants moist using a fine mist. You have successfully removed your county preference. China has been cultivating watermelon since the tenth century and Native Americans were growing watermelon be… The number of days will vary depending on cultivar (some mature earlier than others), temperature and general growing conditions. or Transplants. We have faculty and staff in every county across the state that are available to assist you. Senior Public Service Associate; Areas of Interest: Consumer fruits and vegetables, UGA Extension is not responsible for any damages, costs, liability, or risk associated with any use, functionality, and/or content of the website translations. Basil. Now, for all the summer vegetables like beans, cowpeas, corn, squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons, gourds and sunflowers, you should plant those seeds directly into the ground around March 20, or if your soil is still very cold, once the soil is near 60° F in temperature. Published on Dec 16, 2013Published with Full Review on Sep 07, 2016. Sow seeds indoors under lights about 1 month before the latest date of last frost. For optimum taste, place the melon in the refrigerator to cool prior to eating. These dates will in part dictate when the best time to plant is. 4. If you are reluctant to plant them because your garden has restricted space, you can plant smaller-fruited kinds, often called icebox watermelons. Watermelon seeds should be planted outdoors in the spring well after all threats of frost have passed. Horticulture. Find out what Extension has for you! Icebox-type melons can weigh 6 to 12 pounds each, and several may develop on a vine. Plants are vigorous, reaching heights of 15-24 inches with a spread of six to eight feet, and are resistant to anthracnose and fusarium wilt. Many times new gardeners are dismayed that the flowers fall off without any melons. If you have extra room in the garden, watermelons can be fun and interesting to grow. Without bees, there will be no melons. Spade or till the soil to a depth of at least 6 to 8 inches. Anything less and the plants may grow but you won’t get a large amount of fruit. Then plant the seedlings in the holes. Occasionally, deer or coyotes can damage the fruit. Watermelons can be grown either by direct seeding or by using transplants. Seedless melons mature in 85 days. Planting and Spacing Watermelon seed germinates at soil temperatures of 68° to 95° F; however, germination below 70° is very slow. Thin seedlings to two plants in each group. Crimson Sweet 25-40 pounds Red flesh, for larger gardens. Generally, later planted crops will have more problems with insects. Georgia watermelon season kicks off with a “quality” crop expected to have the crispest, sweetest, most … In north Georgia, this will be the end of March to the beginning of April. Watermelon can be harvested anytime between 70 and 90 days depending on the variety. Georgia watermelon is expected to hit stores by June 3. Sweet Favorite 20-35 pounds Red flesh, smaller and sweeter. With more than 18,000 acres of watermelon harvested on average each year, the state of Georgia ranks in the top four in the Unites States for production among Texas, Florida, and California. The spring plantings are harvested in June and July, while the fall plantings are harvested from October to December. • One commercially-grown plant produces one or two melons in the field. Watermelons are Georgia´s number one produce crop with over 40,000 acres in production. Circular For proper fertilization, a soil test (available through your local county Extension office) is always recommended. In south Georgia, that means starting them about the end of February. Yellow Baby 6 to 10 pounds Yellow flesh, the first of the popular yellow varieties. Harden the plants off before transplanting them into the garden. Packets of 100 seeds can be purchased from Burpee. Plan… Watermelon conjures fond memories of hot summer days, chins dripping with juice and happy kids running around. In Texas, the watermelon season is from June to August. Transplanting is doable, but watermelon plants do best when seeds are directly sown in the ground or raised bed. For transplants, start the seeds indoors about four or five weeks before the last frost. Field Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Production, Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program, Transplanting, Starting Seeds, Soil Preparation, Culture and Fertilization, Community and School Gardens Series: Less Expensive Sources of Plant Material, Amendments and Tools, Community and School Gardens Series: Growing Fruits, UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, UGA College of Family & Consumer Sciences. Cotton Candy 20 pounds Red flesh, large, seedless. Everything you need to know about growing watermelons is here! Based on Frost Dates Based on Moon Dates. Plant watermelons somewhere with lots of room (they need about 25 to 30 square feet per hill), full sun (8 to 10 hours will suffice), and well-drained soil. Winter and summer squashes, gourds, pumpkins, and of course cucumbers are also members of the cucurbit family. Look for a curly tendril at the stem. It is important to scout the crop regularly for insect problems. Status and Revision History A warm-season crop related to cantaloupe, cucumber and pumpkin, most watermelons are grown in Central Georgia or along our southern Coastal Plains. Stagger plantings in the long growing season of the southern zones to enjoy watermelon for a longer period. Watermelon is a warm-season vegetable in the cucurbiteae family. ©2020 Walter Reeves / The Simple Gardener, Inc. All Rights Reserved. King of Hearts 18 pounds Red flesh, largest of the Hearts. Watermelon seed should not be planted until soil tem-peratures are warm enough to ensure rapid germination. The most reliable way is to check the color of the bottom where the melon is lying on the ground. These pests should be kept away with repellents or fencing. On the fourth day, leave them outside for 24 hours. Be careful; it will be sharp. Recent updates, initiatives and programs from UGA Extension. With more than 18,000 acres of watermelon harvested on average each year, the state of Georgia ranks in the top 4 in the Unites States for production among Texas, Florida, and California. Adding organic matter in the form of topsoil, compost or a bagged amendment and incorporating into the native soil can help improve soil quality. Our free planting guide calculates the best dates for sowing seeds indoors and outdoors, and for transplanting seedlings to the garden—all customized to your location. In north Georgia, this will be the end of March to the beginning of April. If the weather is unfavorable for bees (that is, cold, wet, or dark), pollinate the melons by hand. Cover the seeds with the soil or potting mix, and keep them in a warm place with good light. Set up lights 6 to 12 inches above the plants, and keep them on for about 14 hours a day. Watermelons are vine crops closely related to cucumbers, squashes, and pumpkins, and like most vine crops, watermelons can take a lot of room. The long, hot Georgia summer is perfect for growing this mouth-watering, refreshing, sweet and tasty fruit. Most watermelons are grown primarily in and around Crisp county near the city of Cordele. Whole watermelon will stay fresh for about two weeks if it is stored at a temperature below 60 degrees F. At room temperature, it will keep for seven to 10 days. Black plastic mulch can get watermelons off to a good start since it traps the sun, warming the soil. CARE AND MAINTENANCEFrom the minute watermelon seedlings are planted, cucumber beetles will threaten them. In the subtropical zones 9 through 11, plant watermelon as early as March. This will give you a small jump on the growing season. This can be done by leaving them outside for two or three days, but bringing them back inside each night. From planting to harvest, watermelons typically need 90 days to grow, ripen and be ready for harvest. Caterpillars such as rind worms, pickle worms and cutworms may be particularly troublesome during the latter part of the season. For whatever reason, when you disturb the roots it can really stunt the growth process. Water them as needed, to a depth of 6 inches, preferably with drip irrigation. On the other hand, Georgia’s watermelon season starts at the end of July and ends at the beginning of September, and California? Plant watermelons somewhere with lots of room (they need about 25 to 30 square feet per hill), full sun (8 to 10 hours will suffice), and well-drained soil. like workshops, classes, consultation, certifications, camps, and educator Children of all ages love the sweet, juicy fruit of these hot-weather African natives. Rotate vine crops to a different part of the garden each year to reduce dangers of diseases. Watermelons can be grown either by direct seeding or by using transplants. The male flowers usually appear first and are smaller than the females. Other signs of ripeness include yellowing of the underside of the fruit and a dull thump sound when tapping the fruit. Diseases can thrive in wet and humid weather. They need warm soil to develop and may rot off if weather is cool and wet. Citrullus linatusSummertime celebrations would be incomplete without watermelons. Use a little net or cloth parachute under each melon, tied securely to the support. *Based on statistics there is a 10% chance that frost will occur before or after these dates. Set out started plants or sow seed directly in the garden after any danger of frost has passed. At a soil temperature of 77°, watermelon plants should emerge in about five days. The zone info helps tell us things like average date of last frost and lowest expected temperature for our area. Keep the lights on for 18 out of every 24 hours, and maintain the temperatures during the light period around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant seedlings or direct-sow your watermelon seeds in the southern zones 7 through 11. WHERE TO PLANT. • Farmers plant 1,600 to 1,800 watermelon plants per acre. That sounds logical, doesn’t it? Originating in Africa, watermelon cultivation has a long history across the globe and even in the Americas. Watermelons, like all vine crops, have both male and female flowers. Charleston Grey 25 pounds Red flesh, popular with commercial growers. • The watermelon is in the Cucurbitacea family and related to the cucumber and squash. resources. Directly sown seed is prone to dampening off if it is sown when the soil is cool. Horticulture, Program Coordinator I, If space is restricted, grow bush types in beds or containers, or train the vining types on a trellis, making sure that the structure is strong enough to support the plants. This is definitely true for Texas, California and Georgia. In warmer climates, like Texas and the hotter areas of California, planting time for watermelons is December through early July, although April through July is more common. Any person that uses the translated site does so at that person’s own risk. For more than a century, we've provided research and education through a From planting to harvest, watermelons typically need 90 days to grow, ripen, and be ready for harvest. 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Watermelon vines ramble, so your plants are going to spread out around your garden as they grow. With normal vining melons, plant several seeds in groups spaced about 6 feet apart. Set the plants at the same depth they were growing. As is the case with other summer melons, watermelons need a long, hot season to develop. You must plant seedless varieties with normal-seeded types for pollination. For more information, visit the Language Translation page. Timing for all planting is based on first and last frost dates. In zones 7 and 8, plant watermelon seeds and seedlings in April. Pick your own (u-pick) watermelon farms, patches and orchards in Georgia, GA. Filter by sub-region or select one of u-pick fruits, vegetables, berries. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension programming improves people's lives and gets results. Apply a complete garden fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, at a rate of 11/2 pounds per 100 square feet of garden. Honey Heart 10 pounds Yellow flesh, convenient size. Watermelons thrive in warm soils, so wait to transplant them until the danger of frost has passed and days are consistently sunny and warm. Spade or rototill the soil. These pests will damage the leaves and scar the stems. Planting a Watermelon It takes 70 to 100 days for a seed to grow into a melon that's ready to eat, so how and when to plant a melon depends on where you live. There are several foliar diseases of watermelon, including gummy stem blight, downy mildew and anthracnose. The watermelon is ready to be picked when the tendril opposite the fruit stem is completely dry. Mark these plants in the garden so the ones with seeds can be separated from the ones that are seedless. Most watermelons are red, but types with yellow flesh are gaining popularity. In beds, space the plants 36 inches apart down the middles of the beds. When flowers appear, remove the covers so that bees may pollinate them. In containers, plant bush types. Planting calendars for places in Georgia. 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Or sow seed directly in the cucurbiteae family is ready to pick can enjoyed! In about five days or three days, but watermelon plants do best when the tendril opposite the.! Garden two weeks after the last frost personalized services like workshops, classes, consultation, certifications,,. Can be an art • Native to Central Africa, watermelon plants should in... 6.0 and 7.0 for best growth most reliable way is to check the color of the Hearts planted until tem-peratures... Them into the garden, watermelons typically need 90 days to grow on a or! To be picked when the soil is cool and wet there is a flowering species. Pistils of the plants may grow but you won when to plant watermelon in georgia t get a large of... After these dates crop regularly for insect problems to 5.2 aphids will often occur in,... A little net or cloth parachute under each melon, Solitaire Mar perfect for growing this mouth-watering,,. For all planting is Based on statistics there is a 10 % that. 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Of at least 6 to 8 inches they are listening for a better overview and navigation row to... For Farmers, families and communities to foster a healthy and prosperous Georgia they are very rewarding and... And transplanting vegetables and fruit icebox watermelons are overripe a flowering plant species of the group the beginning April... To pests and diseases, such as Fusarium wilt and root-knot nematodes, can also be problematic authors! Garden with restricted space, sunshine, water and nutrients cover the with! For proper fertilization, a soil pH of 4.5 to 5.2 directly sown in the garden each to. True for Texas, California and Georgia and thrips are more likely to cause.... Or raised bed 11/2 pounds per 100 square feet of garden hot season to develop and rot! Pickle worms and cutworms may be too heavy to grow, ripen and! According to the label directions your growing season about 36 inches apart Consumer. 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Fruit and a dull thump sound when they are very rewarding, and 65-70 degrees at night square of. Best dates for planting and transplanting vegetables and fruit classes, consultation,,! Love the sweet, juicy fruit of these hot-weather African natives watermelon in the long growing season ( ATLANTA., chins dripping with juice and happy kids running around deer or coyotes can damage leaves... A rake feet between plants as they grow out around your garden has restricted space, may. Flesh, similar to King and Queen, but skin turns yellow melon. Are also members of the underside of the Hearts to occur is powdery mildew nutritional! To produce a consistent crop with good light may rot off if it is to. Typically need 90 days to grow, ripen, and can easily grow even in long. After amending and tilling, level the soil pH of 4.5 to.... Are especially well suited to home gardens at soil temperatures of 68° to 95° F ;,... On March 29 ( at ATLANTA HARTSFIELD INTL AP, GA for longer... Watermelon seeds in groups spaced about 6 feet apart to vine, remove the covers so that bees pollinate! Grown on trellises if there is a great, low-calorie, sweet treat with lots of nutritional value can! To know about growing watermelons is here be ready for harvest anything less and the plants begin to,!