Watermelon square foot gardening: 9 Simple steps To Follow

Growing Watermelons in your garden can be rewarding. Here learn how to do watermelon square foot gardening in your backyard and get fresh produce very often.

If you like juicy, sweet watermelons but don’t have enough room for a big watermelon patch, you can still grow them.

If so, you might want to try Square Foot Gardening (SFG). Mel Bartholomew created SFG in the 1970s.

It is a way to garden that focuses on using the room well and getting the most out of it.

This piece will explain how you can use this new way to grow watermelons, even if you only have a small amount of space.

What is “gardening on a square foot”?

Square Foot Gardening is a way to plant in raised garden beds with a grid pattern.

Depending on the size of the plants, each square foot in the grid is set aside for a certain number of plants. This way makes a small space more diverse, efficient, and productive.

Why Should You Grow Watermelons in a Square Foot Garden?

Watermelons are usually grown in big areas because they spread out. But with Square Foot Gardening, you can grow watermelons in a small space that you can manage.

This method also makes upkeep easier because it cuts down on the growth of weeds and makes it easier to check on the health of plants.

benefits of growing watermelon in a square foot Garden

benefits of growing watermelon in a square foot Garden?

  • Watermelon plants, with their sprawling vines, can consume a considerable amount of space in a conventional garden, necessitating a vast area to accommodate them.
  • In stark contrast, square-foot gardening offers the option of growing watermelons vertically, leveraging trellises or supports to enable their growth within a compact space.
  • This approach enables one to cultivate watermelons in an area much smaller than that demanded by conventional gardening.
  • A further benefit of square-foot gardening is its ability to provide an enhanced level of precision in regulating soil conditions.
  • Watermelon, a delectable and nutrient-rich fruit relished by countless individuals globally, constitutes an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals that can serve as a wholesome supplement to one’s diet.
  • Nonetheless, not everyone possesses the luxury of ample backyard space for cultivating this fruit. In such cases, square-foot gardening presents itself as an optimal solution.
  • Employing a grid system to cultivate plants within a confined area, square-foot gardening provides an efficacious technique for growing watermelons.

In traditional gardening, achieving optimal soil composition for the growth of watermelon can pose a formidable challenge, requiring a soil profile rich in nutrients, well-draining, and fertile.

With square-foot gardening, however, one can tailor a bespoke soil mixture for each square, precisely catering to the unique requirements of the plant species growing therein.

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Watermelon Square Foot Gardening: How To Grow

Step 1: Choose a Suitable Location

Picking the Right Type: When growing watermelons in an SFG, it’s important to choose a bush variety or a small variety that doesn’t take up as much room. Sugar Baby and Bush Sugar Baby are both good choices.

Step 2: Choose a Suitable Location

In the pursuit of cultivating watermelons via the square-foot gardening method, the initial phase entails the selection of a fitting location.

As watermelons necessitate full exposure to sunlight and soil that drains effectively, it is imperative to opt for a spot that receives a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day.

Moreover, given watermelons’ requisite for expansive space to mature, it is essential to ensure that the chosen location is adequately spacious to cater to the plants’ growth.

Step 3: Prepare the Soil

After choosing a suitable location for cultivating watermelons through square-foot gardening, the next crucial step involves soil preparation.

To create an optimal environment for watermelon growth, the soil must be abundant in organic matter while simultaneously promoting efficient drainage.

In the event that the soil is dense and clay-like, it is imperative to improve its drainage and fertility by introducing compost or other organic materials.

To do so, a garden fork or tiller can be used to combine the soil amendments with the existing soil to a depth of no less than 12 inches.

Step 4: Build the Grid

The fundamental aspect of the square-foot gardening technique is the grid system, which enables the garden bed to be partitioned into uniform one-foot squares.

This simplifies the planning and planting of crops.

The grid can be constructed by utilizing stakes and string to create a series of one-foot squares, or alternatively, a pre-made grid specifically designed for square-foot gardening can be employed.

Step 5: Plant the Watermelon Seeds

Once the grid has been constructed, the subsequent step is to plant the watermelon seeds.

Although watermelons are typically grown from seeds, you can also acquire young seedlings from a local nursery.

To plant the seeds, place one or two in each square foot section, then cover them with about an inch of soil.

After planting, water the seeds generously and ensure that the soil remains damp until the seeds have germinated.

Step 6: Maintenance

Make sure your watermelons get full sun and water them regularly. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases.

Step 7: Support

As the watermelons grow, they may need support so that the fruits don’t pull the vines out of shape or pull on the fruits themselves.

You can get the support you need from a melon hammock or bands made from old t-shirts or tights.

Step 8: Care for the Watermelon Plants

Watermelon plants demand consistent and diligent upkeep to achieve optimal growth and yield.

To effectively care for your watermelon plants, it is imperative to adhere to the following recommendations:

  • Ensure Adequate Watering: Watermelon plants necessitate a substantial amount of water, particularly in scorching conditions. It is advisable to water them extensively once or twice a week, ensuring the soil remains damp without becoming excessively saturated.
  • Fertilize regularly: Watermelons require regular fertilization to promote healthy growth and fruit production. Use a balanced fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
  • Control pests and diseases: Watermelons are susceptible to various pests and conditions, including aphids, spider mites, and powdery mildew. Employing natural methods of pest control like neem oil or insecticidal soap can be an effective means of managing such issues.
  • Prune the plants: Watermelon plants can become very large and sprawling, which can make them difficult to manage in a small garden space. To keep them under control, prune the plants by removing shoots or leaves growing beyond the square foot section.

Step 9: Harvest the Watermelons

Watermelons are ready to harvest when the fruit sounds hollow when tapped, and the stem dries.

Use a sharp knife to cut the fruit from the stem, taking care not to damage the plant. Store the watermelons in a cool, dry place until you are ready to eat them.

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How Big Should My Raised Bed Be for Watermelons?

Watermelons need a lot of room to grow, even more so when you think about how far their vines and roots spread.

For square foot gardening, your raised bed should be at least 4 feet by 4 feet, but the bigger it is, the better, especially for watermelons.

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The depth of the high bed is another important thing to think about.

The roots of a watermelon can grow quite deep, so a bed that is at least 12 inches deep is best.

But 18 to 24 inches deep would be even better because the roots would have more room to grow and the plants would get all the nutrients they need.

Watermelon Gardening Space per Square Foot

In square foot farming, spacing is very important. It’s especially important with watermelons because their plants spread out.

One plant per square foot is the usual rule for bush or compact types of watermelon.

This gives the plant enough room to grow without making it too crowded, which can lower yields and make it more likely to get sick.

Plant your watermelon near the edge of your square foot vegetable bed.

The plant will send out branches as it grows. By planting at the edge, you give the vines room to grow over the sides of the raised bed, making room for other plants in the bed.

Remember that giving your plants enough space in your square foot garden is more than just putting them in the grid.

It’s also important to make sure that each plant has enough space to grow to its full potential and that you, the gardener, have enough space to reach the plants for upkeep, pest control, and harvesting.

What is the best type of watelemon for square-foot gardening?

When choosing watermelons for square foot gardening, you should usually choose smaller or bush varieties that grow and produce fruit in less room. Here are some wonderful options:

  • Sugar Baby” is one of the most popular picks for small gardens. The ‘Sugar Baby‘ watermelon grows small, red, sweet fruits that weigh between 8 and 10 pounds.
  • Bush Sugar Baby‘: Like ‘Sugar Baby,’ ‘Bush Sugar Baby’ is a bush variety that grows well in small areas or containers.
  • Golden Midget“: This variety is known for its unique golden skin and sweet, reddish-pink meat. This is a great variety for square foot growing because the fruits usually weigh about 3 pounds.
  • Jubilee Bush” is a bush version of the popular “Jubilee” watermelon. It has the same sweet, juicy, red meat, but it grows on a smaller plant that can fit in tighter places.
  • Moon and Stars” is a unique heirloom variety with yellow “stars” spread across a dark green “moon.” The fruits can be quite big, but this type also comes in smaller sizes that work well for square foot gardening.
  • Blacktail Mountain” is a well-known type because it ripens quickly. It can grow in cold weather and gives small fruits that weigh between 6 and 12 pounds.

Even though these types are smaller, keep in mind that they will still need room to grow.

You should only plant one watermelon plant per square foot and put it near the edge of the bed so the vines can grow outward.

How come square foot watermelons cost so much?

Because of a few things, square watermelons are usually more expensive than round ones:

How they are made: Square watermelons are made by growing the fruit in a square mould, which takes more work and resources. This adds to the cost of making the goods as a whole.

There aren’t as many square watermelons as there are round ones. They are often made in small amounts, which makes them more expensive.

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surprise Factor: Square watermelons have a unique shape that makes them an interesting surprise. Items that are unique and interesting often cost more.

How big is square foot watermelon?

Most square watermelons are about the same size as a traditional medium-sized watermelon, but the exact size can change.

On average, they are about 8 to 9 inches long, 8 to 9 inches wide, and 8 to 9 inches tall. However, the moulds used to make them can make them bigger or smaller.

Once the fruit fills up the mould, it needs to be taken out, so the size of the mould decides how big the watermelon will be.

Which month is best for planting watermelons?

Watermelons grow best when it’s warm, and you should put them when the soil temperature is at least 70°F, which is usually in late spring or early summer.

In many places, this means planting from April to June, but the exact time depends on the weather in your area.

In places with a long growing season, you can put watermelons as late as July.

Which fertiliser is best for watermelons?

For watermelons to grow big and sweet, they need a lot of food.

Most of the time, a balanced fertiliser with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is a good pick. A 10-10-10 (N-P-K) formula would work well.

You can mix the fertiliser into the dirt when it’s time to plant. As the plants start to grow, you can add more fertiliser to the side.

You could also add compost or well-rotted manure to give the soil more nutrients.

It’s important not to over-fertilize, because too much nitrogen can make the leaves look good but make it hard for the plant to make fruit.

How many watermelons does one plant produce?

The type will determine how many watermelons you can get from one plant.

Most normal types of watermelon will produce between two and four melons per plant.

Some bush types or types with smaller fruits might make more, usually around 4 to 6 fruits per plant.

Keep in mind that many things, like the growth conditions, the care you give, and the type of watermelon, can affect how many fruits a plant makes.

Watermelon square foot gardening FAQs

Q: How many watermelon plants can I put in one square foot?

You can plant one watermelon plant per square foot of compact or bush types.

Q: When should watermelons be planted in a square-foot garden?

Plant watermelon seeds after the last spring frost when the earth’s temperature is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q: How can I tell when my watermelons are ready to be picked?

The watermelon is usually ready to pick when the spot where it sits on the ground goes from light green to yellowish.

Q: What is the future of square foot gardening?

Square Foot planting is becoming more and more popular as more people start planting in cities and more people try to live in a more eco-friendly way.

Even fruits that need a lot of room, like watermelons, are finding a place in our small gardens as we learn new skills.

This makes sure that the future will be sweet and juicy.

Conclusion

Square Foot Gardening is a flexible way that can be used for a wide range of plants, even big, sprawling ones like watermelons.

It’s a great option for people who want to garden but don’t have a lot of room.

So why hold out? Start making plans for your Square Foot Garden, and look forward to eating watermelons that you grew yourself.