Hey Gardeners, I was excited to see my watermelon seeds peeping through this morning! While they still have a few weeks indoors I want to plan where they'll go in my urban garden. We have a south facing yard, the deck area can be 90 to 100+ degrees during the summer here in Colorado with no shade during the day. Could my watermelon plants survive such temperatures?
I do have other areas they could live, but considering the space they monopolize it'd be great if I could grow them in containers on the deck.
Here is a volunteer that popped up in my yard last summer here in the west Texas area. It is on the west side of my house so during the hottest part of the day gets all the sun and heat and the shade alone from the plant and grasses it was in helps keep it cooler. Our area is anywhere from 90-110+ in the summers and on our sandy soils many farmers use cotton as a shade for most in the fields as well when growing watermelons.
Watermelons, as the others have mentioned, grow very well in high heat and full sun.
If you plant in containers you do have to consider the soil temperature, hot soil can kill any plant, including those that grow well in hot environments.
For containers, you would want them to be as large as possible to help regulate the heating caused by the sun and ambient temperature.
Most melons prefer a pH of 6.5 to 6.8 which also happens to be the range that allows for the most minerals to be utilized by most plants.
In my experience, watermelons are quite heat tolerant, up there with sweet potatoes, peppers, and okra. They will thrive during heat waves that stress out even some other warm season crops like tomatoes and green beans, as long as they have good soil moisture. Make sure the soil doesn't get too dry while the plants and fruits are in their rapidly growing stage, but in my experience it can result in better tasting fruit if the soil gets a bit dry once the fruits are full size and ripening up.
If watermelons are moisture stressed before harvest, the taste isn't nearly as good. Something to do with sending the sugars to the roots. Survival thing I suppose. They really want a lot of water, so you would have to be really vigilant when growing in containers.
Location: Missouri Ozarks
posted 6 months ago
Possibly it's just a difference in perspective as to how dry is dry and how wet is wet, but I've had a number of experiences of harvesting watermelons after a heavy rain and finding them not quite as sweet as the ones harvested before the rain, even if the look and color is similar. They still have access to moisture in the deeper levels of the soil, however, even if I let the top bit dry out a bit.
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