Row by Row Episode 96: Tips for Growing Watermelons from an Expert Grower!

Watermelon Varieties

Since Hoss Tools has started selling seeds, Greg has decided to try a new variety of watermelons every year. In the past, he prefers growing watermelons such as Crimson Sweet before he started trying new watermelon varieties. Last year, he grew the Moon and Stars variety and this year he has decided to plant the Sangria Watermelon. When discussing the heirloom or open-pollinated watermelon varieties the few that we have available include Charleston Gray which is a more elongated, smaller sized watermelon that contained a thick rind and a very popular variety back in the day. The Moon and Stars variety consist of oblong fruits that average around 25 lbs but can get as large as 40 lbs. Another popular variety is the Sugar Baby which is a smaller sized watermelon that averages 10 to 12 lbs. Then, the last two heirloom varieties we have available are the Tendersweet Orange and Crimson Sweet which is great tasting watermelons as well. A hybrid variety is the Baby Doll which has a bright yellow interior that has an exceptional flavor profile. While the all sweet type watermelon varieties include Dulce Fantasia, Sangria, and Jamboree.

Tips for Planting Watermelons

When it comes to growing watermelons you can direct seed or transplant in a seed starting tray. Another factor of growing watermelons is they require drip irrigation to ensure you supply enough water directly to plant roots and control fungal diseases. It’s also very important to have pollinators to get higher production yield. For plant spacing, Greg recommends a foot or two with row spacing around five feet in the vegetable garden. All the fertilization should be done before fruits start to set in the area.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment, the guys try out the first batch of sauerkraut that Travis made using his cabbages harvested from the vegetable garden. Greg discusses the ideal time to plant potatoes so you don’t experience rotten potatoes in the next growing season. The guys also touch base on some products that are being restocked in the next couple of days.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment this week, the guys answer questions about sowing onion seeds, storing seeds, spinosad effect on bees, healing potatoes, mixing B.T. and Spinosad, and treatment for aphids. Travis mentions last fall he started sowing onion seeds as early as last August and early September all the way through October. In sowing onion seeds this way he found that he can succession plant onions in the vegetable garden. Greg recommends storing seeds anywhere where you can get a constant temperature or environment such as a refrigerator. When spraying spinosad you should either do it right before dark or after dark when the bees are not in the garden pollinating. When it comes to mixing B.t. and Spinosad, Travis mentions they pretty much do the same thing so either use or other in the garden. Greg suggests using either Neem Oil or Pyrthine to control aphids and keep after them regularly to maintain a decrease in the population.

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