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Growing and Harvesting Watermelon: A Complete Guide.

Introduction
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Watermelons are delicious and refreshing fruits that thrive in warm climates. Whether you're a beginner gardener or an experienced enthusiast, learning how to grow and harvest watermelon can be a rewarding experience. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about growing watermelon, from planting to harvesting and storing.


Where to Plant
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Watermelons require a sunny location with ample space to spread their vines. Choose a spot in your garden that receives full sun throughout the day. Ensure the soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter.


How to Plant
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Prepare the soil by removing weeds and loosening it with a garden fork or tiller. Create mounds or rows in the soil, spacing them about 6 feet apart. Plant the watermelon seeds about 1 inch deep, placing 3 to 4 seeds per mound or spacing them 2 feet apart in rows.


When to Harvest
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The time it takes for watermelons to mature can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions. On average, watermelons take around 80 to 90 days from planting to harvest. Monitor the fruit's size, color, and sound to determine its ripeness.


How to Tell If a Watermelon Is Ripe
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Several indicators can help you determine if a watermelon is ripe. Look for a dull skin color, rather than a shiny appearance. The underside of the melon should have a creamy yellow spot, indicating it has ripened on the vine. Thumping the watermelon should produce a deep, hollow sound.

Look at the Belly
Thump Watermelon
Examine the Vine
Look at the Connection, and Thump Again

How to Harvest
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To harvest a ripe watermelon, cut the fruit from the vine using garden shears or a sharp knife. Leave a short stem attached to the fruit. Handle the watermelon carefully to avoid bruising or damaging it.


How to Store
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Watermelons are best enjoyed fresh, but if you need to store them, keep them in a cool, dry place such as a cellar or a refrigerator. Whole, uncut watermelons can last for up to two weeks. Once cut, wrap the unused portions tightly in plastic wrap or place them in airtight containers and refrigerate.


Conclusion

Growing watermelons can be a rewarding and enjoyable gardening experience. By following these guidelines on where to plant, when to plant, how to plant, when to harvest, and how to store, you can cultivate your own delicious watermelons. So, roll up your sleeves, get your garden ready, and enjoy the sweet taste of homegrown watermelons all summer long!

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