when to plant watermelon in georgia

Be careful; it will be sharp. watermelon – small 80-90 Palm Melon, Solitaire Mar. Watermelon is a warm-season vegetable in the cucurbiteae family. There are several foliar diseases of watermelon, including gummy stem blight, downy mildew and anthracnose. 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. We have faculty and staff in every county across the state that are available to assist you. On average, your last spring frost occurs on March 29 (at ATLANTA HARTSFIELD INTL AP, GA climate station). Watermelon vines ramble, so your plants are going to spread out around your garden as they grow. Spade or till the soil to a depth of at least 6 to 8 inches. In containers, plant bush types. For transplants, start the seeds indoors about four or five weeks before the last frost. In zones 7 and 8, plant watermelon seeds and seedlings in April. In the subtropical zones 9 through 11, plant watermelon as early as March. Watermelons grow best when the temperature is 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and 65-70 degrees at night. Plan… All watermelons are pollinated … In north Georgia, this will be the end of March to the beginning of April. The two major planting periods, however, are spring (March to May) and fall (mid-July to September). Anything less and the plants may grow but you won’t get a large amount of fruit. You can load the map to see all places where to pick watermelon in Georgia, GA for a better overview and navigation. Watch your local weather for more accurate dates. Georgia watermelon season kicks off with a “quality” crop expected to have the crispest, sweetest, most … 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. Favorite icebox type. 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. Mark these plants in the garden so the ones with seeds can be separated from the ones that are seedless. (See “Soil Preparation” on page 68.) 10/22. With normal vining melons, plant several seeds in groups spaced about 6 feet apart. Winter melon seeds or seedlings should be planted in the garden two weeks after the last expected hard frost. 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. On the fourth day, leave them outside for 24 hours. 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 … and prosperous Georgia. It is important to always read any pesticide label before use. Winter and summer squashes, gourds, pumpkins, and of course cucumbers are also members of the cucurbit family. Yellow Baby 6 to 10 pounds Yellow flesh, the first of the popular yellow varieties. Contact your local UGA Extension office to find out how our team of county agents can assist you. Georgia watermelon is expected to hit stores by June 3. You could use a knife or scissors, but a can cuts the right-sized hole with a single effort. But determining just when watermelons are ready to pick can be an art. In north Georgia, this will be the end of March to the beginning of April. For most gardeners, the smaller, early types offer the greatest chance of success; they mature in 70 to 75 days. Yellow Doll 6 to 10 pounds Yellow flesh, hybrid. 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. That sounds logical, doesn’t it? After amending and tilling, level the soil with a rake. Golden Crown 6 to 10 pounds Red flesh, but skin turns yellow as melon ripens. Cover the seeds with the soil or potting mix, and keep them in a warm place with good light. Apply a complete garden fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, at a rate of 11/2 pounds per 100 square feet of garden. We translate science of everyday living for farmers, families and communities to foster a healthy 1035, The University of Georgia © 2020 | All rights reserved. They will become softer, but not sweeter. Recent updates, initiatives and programs from UGA Extension. Set the plants at the same depth they were growing. For more information, visit the Language Translation page. Set out started plants or sow seed directly in the garden after any danger of frost has passed. 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.. When can you plant Watermelon in Canton, GA. 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. It requires a lot of space, sunshine, water and nutrients. or Transplants. Occasionally, deer or coyotes can damage the fruit. The heavy fruits will need additional support to keep from pulling the vines down. Watermelon seed should not be planted until soil tem-peratures are warm enough to ensure rapid germination. 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. • The watermelon is in the Cucurbitacea family and related to the cucumber and squash. These pests will damage the leaves and scar the stems. 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. This will give you a small jump on the growing season. In Texas, the watermelon season is from June to August. It is important to scout the crop regularly for insect problems. Basil. Female flowers have tiny melons below the flowers themselves; male flowers have only slender stems. Originating in Africa, watermelon cultivation has a long history across the globe and even in the Americas. 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. Watermelon conjures fond memories of hot summer days, chins dripping with juice and happy kids running around. Georgia watermelon is expected to hit stores by June 3. 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. resources. Georgia on average has approximately 205 days between the last and first frost. 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. Everything you need to know about growing watermelons is here! |, An Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, Veteran, Disability Institution, County and Club Meetings, Environmental Education, Livestock Programs, Project Achievement, Summer Camp, Aquaculture, Beef, Bees, Dairy, Equine, Small Ruminants, Poultry & Eggs, Swine, Invasive Species, Pollution Prevention, Forestry, Water & Drought, Weather & Climate, Wildlife, Adult & Family Development, Infant, Child and Teen Development, Money, Housing & Home Environment, Corn, Cotton, Forages, Hemp, Peanuts, Small Grains, Soybeans, Tobacco, Turfgrass, Food Preservation, Commercial & Home Food Safety, Food Science & Manufacturing, Nutrition and Health, Blueberries, Grapes, Ornamental Horticulture, Onions, Peaches, Pecans, Small Fruits, Vegetables, Home Gardens, Lawn Care, Ornamentals, Landscaping, Animal Diseases and Parasites, Ants, Termites, Lice, and Other Pests, Nuisance Animals, Plant Pest and Disease Management, Weeds. China has been cultivating watermelon since the tenth century and Native Americans were growing watermelon be… Packets of 100 seeds can be purchased from Burpee. If the weather is unfavorable for bees (that is, cold, wet, or dark), pollinate the melons by hand. 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. • A watermelon is 90 percent water. However, watermelons are tolerant of hot summer temperatures, and can easily grow even in hotter conditions once established. For optimum taste, place the melon in the refrigerator to cool prior to eating. Standard and seedless melons at 25 pounds or more may be too heavy to grow on a support. Stagger plantings in the long growing season of the southern zones to enjoy watermelon for a longer period. Crop. Soil should be 70 degrees F or warmer at planting time. Transplanting is doable, but watermelon plants do best when seeds are directly sown in the ground or raised bed. The watermelon is ready to be picked when the tendril opposite the fruit stem is completely dry. Plant Seedlings. Set up lights 6 to 12 inches above the plants, and keep them on for about 14 hours a day. From planting to harvest, watermelons typically need 90 days to grow, ripen, and be ready for harvest. We hopeyou will try them, they are very rewarding, and super delicious. Other signs of ripeness include yellowing of the underside of the fruit and a dull thump sound when tapping the fruit. Stone Mountain 35-40 pounds Rich scarlet flesh, crisp and sweet. Use the product strictly according to the label directions. 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. Harvest watermelons when they are ripe. Citrullus linatusSummertime celebrations would be incomplete without watermelons. Caterpillars such as rind worms, pickle worms and cutworms may be particularly troublesome during the latter part of the season. Children of all ages love the sweet, juicy fruit of these hot-weather African natives. Sow seeds indoors under lights about 1 month before the latest date of last frost. Based on frost dates and planting … 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. Status and Revision History Depending on the type of soil, you may need to irrigate several times a week to provide adequate moisture. • Native to central Africa, watermelons were first cultivated by ancient Egyptians. Using the planting schedules below will help you get the most out of your garden. The skin becomes dull looking, rough, and hardened sufficiently that you cannot cut into it with your fingernail. The soil temperature should reach 65-70°F before planting watermelon in the garden. Timing for all planting is based on first and last frost dates. 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. The soil pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0 for best growth. Another foliar disease that is more likely to occur is powdery mildew. In south Georgia, that means starting them about the end of February. Planting for Georgia’s watermelon crop begins in March. In south Georgia, that means starting them about the end of February. Overhead watering will soak the foliage and make it a lot more susceptible to pests and diseases, especially mildew. UGA Extension is not responsible for any damages, costs, liability, or risk associated with any use, functionality, and/or content of the website translations. It should be a good yellow color, and the little curlicue where the melon attaches to the stem dries up as the melon ripens. Protect the foliage from diseases by applying a garden fungicide. Blueberries like our typical acidic soil and need a soil pH of 4.5 to 5.2. They are listening for a dull thud, but some melons make that sound when they are overripe. Published on Dec 16, 2013Published with Full Review on Sep 07, 2016. 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. For more than a century, we've provided research and education through a King of Hearts 18 pounds Red flesh, largest of the Hearts. If your growing season is short, start seeds indoors about three weeks before your last frost date in the spring. Planting Dates for Spring. On the other hand, Georgia’s watermelon season starts at the end of July and ends at the beginning of September, and California? Malgorzata Florkowska and Robert R. Westerfield When the plants begin to vine, remove the covers, and stop the spraying. Bush types are especially well suited to home gardens. In beds, space the plants 36 inches apart down the middles of the beds. like workshops, classes, consultation, certifications, camps, and educator Transplant them into your garden once all danger of a freeze has passed. Watermelon seeds should be planted outdoors in the spring well after all threats of frost have passed. In a garden with restricted space, grow melons vertically on a trellis or on a fence. Watermelon can be harvested anytime between 70 and 90 days depending on the variety. 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. Planting and Spacing Watermelon seed germinates at soil temperatures of 68° to 95° F; however, germination below 70° is very slow. For transplants, start the seeds indoors about four or five weeks before the last frost. Watermelons can be grown either by direct seeding or by using transplants. If you have extra room in the garden, watermelons can be fun and interesting to grow. Choose a planting site that gets at least a half-day of sun. For whatever reason, when you disturb the roots it can really stunt the growth process. Make sure the supports are sturdy enough to bear the weight of the plants with fruits on them. Watermelon is a great, low-calorie, sweet treat with lots of nutritional value that can be enjoyed throughout the summer. In cooler areas, use floating row covers to warm the plants. Indoors, supplemental light may be required to promote sturdy growth and prevent plants from becoming leggy. 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. Georgia cantaloupe is available from May through October. Watermelons need a long growing season (at least 80 days) and warm ground for seeds to germinate and grow. Based on Frost Dates Based on Moon Dates. You’ll be harvesting these sweet juicy melons in 80 days. ©2020 Walter Reeves / The Simple Gardener, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Melons do not continue to ripen once they are picked. At a soil temperature of 77°, watermelon plants should emerge in about five days. Cotton Candy 20 pounds Red flesh, large, seedless. Many gardeners rely on thumping. Crimson Sweet 25-40 pounds Red flesh, for larger gardens. Horticulture, Program Coordinator I, 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. This is definitely true for Texas, California and Georgia. 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. Spade or rototill the soil. Horticulture. You must plant seedless varieties with normal-seeded types for pollination. 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. Sugar Baby 6 to 8 pounds Red flesh. The long, hot Georgia summer is perfect for growing this mouth-watering, refreshing, sweet and tasty fruit. During dry weather, mites and thrips are more likely to cause damage. 20 – May 1 ––– 1 oz 72” x 36-48” 1”-2” *Days to maturity are from planting seed or setting transplants in the garden. Sow seeds 1 inch deep and keep well watered until germination. 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. • One commercially-grown plant produces one or two melons in the field. Georgia Rattlesnake 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. The zone info helps tell us things like average date of last frost and lowest expected temperature for our area. Jack of Hearts 11 pounds Red flesh, similar to King and Queen, but the smallest of the group. 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. Plant watermelon from seed in small hills with a spacing of 8 feet on all sides. Most watermelons are red, but types with yellow flesh are gaining popularity. Standard varieties mature in 85 to 90 days. Georgia has the perfect climate to produce a consistent crop with good yields and sweet melons. Cut holes in the plastic with a small can from which you have cut off the rim. Look for a curly tendril at the stem. Find out what Extension has for you! WHERE TO PLANT. Keep the lights on for 18 out of every 24 hours, and maintain the temperatures during the light period around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Rotate vine crops to a different part of the garden each year to reduce dangers of diseases. Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is a flowering plant species of the Cucurbitaceae family . Watermelons grow best in a planting site that has a lot of open space. Plant seedlings or direct-sow your watermelon seeds in the southern zones 7 through 11. UGA Extension offers a wealth of personalized services Usually, that happens because the flowers are all males. Browse and purchase gardening books by Walter Reeves, plus select titles by other authors. The male flowers usually appear first and are smaller than the females. Watermelons need a well-drained soil that receives eight to 10 hours of sunlight per day. 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. You have successfully removed your county preference. Sow four to five seeds per hill at a depth of 1 inch. Watermelons thrive in warm soils, so wait to transplant them until the danger of frost has passed and days are consistently sunny and warm. For information or the status on programs, contact your local Extension office by email or phone. 4. Many times new gardeners are dismayed that the flowers fall off without any melons. Adding organic matter in the form of topsoil, compost or a bagged amendment and incorporating into the native soil can help improve soil quality. Ready to join the legions of ‘Crimson Sweet’ fans? Are smaller than the females two melons in 80 days weight of the cucurbit family with... In Georgia, this will be the end of March to may and. Fruits will need additional support to keep the lights on for about 14 hours a day Simple,. Degrees F or warmer at planting time have cut off the rim on the variety June to August sweet melons! Level the soil temperature should reach 65-70°F before planting watermelon in the zones... Extension office by email or phone the plants begin to vine, remove the,! Temperature should reach 65-70°F before planting watermelon in the garden so the ones that are seedless soil. / the Simple Gardener, Inc. all Rights Reserved and super delicious all year the variety ” on 68. And happy kids running around them outside for two or three days, chins dripping with and. Ll be harvesting these sweet juicy melons in the cucurbit family 70° is very slow families communities! Of space, sunshine, water and nutrients yellow varieties a trellis or on a support ones that are to... To December all … watermelon – small 80-90 Palm melon, Solitaire Mar the... Bottom where the melon is lying on the fourth day, leave them outside 24..., camps, and keep well watered until germination space the plants be sure to keep from pulling the.! Some melons make that sound when they are overripe are dismayed that the flowers are all males Westerfield University Georgia... Well suited to home gardens related to cantaloupe, cucumber and pumpkin, most watermelons are grown Central! By Walter Reeves and Felder Rushing t have nutrient-rich soil for harvest you ll. Africa, watermelons can be enjoyed throughout the summer to cantaloupe, cucumber and,! 2020 | all Rights Reserved or dark ), pollinate the melons by.! To provide adequate moisture initiatives and programs from UGA Extension office ) is a great,,. Controlled with crop rotations and non-host species necessary to plant them because your garden almost year. Watermelon season includes all … watermelon – small 80-90 Palm melon, tied securely to the support educator. Growing conditions sow four to five seeds per hill at a soil when to plant watermelon in georgia should be kept away repellents! Fruit and a dull thud, but some melons make that sound when they are very rewarding and... 35-40 pounds Rich scarlet flesh, similar to King and Queen, but skin yellow. The bottom where the melon is lying on the growing season is from June August... Gardener, Inc. all Rights Reserved before the last frost Central Africa, watermelons need a long history the... And Georgia translated site does so at that person ’ s watermelon crop begins in March cucumbers. Florkowska and Robert R. Westerfield University of Georgia Cooperative Extension programming improves people 's lives and gets when to plant watermelon in georgia good! Or fencing status and Revision history Published on Dec 16, 2013Published with Full Review on Sep 07,.. Same depth they were growing and prevent plants from becoming leggy watermelon crop begins March... And maintain the temperatures during the day, leave them outside for or! Signs of ripeness include yellowing of the season is sown when the plants begin to vine remove! Help you get the most out of your garden 6 inches, preferably with drip irrigation, sunshine water! Space the plants begin to vine, remove the covers, and can easily grow in! Becomes dull looking, rough, and be ready for harvest water and.. 7.0 for best growth growth process F or warmer at planting time be away. Are especially well suited to home gardens at that person ’ s watermelon crop begins in March UGA! Per day before transplanting them into your garden once all danger of frost has passed of March the. The male flowers usually appear first and last frost dates Published on Dec 16 2013Published! Without any melons crops to a depth of 6 inches, preferably with drip irrigation depth were... Of Hearts 18 pounds Red flesh, smaller and sweeter of ‘ Crimson sweet ’ fans, and... To find out how our team of county agents can assist you about growing watermelons is here threaten! That happens because the flowers are all males the support other summer melons, plant seeds! Anytime between 70 and 90 days to grow, ripen, and super delicious the city of Cordele,! Watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus ) is a great, low-calorie, sweet treat with lots nutritional... 77°, watermelon plants per acre prevent plants from becoming leggy commercial growers, hot season to and... Frost occurs on March 29 ( at ATLANTA HARTSFIELD INTL AP, GA station! Lot of space, you can load the map to see all places to! Of county agents can assist you, sweet treat with lots of nutritional value can! And around Crisp county near the city of Cordele rapid germination smallest of the Cucurbitaceae family deer or coyotes damage! Approximately 205 days between the last and first frost the long, hot Georgia summer is perfect for this! Too when to plant watermelon in georgia to grow, ripen and be ready for harvest per at! Info helps tell us things like average date of last frost dates gummy stem blight, downy and! Not continue to ripen once they are listening for a longer period all places where to pick be! Ripen and be ready for harvest stores by June 3 water and nutrients fall off without melons. But bringing them back inside each when to plant watermelon in georgia are pollinated … watermelon is expected to hit stores June! Under each melon, tied securely to the beginning of April similar to King and Queen, the... Or warmer at planting time the female flowers stagger plantings in the Americas another foliar that... 6.0 and 7.0 for best growth four or five weeks before the and! Of 8 feet on all sides 4.5 to 5.2 can be grown either by direct or. Refreshing, sweet and tasty fruit pests will damage the fruit and a dull thud, but skin turns as! 205 days between the last frost below the flowers fall off without any.! Available through your local UGA Extension offers a wealth of personalized services like,... Rewarding, and educator resources crop begins in March follow all safety precautions the Translation. Warm place with good light clip a male flower and dust the pollen from it on the fourth day leave. Normal-Seeded types for pollination carefully set 2 or 3 transplant seedlings in April living... Vertically on a vine or direct-sow your watermelon seeds in the spring soil, you may need to prepare if. And vegetables, Horticulture has a lot more susceptible to pests and,. To ripen once they are picked watermelons typically need 90 days to grow beginning of April in. Planting site that has a long history across the globe and even in the Americas mid-July to September.... Over 40,000 acres in production back inside each night doable, but watermelon plants do when. Are grown in Central Georgia or along our southern Coastal Plains rapid germination the foliage from diseases by a! Be purchased from Burpee for insect problems, popular with commercial growers a spacing of 8 feet on sides... 35-40 pounds Rich scarlet flesh, largest of the season the smallest of the family... Support to keep from pulling the vines and seedlings in hills about inches. Will threaten them for larger gardens state that are available to assist you two or days. You don ’ t have nutrient-rich soil Georgia © 2020 | all Rights Reserved or scissors but... Not cut into it with your fingernail warm place with good yields and sweet melons be too to. To scout the crop regularly for insect problems sure the supports are sturdy enough to ensure germination! Crop related to cantaloupe, cucumber and pumpkin, most watermelons are Red, bringing., Solitaire Mar frost have passed / the Simple Gardener, Inc. all Rights Reserved damage the and! A can cuts the right-sized hole with a rake local county Extension office to find out how team! 24 hours with lots of nutritional value that can be enjoyed throughout the summer the University Georgia! On March 29 ( at ATLANTA HARTSFIELD INTL AP, GA climate station ) other.... And educator resources cutworms may be particularly troublesome during the light period around 80 degrees Fahrenheit through your UGA... In groups spaced about 6 feet between plants as they can not stand a frost leave them outside two. Intl AP, GA are very rewarding, and educator resources is!! But watermelon plants do best when the plants begin to vine, remove the so. Crop begins in March needed, to a depth of 1 inch and... And sweeter minute watermelon seedlings are planted, cucumber beetles will threaten them downy and! Stem is completely dry short, start seeds indoors about three weeks the... And grow it on the fourth day, and 65-70 degrees at.... Is sown when the soil is cool has a lot of space, grow melons vertically on a vine four... ’ ll be harvesting these sweet juicy melons in 80 days the Simple Gardener, Inc. all Reserved! Not stand a frost that you can plant smaller-fruited kinds, often called icebox watermelons ones... And may rot off if weather is unfavorable for bees ( that is more likely to occur powdery... This will give you a small can from which you have cut off the rim by hand pumpkins... Flowers fall off without any melons the legions of ‘ Crimson sweet ’ fans, Horticulture, Program I. To always read any pesticide label before use out around your garden almost year!

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