It can be hard to get through the fall and winter without being able to grow fresh fruits and vegetables. Most have to rely on the supermarket for their produce, and even then, it’s not the same as eating fresh crops that you just picked out of your garden. In some areas of the world, it is possible to grow your own produce in the winter. Specifically, watermelon is one of the most refreshing fruits that would be a joy to grow and consume in the winter. You may be asking, can watermelons grow in winter?
Watermelons can grow in winter although with limited success in most situations. Watermelons need 70-90 days of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer to flourish fully, which can be accomplished in the majority of the United States and some other warmer countries.
Watermelons can also be started and germinated in greenhouses under lights until the weather becomes warm enough to transfer them outside. If you are interested in growing fresh watermelon in the winter, continue reading. You will surely get the inspiration and knowledge that you need.
What Temperature Is Too Cold For Watermelons?
The best and most successful soil temperature for optimal watermelon growth is 70 degrees Fahrenheit and higher. It has been proven that soil temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit can cause watermelons to halt their growing process and eventually die. If temperatures are too cold from the start, watermelon seeds won’t be able to germinate properly.
They can be doomed from the start. Temperatures that are too cold can also cause watermelon roots to fail to absorb the necessary nutrients and moisture needed to grow.
Even if temperatures warm up, most watermelon plants won’t be able to catch up to the amount of nutrients and water that they need considering how much they lost from previous cold temperatures. It is challenging to grow watermelons in the winter in many parts of the world because the winters aren’t warm enough.
How To Start Watermelon Seeds Indoors In The Early Winter
- Decide whether you want to start your seedlings in a sunny spot in your home or a greenhouse with sufficient lighting. The weather may still be cold, but there needs to be consistent sunlight throughout the week to sprout your seedlings indoors. Many prefer to plant their watermelon seeds in a greenhouse with lights as there is a guaranteed amount of light to begin the growing process. The best temperature for your seeds to germinate and sprout is around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Whether you choose to start your seeds in a greenhouse or inside your home, this temperature is necessary.
- Make sure to pick a good day to start your watermelon seeds. The best time to start them is 6 to 8 weeks before planning to transplant them to the garden or container. This must also fall around two weeks after the last frost date of the year. The soil temperature must be around 70 degrees Fahrenheit for the plants to survive. There are a lot of areas of the United States and the world that may not be able to meet these requirements, but they are necessary to grow watermelons. There are many areas and climates where watermelon seeds can be started in the late winter and will be able to be planted in the early spring.
- Choose a well-balanced soil mix that is made to sustain watermelon seeds and provides them with the nutrients they need to sprout and grow strong roots. Also, choose a receptacle that is best suited to starting seedlings. Many gardeners recommend peat pots. They can easily be found at home and garden stores. After selecting the proper materials, plant your seeds at least half an inch beneath the soil’s surface.
- Make sure after your seeds are sowed that you consistently water them. The soil should never be dry. It must be moist for the seedlings to germinate. Without proper moisture, the roots will be unable to develop, and your watermelon seedlings will not sprout.
Where Do Winter Watermelons Come From?
Most winter watermelons in your local grocery stores and markets come from Africa and Central America. These areas of the world are warm even in the winter. Watermelons are native to Africa. Africa has very long growing seasons that can allow watermelons to be grown all year long. Africa and Central America are the main reason watermelons can be grown in the winter, and that is because it is guaranteed that there will be enough sunlight to do so.
Overall, it can be challenging to grow watermelons in many world areas in winter climates. Watermelon plants need a long duration of sunlight and warm weather to grow and flourish. That is why Watermelons are native to Africa. Like most fruits and vegetables, watermelon has to be able to grow in the winter, or else we wouldn’t see it in grocery stores all year round.
Watermelons can be shipped from other countries to be sold in the U.S. When it comes to growing watermelons in your garden, they won’t be ready for harvest in the winter, but they can still begin their growing process in the winter in greenhouses with lights or indoors in enough natural sunlight. 6-8 weeks later, watermelon starts can be transferred into the garden at least two weeks after the last frost date to grow until they are ready to be harvested.
Overall, some areas won’t allow watermelon plants even to be started in the winter, but plenty of places do, making watermelon an accessible fruit in every season.
Hi there, my name is Allie and welcome to my blog; GareningWithAllie!
Much of what you see written here is just our personal experiences with gardening. Along with the content I write here, there is also a unique collection of gardening topics covered by some of our close friends. I hope you find everything you read here to be helpful, informative, and something that can make your gardening journey the most lovely experience ever! With that said, Happy Gardening!