The Q&A Archives: Sugar Baby watermelons

Question: I'm in zone 6 in south-east Pennsylvania, I have had difficulty growing Sugar Baby watermelons. Last year I finaly got one to grow to the size of a soft ball. On some previous attempts the melons would develop a black spot during the season and wilt away. I have heard that adding

Answer: Successful watermelon growing depends upon the right exposure to sunshine, good soil, and adequate moisture. The watermelon is tender to frost and requires a long growing season with relatively high temperatures. Daytime temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees F and nighttime temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees F are ideal. Watermelons grow well in both humid and semi-arid areas, but foliar diseases are more common in your growing region.

Direct sun off and on during the day doesn't sound quite right for watermelons. They need full sunshine (8 hrs) during the day to thrive. Find a sunny site, work the soil deeply (6-8 inches) and add some organic matter to help the soil drain well. Melons can be planted on a hill to assure good drainage. Mound the soil up into a 12" hill and plant 3-4 seeds at the top of the hill. Cover the rest of the soil with black plastic to help keep the soil warm, keep the fruit clean, and suppress weeds. Water deeply as your plants grow and fertilize lightly when the first blossoms appear. With adequate sunshine, moisture and food, your melon plants should produce lots of sugar baby melons. Enjoy!

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