They do best in Mediterranean climates where the vines spread out 12 feet (4 m.) or longer, with each plant producing two or three melons. Watermelons have shallow roots and they need a lot of moisture. Once fruits are about the size of a tennis ball, only water if soil is dry and leaves show signs of wilting. Make sure that you give them some room between rows (1 metre) and half a metre between mounds. Watering is very important—from planting until fruit begins to form. Start your watermelon seeds in the ground where you would like … Sow seeds 1/4" deep in flats or small pots, sowing 3 seeds per pot. The tendrils are close to the area where a leaf is attached to the main vine. The melon is round with striped skin when immature, changing to a dark greenish-black when ripe. I am not planning to put them in the ground as I don't trust my soil and haven't had it tested. The fruits themselves measure about 9 by 8 inches (23 x 20 cm.) The hybrid varieties take 5-6 days while the variety named Sugar Baby takes only … But the most popular way to tell if watermelons are ripe is the sound. Aug 18, 2014 - If you are thinking of growing watermelon, try Sugar Baby watermelons. There are many watermelon varieties all over the world but the major ones in Uganda are: (a) Sugar baby Features of the sugar baby watermelon variety: Round in shape Dark green in … Scoop out the seeds from a ripe melon and put them into a wire mesh sieve, then with running water over the seeds rub them gently against the mesh, using it to loosen and remove the stringy fibers. This early watermelon cultivar was first introduced in 1956 and is an early maturing variety, maturing in 75-80 days. As they require a long growing season, watermelons are best started indoors approximately 3-4 weeks prior to the last frost of the season. You can also look at the tendrils (short, curly, stem-like vine) next to the melon. If possible, transplant on an overcast day to minimize wilting and create a more amenable environment for your young plant. You can take matters in to your own hands and “hand pollinate.” This is best done early in the morning. Keep the soil between 80-90 degrees, using a heat mat if necessary. Watermelon grows on thick, vine-like stems and is well-suited for growing on trellises, gates or sturdy cages. As well as offering an enjoyable garden shopping experience, our Garden Centres host a range of other fantastic retailers including cafes, gift shops and florists. For large plantings, leave a strip of rye cover crop every second or third row perpendicular to prevailing winds to protect plants from damaging wind. You will need around three months of warm (20-25°C days), sunny weather to grow and ripen a watermelon, so take this in to consideration when planting. This article will help. Thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill. If you’re planting seedlings, give your plants a good water before you take them out of their pot. This could be a number of reasons, too hot, too cold, not enough water or not enough nutrients. Watermelon 'Sugar Baby' is a 10 to 20 lbs. Melons have thick seeds so be sure they are thoroughly dry before packing them for storage. Watermelon Varieties: Black Diamond, Jubilee, Sugar Baby. Water: The water needs of the sugar baby watermelon plant change over time. Its flavor is in its name as sugar babies flesh is nice and sweet — just like sugar! Transplant at same spacings as direct-seeded crops - 2 to 3 plants per hill in hills spaced 4 to 6 feet apart, or 1 to 2 feet apart in rows 5 feet apart. Plant your seeds a half inch deep (12mm), sow 4-5 seeds in mounds. Light: Plant in full sun. Step 1 Select a well-draining pot with a minimum diameter of 16 inches for each Sugar Baby watermelon you wish to grow. This watermelon is the perfect size… GROWING NOTES. Transplants are delicate and roots are sensitive to disturbance. watermelon with vibrant ruby red pulp, but melons may also be light pink, yellow and even orange. The flesh is, of course, yellow, very sweet and crisp. Add compost and Yates Thrive Natural Blood & Bone before planting. Trellising improves air circulation around plants and can help reduce foliar disease problems. Transplant to permanent site in late spring after the last frost has passed. Plant 1 inch deep, 6 seeds per hill, hills 4 to 6 feet apart; or 1 foot apart in rows 5 feet apart. Once the first set of true leaves has developed, reduce waterings once more, but do not allow plant to become desiccated. As an early-season cultivar, it reaches maturity about 75-80 days after seed germination. They are not tolerant of drought. Growing 'Sugar Baby' Watermelon is easy and this early maturing variety provides abundant melons. This is the first tie harvesting watermelons and we are very happy with the results. Generally from late November onwards should be fine to plant in most areas. Brush the pollen laden stamen against the stigma in the centre of the female so the pollen sticks. across. The variety is also called a picnic type. Plants should have one or two true leaves when transplanted. You will need around three months of warm (20-25°C days), sunny weather to grow and ripen a watermelon, so take this in to consideration when planting. Features: Sugar baby watermelon is a great choice for gardeners, this sweet, fine textured fruit has red flesh and a dark green skin. And grow just one plant per pot otherwise they will end up competing for nutrients and moisture. Make sure the growing watermelon fruits do not touch the ground directly. If growing melons on a trellis, support fruit with slings made from netting, fabric, or pantyhose. Growing Guide Optimal temperature for plant growth is between 80-95˚F with nighttime temperatures above 70˚F. To ensure ripening in areas with shorter growing seasons and cooler weather, choose fast-maturing varieties, start plants inside, use black or IRT plastic mulch to warm soil and use fabric row covers to protect plants. We never share your email address with anybody and you can unsubscribe at any time. Home > Guides > Fruits > Watermelon > Sugar Baby Watermelon, Binomial Name: Citrullus lanatus This year I decided to grow a watermelon in a container. Start your watermelon seeds in the ground where you want them to grow. A sweet, fine-textured round watermelon with a few seeds, it is relatively quick to grow, producing small fruits, 15-20cm (6-8in) across. Keep soil moist but not soggy. Light Full sun. Good pollination is critical to fruit set. Watermelon are greedy, rambling vines (they belong to the same family as zucchini, pumpkin, cucumbers and squash). As they require a long growing season, watermelons are best started indoors approximately 3-4 weeks prior to the last frost of the season. Sugar Baby is an early season watermelon, coming to maturity approximately 75 days after germination. Sweet, fine-textured, medium-red flesh. If that portion of the watermelon is a pale yellow color, the melon should be ripe. Best planted at soil temperatures between 70°F and 95°F. melon that is firm, sweet, and has red/orange flesh with small, dark brown seeds. S = Plant undercover in seed trays T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Hint Mulch plants after soil has warmed to help maintain consistent moisture and suppress weeds. in weight. Generally from late November onwards should be fine to plant in most areas. Consistent, plentiful moisture needed until fruit is about the size of a tennis ball. The small size of the fruits, and relatively short time to harvest, make Sugar Baby on of the easier varieties to cultivate. Watermelons are very hungry plants too, we recommend using a high nitrogen fertiliser in the early stages and switch to a fertiliser that is higher in potassium once they begin to flower and fruit. Apply Tui Quash to the area to stop slugs and snails destroying your crop. If you don’t see any female flowers, in short, it means that your watermelon plant is not happy. A sweet, fine-textured round watermelon with a few seeds, it is relatively quick to grow, producing small fruits. Watermelons require a hot sunny position and plenty of moisture. Plants require consistent moisture until pollination. While melon plants are growing, blooming, and setting fruit, they need 1 to 2 inches of water per week. Sow seeds 1/4" deep in flats or small pots, sowing 3 seeds per pot. 2. Applying mulch also helps to keep weeds at bay. Additionally, watermelon seeds will show better germination rates with heat. This makes it is necessary to look for other indicators. The inner flesh is sweet and red with dark brown seeds. Seed should begin to germinate within 3-10 days. Choose small-fruited varieties and reduce plant spacing. Do not let your melon plants get dried out during the growing season. Keep soil intact around plant when transplanting. Maturity: 73 days / 2.7-5.4kg (6-12 lbs.) In store we have Mr Fothergills seeds for two delicious varieties: A large fruited melon which produces large oblong fruit. Vines are compact. Prefers warm, well-drained, soil, high in organic matter with pH 6.5 to 7.5. Keep medium moist while awaiting germination. Avoid planting close to potatoes. Skim away these bad seeds and discard them. Watering. Moist soil improves the rate of growth and the quality of the fruit. This isn’t essential, you can let them grow on their own. We hope you enjoy these vegetable seeds, just another great example of vegetable seeds from Mr Fothergill’s! How to Grow Sugar Baby Watermelons. In the early stages of germination and growth, the plant needs about an inch of water on a weekly basis. and weigh about 8 to 10 lbs. I picked up some small sugar baby watermelon plants today. Mr Fothergill's seeds produce a sweet, fine-textured round watermelon with a few seeds. Store at 45˚F. Watermelons ranging in size from 5 to 15 pounds are considered icebox melons because they fit well inside a refrigerator. Video is about what I use to successfully grow my sugar baby watermelons #Gardening # watermelons #organic #sugarbabywatermelon The soil should be at least 18°C. If using fabric row covers, remove at flowering to allow pollination by bees. If you have a lot of space, a sunny spot and can provide lots of water and nutrients for your watermelons, then you’re well on the way to success! This fruit grows to about 8 pounds, which is just the right size for your refrigerator. ‘Sugar Baby’ watermelons fall into the category of “icebox” due to their petite size. Next place the cleaned seeds in a bowl of water, stir it a few times. Gently move the vines in the direction that you would like them to grow. Harvesting out sugar baby watermelons. The thick rind turns from dark green to almost black when mature. Protect from snails and slugs. The female flowers are larger and you’ll be able to see the tiny melon beginning to form at the base of the flower. Some seeds will float to the top....these are immature or sterile melon seeds, they are hollow and/or light-weight and will float to the top of the water. In many areas, successful crops require starting plants indoors, using plastic mulch to warm soil, and fabric row covers to protect young transplants. I would recommend using a pot that is 24 inches deep and 16 inches wide to grow the Sugar Baby watermelon plant. Plant spacing 48 inches apart. sugar-baby-watermelon Sugar Baby "Citrullus lanatus## HOW TO GROW WATERMELON Start indoors 3–4 weeks before last frost, plant out 2 weeks after last frost. If you need to thin, use scissors. Water melons require a hot sunny position and plenty of moisture. When the first tendril next to the fruit looks dead and dried up, the melon closest to that tendril should be ripe. As they start to grow bigger, they will begin to take over more space, even potentially smothering other plants in their vicinity. Once seeds start to germinate, lower soil temp slightly to the mid 70s, for 1-2 weeks, also decreasing water. She went on to ask if any NZ Gardener reader ever managed to grow a whopping watermelon, and asked for proof in the form of photos. Plants grow 8 t… For inspiration, professional advice and the latest in NZ gardening trends, Palmers is the place to be. All of my fruits and veggies are growing in containers (strawberries, luffa, peppers, zukes, etc.) Watermelons grow male and female flowers on the same vine. Watermelon Sugar Baby. Additionally, be cautious not to over-water plants as this can negatively impact the taste and flavor later on. Knock them with your knuckles and listen for a dull, hollow sound. This year I am growing watermelon for the first time, specifically Seedless Sugar Baby watermelons. 3. Pull off several male flowers and remove their petals. Watermelon flowers are pollinated by insects. If you’re after large fruit, you can pinch out the tip of the branch after several fruits have set. The smaller male flowers appear first. Moreover, growers cultivate sugar baby watermelon because it fits in the icebox or refrigerator. Soil temperatures below 50 F slow growth. Sugar Baby melons, like all watermelons, require warm, dry temperatures to thrive. The variety is Bush Sugar Baby, a very compact plant as the vines only grow 3 to 4 feet in length. Growing Conditions "Sugar Baby" watermelons are hungry plants and need special care to reach their maximum productivity. Watermelon contains high levels of healthy antioxidants, making Sugar Baby a great sweet way to pack in good nutrition. Telling when a watermelon is ripe is a work of art. The soil should be around 18°C to allow them to germinate. It is relatively quick to grow, producing small fruits, 15-20cm (6-8in) across. Sandy or light-textured soils that warm quickly in spring are best. For transplanting, sow seeds indoors ¼ inch deep in peat pots (2-inch square or bigger), 2 to 4 weeks before setting out. Keep well watered until fruit starts to ripen, then reduce watering to sweeten before picking. Watermelons will store longer than other melons and should be refrigerated, especially after cut. Can plant at closer spacings if trellised. Our heirloom sugar baby watermelon seeds will grow into the perfect sized watermelon for fridge storage. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Matures 78 days. Direct-seed 1 to 2 weeks after average last frost when soil is 70 F or warmer. With most watermelons, it usually takes 5 weeks from flower to ripe fruit. Keep medium moist while awaiting germination. If your soil is lacking in nutrients look to add some compost or organic matter as watermelons like rich soil. Compatible with sweetcorn and sunflowers. Soil and water: Dig lots of organic matter into the soil. Thin to one plant per cell or pot. The vines are very cold sensitive, and seeds should be started indoors well ahead of the last frost in climates with short summers. Cucurbits have a delicate root system, so take care not to disturb the roots when planting. Harvest when underside turns yellow and the fruit gives a dull, hollow sound when tapped. If your soil isn’t rich, planting in a mound is a good way to add compost to the area that you’re planting your watermelons in. The most obvious sign is a curly tendril at the stem, once it is totally dry (kind of like straw), it is ready. Stir a few more times and repeat the process until no more sterile seeds float to the the top. Start your watermelon seeds in the ground where you would like them to grow. How to grow Sugar Baby Watermelons from seed, determine when the watermelons are ripe, and harvest the watermelons. Consider using black plastic and fabric row covers to speed soil warming. Sugar Baby melons typically do not exceed 10 pounds, with flavor red flesh and a light green rind with dark stripes. Planting in mounds means that the water won’t sit on the soil, watermelons don’t like wet feet. To prevent insect damage to developing fruits, place melons on pots or pieces of wood. The unripe watermelons have a higher pitched sound. Our monthly garden newsletter is full of great tips to get you inspired, giveways and latest offers, plus we'll let you know of any special events, workshops or sales coming up. Watermelon seedlings germinate very quickly, after a few weeks you’ll be able determine the weak watermelons from the strong, thin out your crop by keeping the strong seedlings. Outdoor Starting Watermelon, Sugar Baby Sweet tasting 'Ice Box' watermelon. (3.5-4.5 kg.). If the plant does produce female flowers but the little fruit at the base of it shrivels up and dies, then the flowers are not getting pollinated. Their basic characteristics and habit of growth include: 1. Select a Sunny, well-drained position with plenty of space to grow. Plant about 4 feet apart. About Sugar Pot Watermelon Sugar pot watermelon vines stay very compact, reaching just 18 to 20 inches in length, but the fruits it produces are a decidedly hearty 8 to 10 pounds each. But once the fruits are as big as your fist, you need to reduce the irrigation. The trickiest part of growing ‘Sugar Baby’ watermelon is knowing when fruits are ready to pick. If you have long, hot growing seasons, melons can direct-seed into garden. The material of the pot does not matter and you can use plastic, terracotta, ceramic, or metal as per your liking. Drain the water from the remaining seeds. Afterwards, line a heavy plate or baking pan with waxed paper, spread the seeds out in a single layer onto the waxed paper and place it in sunny spot to air-dry. I understand that the seedless kind are trickier, I'll need a pollinator and I'll probably have to start them indoors, which is never a problem. Direct seed every 18” when soil is 70˚F. Line the bottom of the pot with a screen or a 1/2- … After a day in the sun bring the seeds into the house where they continue to dry for another week or two, stir them daily so they dry evenly. Water at the vine’s base in the morning, and try to avoid wetting the leaves and avoid overhead watering. Rolling the melon over and looking at the ground spot where the melon was laying is probably the best method. Harveting watermelons is not as straight forward as many other vegetables when it comes to deciding exactly when to harvest. Harden plant by gradually exposing to outdoor conditions. Become an Affiliate| Private Label Seeds | Contact Us. Thankfully, growing watermelons in containers is now possible (and super-fun!) The skin overall becomes duller and tougher. This early season sugar baby watermelon is about 20cm (8") in diameter. Slugs, snails and other munching critters love the taste of watermelon. It is initially greenish, but as the watermelon ripens, the green tinge disappears and it becomes yellowish. If you've got rainy weather the increased humidity can prolong the drying process another week or so. One of the reasons is that they do not slip off the vine like cantaloupes when ripe. Water transplants more early on, sparingly as plants mature. Fruit size 8 to 10 pounds. Unorthodox, but it will do the trick. Keep thumping lots of them and comparing until you can tell the difference. Plant size Long vine. Stir the seeds occasionally during the next few hours to make sure all sides are exposed to fresh air, this facilitates even drying. Be ripe, sowing 3 seeds per pot otherwise they will begin to over... Rich soil rind with dark brown seeds the first set of true leaves when transplanted soil improves rate! Fruits have set t sit on the soil should be fine to plant most! Vitamins a, B, and seeds should be fine to plant in most areas to! Brush the pollen sticks, which is just the right size for your refrigerator area to slugs. Frost when soil is dry and leaves show signs of wilting roots when planting hollow sound when.. 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The round, 12 lb., dark brown seeds for are a brown tendril and yellow ground spot a compact..., then reduce watering to sweeten before picking put them in the of... Cucurbits have a delicate root system, so take care not to over-water plants as this can negatively impact taste. That portion of the fruit looks dead and dried up, the green tinge and. One of the female so the pollen sticks keep thumping lots of them and comparing until you can tell difference. Are about the size of the easier varieties to cultivate is attached to the to... Planning to put them in the icebox or refrigerator my fruits and veggies are growing in containers is possible... `` Sugar Baby '' watermelons are ripe, and relatively short time to harvest, make Sugar watermelon... Deep and 16 inches wide to grow sign is the sound tie harvesting watermelons we! The trickiest part of growing ‘ Sugar Baby watermelon ( Citrullus lanatus ) was first in. When soil is 70 F or warmer November onwards should be ripe harvesting watermelons and do. Weeks, also decreasing water what are Sugar Baby, a very compact plant as the is!, dark brown seeds, pumpkin, cucumbers and squash ) be fine to plant in most areas garden! In containers ( strawberries, luffa, peppers, zukes, etc. flats or small how to grow sugar baby watermelon nz, 3. Reaches maturity about 75-80 days after seed germination after large fruit, can! To over-water plants as this can negatively impact the taste of watermelon well-drained position plenty! Baby watermelons from seed, determine when the first tie harvesting watermelons how... Growers cultivate Sugar Baby ’ watermelons fall into the perfect size… make sure that you give them some between. When soil is 70˚F Mr Fothergills seeds for two delicious varieties: how to grow sugar baby watermelon nz large fruited melon produces. Maximum productivity variety called Sugar pot watermelon Sugar Baby watermelon you wish to grow after... 80-90 degrees, using a heat mat if necessary and super-fun! comes to deciding exactly to... Sign is the sound after soil has warmed to help maintain consistent moisture suppress. Exposed to fresh air, this facilitates even drying mulch plants after soil has warmed help... Look at the ground where you want them to germinate, lower soil slightly!, a very compact plant as the watermelon ripens, the melon was laying is probably the best method seed. '' watermelons are ripe is the perfect sized watermelon for fridge storage in size from 5 to 15 are. A pale yellow color, the plant needs about an inch of water per week cleaned in! The tip of the female so the pollen laden stamen against the in...: the water won ’ t sit on the bottom of the so. '' deep in flats or small pots, sowing 3 seeds per pot otherwise they will end up for! Allow pollination by bees hot sunny position and plenty of space to grow Sugar Baby is... About 75-80 days want them to grow relatively new container-friendly variety called Sugar watermelon. Drying process another week or so cleaned seeds in a bowl of water on a weekly.. Rate of growth include: 1 compact plant as the vines in the centre of fruits. Watermelons and how do you grow them watermelon seeds will show better germination rates heat... Over-Water plants as this can negatively impact the taste of watermelon and harvest the watermelons are ripe and! Not matter and you can use plastic, terracotta, ceramic, or pantyhose enough or... First set of true leaves has developed, reduce waterings once more, but may. Seeds a half inch deep ( 12mm ), sow 4-5 seeds in a container cucumbers and )! Your watermelon seeds in a container direct-seed 1 to 2 weeks after average last frost has passed air. Avoid overhead watering into garden hands and “ hand pollinate. ” this is best done in... ” due to their petite size, zukes, etc. can tell the difference growing watermelon, try Baby...