Like the melon, the watermelon, Citrullus lanatus, of the Cucurbitaceae family, is native to Central Africa, in the western Kalahari region of Namibia and Botswana, where many forms are still found in the wild.
And also like the melon, the watermelon does not grow on a tree, but on the ground!
What is the watermelon tree?
Watermelon, Citrullus lanatus in Latin, is a vegetable plant from the cucurbitaceae family that comes from Africa. It is a climbing herbaceous plant that can reach 4 meters long, with a ribbed stem, lobed leaves and yellow flowers.
What are the benefits of watermelon?
Watermelon contains potassium which is effective against muscle cramps and aches. Also good for the heart, watermelon seeds dilate the blood vessels, they reduce high blood pressure and thus prevent cardiovascular diseases.
How to grow watermelon?
- We plow the soil well twice.
- Prepare the soil by digging holes ten centimeters deep and seventy centimeters from each other.
- We prepare the seeds and consider the selection of good seeds.
- We add organic fertilizer to the soil, where we put one hundred and fifty grams of fertilizer in each hole.
- We plant four or five seeds of watermelon in each hole, then we cover the holes well with soil and water them daily.
- After two weeks of planting, the seedlings appear, keeping the strong seedlings and removing the weak ones.
How long does a watermelon take to grow?
Harvesting takes place from July to September, depending on the region and the variety. It generally starts 4 to 5 months after sowing and between 30 and 35 days after flowering. It continues for several weeks. Pick the ripe fruit as needed.
Which plant to associate with watermelons?
Watermelon hates the proximity of plants in the same family. Do not plant it with other Cucurbitaceae (squash, cucumbers, etc.). It will thrive in the vicinity of cabbages, beans or sweet corn, its foliage can even act as a natural mulch.
How to know if the watermelon is ripe?
It is important to observe the watermelon carefully because it is not easy to determine its level of ripeness. Don’t wait until the watermelon comes off to know if it is ripe because this is not a good indicator.
It is better to avoid watering the last few days before harvesting and to harvest in the afternoon rather than in the morning because it is drier.
Its weight is a good indicator, it should be heavy as it approaches maturity.
We can also see that the watermelon is ripe when the tendril opposite to its stem is completely dry.
Things to know about watermelon
Native to Africa, watermelon is appreciated for its great refreshing power but also for its high vitamin content.
Like melons, pumpkins and other squashes, watermelon is a member of the large cucurbit family.
The watermelon is part of the largest of this great family of cucurbits.
It is most regularly found round but can also be oval in shape and reach a record weight of about thirty kilos.
But most watermelons weigh 1 to 3 kg.
It is known for its high water content (about 92%), which makes it one of the most water-laden fruits during the summer and naturally very hydrating. It is also in the seeds that we find the vitamin C.
Watermelon is known for its great antioxidant power.