Crop of the Month – June

June 2018 – Crop of the Month
Watermelon – Scientific Name: Citrullus lanatus
Family:  Cucurbitaceae

Watermelon is the crop of the month because many watermelon gardens that were planted after the last danger of frost, sometime between March 7 and March 21, are ready to harvest right now.  You will see watermelons showing up in roadside vegetable stands in mid to late June.  Texas is one of the largest producers of watermelons in the US.

Planting tips:

Soils should be loose down to 8” deep and be amended with broken down compost, and soft rock phosphorous.  At least 2 or 3 more applications of compost will need to be applied.  Six or seven seeds should be planted in hills 4” high and 12 to 14” wide.  Hills should be 2 to 3’ apart.  Each vine should be allowed to produce 2 to 4 fruit depending on how large you want the fruit to be.  Some varieties that do well here in Texas are Black Diamond, Crimson Sweet, Charleston Gray, Bush Sugar Baby, and Jubilee.

Harvesting tips:

The melons should be ripe when the tendril attached near the fruit is brown or dead, and the ground spot, where the fruit sits on the ground, is a creamy color with streaks in it.

Enjoy cold watermelon this summer to help make the summer’s heat a little more bearable!

Kirby Fry

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