Despite the easy growing habit, perfect timing to plant a Watermelon is pivotal for optimal yield, even when growing them in Missouri, which ranks 7th in production.
Though most of the Watermelon varieties thrive in the climate of Missouri, some perform exceptionally well than others.
Thus, read on to discover a perfect Watermelon variety and time of the year to plant them in Missouri so that you can enjoy maximum yield.
Table of Contents Show
Can You Grow Watermelon in Missouri?
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is a warm-season crop that thrives in an average temperature of 65-95°F.
Fortunately, Missouri falls within 5-7 USDA zones, accompanied by moderately cold winters and long, hot summers.
Though Florida tops the Watermelon yield race, Missouri state produces 3% of the total U.S. Watermelon production.
Furthermore, the majority of Watermelons species grown in Missouri are hybrids, and only a few are seedless cultivars.
Other Watermelons that reign in Missouri markets are Crimson Sweet, Black Diamond, and Charleston Grey.
However, if you are considering growing Watermelons in Missouri, Royal Sweet, and Huck Finn Watermelons are the best.
When to Plant Watermelon in Missouri?
Watermelons are sensitive to frost, and temperatures below 50°F result in withered fruit and even immature drops.
Therefore, you must wait until the soil temperature becomes stable over 60-70°F (mid-spring) to plant Watermelon in Missouri.
However, if you are starting Watermelon indoors, sow or headstart seeds 2-3 weeks before the last frost date.
Remember, the last frost date for Missouri usually ranges from April 1st to 30, but it can vary slightly.
|Around April 30
|Around April 15
|Around April 7
Likewise, gardeners growing a Watermelon for commercial purposes consider May 10th the last date to plant in Missouri.
Nevertheless, you can plant Watermelons till the start of early summer, usually till the first weeks of June.
Watermelons planted in mid-summer or too late are susceptible to cold damage and lack enough time to mature.
Thus, for an ideal, optimal harvest of Watermelons, finish planting them within late spring and early summer.
How to Plant Watermelon in Missouri?
The optimal planting process for Watermelon is the same regardless of where you are planting them.
But before hopping onto the planting steps, ensure you got sandy, loamy, porous, well-draining soil enriched with organic compost.
- Select a sunny spot where the sun shines over 8-10 hours daily.
- If you have head-started seeds indoors, carefully transplant them outdoors with at least 3 feet of spacing.
- Otherwise, directly sow or plant two or three Watermelon seeds 0.5 to 1 inch deep in one hole.
- Ensure seed spacing is 2 to 3 feet apart to avoid overcrowding of plants.
- Alternatively, you can grow Watermelon on a trellis to encourage better air circulation with minimal risks of diseases.
- Thoroughly water the plants after planting and keep the soil evenly moist.
- With rocketing temperatures in summer, increase the watering routine to avoid dry soil.
- Within a week or two, the Watermelon seeds should sprout. You can thin out the group of seedlings by pinching off weak-looking ones.
- Throw an inch-tall organic mulch to trap the soil temperature and maintain it at an ideal level.
- Add trellis and cages to support the growing long vines of the Watermelon.
- Throw in some nitrous fertilizer after 3-4 weeks of planting to encourage better growth.
Within 70 to 80 days, the Watermelon fruits will be ready for harvest. Until then, keep your eyes on pests like Aphids, Cucumber Beetles, and squash bugs.
So, regularly spray neem oils, insecticides, and fungicides to keep all problems at bay.
Seedless Watermelons Are Real!
With progressive technology, Seedless Watermelons exist today and can be grown like regular Watermelons.
However, the process and science behind preparing seedless Watermelon seeds are sophisticated and very complex.
All The Best!