Carolina cross 180 ,Watermelon seeds
Carolina Cross Watermelon #183,” the largest watermelon variety, provides enough juicy fruit to feed everyone at your cookout and all of your neighbors. The oblong, bruise-resistant melons feature bright green stripes and a crisp, bright red flesh. “Carolina Cross” watermelons continue to grow on the vine after ripening, reaching a staggering size of 200 pounds or more. With melons of that size, expect to need a cart and several helpers when it comes time to harvest your fruits.
Till the soil to a depth of about 8 inches in an area that receives full sunlight, using a rototiller or garden hoe, depending on the size of your garden plot. Incorporate a few inches of compost with the native soil to provide nutrients for the watermelon plants. "Carolina Cross" watermelon plants do best in well-drained, sandy soil, so you might also blend coarse sand and organic matter, such as leaf mold and shredded bark mulch, to increase soil porosity and drainage. Wait until the soil reaches a minimum average temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit before planting.
2 Work the soil into wide hills about 12 inches tall, leaving 12 feet of space between each hill and between each garden row. "Carolina Cross" watermelon plants need about 12 feet in all directions to grow. Flatten the top of each hill. Hills work much like raised beds because the soil drains and warms faster than planting on level ground.
3 Plant four to six watermelon seeds spaced evenly around the top of the hill. Plant each seed about 1 inch deep and pack the soil firmly to ensure good contact between the seeds and soil. Water the mounds as needed to keep the soil moist, but not wet; use a slow drip to avoid displacing the seeds. Alternatively, you can start the seeds indoors about four weeks before the last expect frost, if you wish to enjoy an early harvest. Fill 4-inch pots with well-draining potting mix and sow two seeds to a depth of 1 inch in each pot. Place the seeds in a window with full sun and transplant one or two plants in each hill when the soil reaches 68 degrees F.
4 Thin the watermelon plant seedlings to leave only one or two plants in each hill, after the seedlings develop two leaf sets. Select the two best looking plants and either pull up the plants carefully or cut them back to the ground, using bypass pruners. This allows the plants to produce bigger and better fruits without having to compete with other plants for space and nutrients in the soil.
5 Water the watermelon plants deeply once a week after planting until fruit sets. Allow the soil to dry slightly between watering. Increase watering to two to three times weekly after fruit sets to keep the soil at a more constant moisture level, ensuring enough water to produce juicy fruit. The soil should be moist to the touch, but not excessively wet. Soaker hoses work well because they provide slow drips of water to ensure deep watering without causing soil erosion. They also keep foliage dry, which makes the watermelon plant less susceptible to disease.
6 Apply a liquid fertilizer to the soil around the base of the plant; mix a water-soluble fertilizer with the regular water supply. Use a 20-10-20 fertilizer until the plant blooms. Switch to a balanced fertilizer, such as 20-20-20, from flower set through the end of the growing season. Apply the fertilizer to the soil just as you would when watering the plants; do not spray fertilizer on the plants. If you prefer organic fertilizer alternatives, you can maintain 1 to 2 inches of organic compost around plants, or apply fish emulsion, blood meal and bone meal.
7 Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of shredded bark mulch around the base of the plant to suppress weed growth while retaining moisture in the soil. Do not push the much directly against the plant stems and keep all parts of the vines and leaves on top of the mulch. Pull up any weeds that push through the mulch to reduce competition for nutrients and water in the soil.
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