Little Baby Flower Melon Info: Caring For Little Baby Flower Watermelons
By: Amy Grant
If you love watermelon but don’t have the family size to devour a huge melon, you’ll love Little Baby Flower watermelons. What is a Little Baby Flower watermelon? Read on to learn how to grow watermelon Little Baby Flower and about Little Baby Flower care.
What is a Little Baby Flower Watermelon?
Of the many types of watermelons, Little Baby Flower (Citrullus lanatus) falls under the category of personal sized melon. This little cutie averages 2- to 4-pound (just under 1-2 kg.) fruit with excellent flavor. The exterior of the melon has dark and light green striping while the interior has sweet, crisp, dark pink flesh that is very high in sugar.
High yielders, hybrid Little Baby Flower watermelons produce 3-5 melons per plant that are ready to harvest in about 70 days.
How to Grow Little Baby Flower Melon
Watermelons like well-draining soil with a pH of 6.5-7.5. They can be started indoors one month prior to transplanting outdoors. Watermelons love the heat, so soil temperatures should be above 70 F. (21 C.) prior to transplanting or direct sowing.
To direct sow into the garden, sow 3 seeds for every 18-36 inches (46-91 cm.), about an inch (2.5 cm.) deep in full sun exposure. After the seedlings get their first set of leaves, thin to one plant per area.
Little Baby Flower Care
Watermelons need plenty of water in their early stages of growth as well as during pollination and fruit set. Quit watering one week prior to harvest to allow the sugars to concentrate.
To give seedlings a jump start, use plastic mulch and row covers to keep them extra warm which will increase yields. Be sure to remove the covers when the female flowers begin to open so they can be pollinated.
Keep the plants healthy and consistently watered using drip irrigation to reduce the risk of fungal disease. Use floating row covers if your area has a problem with cucumber beetles.
Once harvested, Little Baby Flower melons can be stored for 2-3 weeks at 45 F. (7 C.) and a relative humidity of 85 percent.
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And the Winner is… Watermelon!
Did you know that we have a Facebook group called Black Thumb Garden Club with Lauresa and Mariah? It is a great place for club members to ask questions, share ideas, and support each other. Have you joined our group yet? If not, we would love to have you!
I polled our group members about what they wanted to learn about next and the winner was… fruit! So today we are learning about watermelon.
Watermelon is fairly easy to grow, it just requires a longer growing season, so be sure to start those seeds early!
It is once again the time of year where we plan what will be featured in our Demonstration Garden for the season. As always, we have a great mix of tried-and-true vegetables and some new and interesting things. When it is cold and snowy, it is a lot of fun to think about what will be growing in the garden in just a few short weeks. We will be starting the first of our seeds next week and it is all downhill from there!
Below you will find maps for each of our raised garden beds. The maps show the overall theme or focus for each bed as well as the specific varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers we will have growing.
Our tomatoes are in Bed 1 this year. Because of how this raised bed is structured, we will have roma tomatoes in one end, early maturing varieties on the other end, and some more common “comparison” varieties in the middle. The roma tomato varieties are a mixture of hybrids and heirlooms, with different colors, sizes, and shapes. We chose the “early maturing” theme because everyone always likes to have the first tomatoes! The six varieties we chose also are a mix of hybrid and heirlooms, with maturity dates ranging from 54 to 65 days from transplanting.
Bed 2 will feature a mix of cool season vegetables that are planted both in spring and fall. The spring plantings feature leafy greens, peas, carrots, radishes, and kohlrabi. The fall plantings feature two new cauliflower varieties, beets, daikon radishes, lettuce, spinach, and carrots. Our plan is to put row covers over at least part of the fall plantings to extend the growing season and overwinter them.
The theme for Bed 3 is the “Kansas Backyard Garden.” The idea is to feature common vegetables grown in Kansas. Most of the varieties are not too far out there either. A couple things that I’m excited about though are the bush-type vine crops. We are trying both a new bush watermelon variety, ‘Cal Sweet Bush’ that has only 18″ long vines, and ‘Cherokee Bush’ pumpkin that has about a 4′ spread.
On the other hand, Bed 5 is a long way from Kansas! We are featuring vegetables that are indigenous to Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa. Researching this garden was an education, because we discovered that some of our common ornamentals were originally edible vegetables in Africa! Vegetables that you may be familiar with are eggplant, okra, kale, and peanuts. You may be less familiar with cowpeas, long beans (a type of cowpea), amaranth, cleome, celosia, and bambara beans.
You probably do know amaranth – but as pigweed. There are colored leaf varieties and varieties that have been cultivated for edible greens. Other varieties are grown for flowers and seeds. Cleome is a ornamental flower we know, but most of us haven’t eaten the foliage as a vegetable! Celosia is another common flower that you may have grown for color. But the leaves and young flowers can also be eaten as a vegetable.
Cowpeas, long beans, and bambara beans are all from the genus Vigna. Cowpeas you may recognize. The long beans are vining beans that produce 18″ long edible pods. Bambara beans are kind of like cowpeas…the peas look a lot like the cowpeas. But they are kind of like peanuts…the pods grow underground.
One of the best things about this garden theme is that these are all vegetables that thrive in hot climates, so we are excited to see how they do in Kansas!
For a second year, we have a bed that we are calling our “SNAP-Ed” bed. This bed is a demonstration of how to garden on a very small budget, using only seeds and plants that can be purchased from a store where it is possible to use the SNAP EBT (food stamp) benefits.
Also a reprise from last year is Bed 6. Agastache is the Herb of the Year featured at our Herb Day event on May 4th, so we kept this bed in the same location with several overwintering agastache varieties. The flowers and herbs are chosen for the attractiveness to butterflies and other pollinators.
Beds 8, 9, and 10 are all 4′ x 4′ beds. Bed 8 will feature ornamental gourds on a trellis. Bed 9 will feature sunflowers. Bed 10 will feature a popcorn variety called ‘Glass Gem.’
In the accessible garden area, we are featuring a “Salsa Garden” theme. In the tiered raised bed will be a roma tomato, herbs, and peppers. In the barrel planters will be a trailing tomato variety, more herbs, and some green onions.
Our containers around the garden will feature flowers this year, especially some new varieties of Pentas. We are excited for spring! What are you planning to plant this year?
When planting watermelon in a square foot garden, plant one plant in a 2-foot grid, according to Harvest Farm Community Garden. Watermelons grow on long, trailing vines that can stretch up to 12 feet in one season. They can quickly take over a square foot garden if not given adequate space. If planted too closely to other crops, they'll compete for sunlight, moisture and nutrients, and crowd out the plants. To conserve space even more, try growing watermelon plants on a trellis. Select small watermelon varieties, such as "Sugar Baby" (Citrullus lanatus "Sugar Baby") or "Yellow Baby" (Citrullus lanatus "Yellow Baby"). These plants bear fruit weighing only 6 to 10 pounds. Tie the vines to the trellis with soft twine or strips of old cotton fabric. Make slings from fabric to support the developing fruit so they don't tear from the vine. Tie the slings to the trellis.