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Watermelon Seedlings for Sale: Guidelines for Farming

Watermelon forms part of the Cucurbitaceae family of vegetables, making it one of cucumber’s cousins. Its availability throughout the year, the delicious taste, and wide range of culinary uses make it a popular addition to the pantry. Everything from jams to sweets, flavourings, juices, and desserts are made from it. Farmers in South Africa grow it from seeds and the plugs available from bulk nurseries, such as Hishtil SA, offering grafted and conventional watermelon seedlings for sale.

Good starting stock is essential for any type of vegetable propagation, which is also why it is important to purchase from a supplier known for offering premium quality watermelon seedlings for sale. Apart from having top quality plant stock, the farmer needs to follow best practices in propagating the vegetable to ensure crop success.  

Watermelons require adequate sunlight, well-balanced soil, sufficient watering, and nutrition to grow. What makes the fruit different from many other types is the space it takes up. It grows along the ground and has a complex vine system. It is also the reason the plant is so vulnerable to soil-borne pathogens. With a lush leafy canopy spread along the ground, pests and diseases can quickly spread from one plant to another. Therefore, it is essential to follow the guidelines from the nursery offering seedlings for sale when it comes to adequate spacing between the plugs.

  Nurseries offering grafted and ungrafted seedlings for sale chemically treat the plants before delivery to the farmer. It is imperative for the farmer to already have a chemical treatment plan ready for pest and disease control when ordering the plugs. That said, the initial chemical treatment before delivery is sufficient to ensure protection of the plugs for the early stages of growth after transplant.


Guidelines to Follow

  Below are a few guidelines to get the best value from the watermelon seedlings as available for sale:

  The plant has a taproot system, which can reach as deep as a metre below the soil surface. It is important to prepare the soil deep enough to ensure optimal growth conditions exist for the plant to get the nutrients it needs.

  The farmer should heed spacing guidelines from the nursery offering watermelon seedlings for sale. The cover of the leaves plays an important role in preventing the plant from overheating during the hot summer days. Similar to cucumber, the plant has male and female flowers.

  As can be seen from the plant’s description, it is well-suited for propagation in the summer months. The vegetable requires a lot of sunlight, which is another reason to follow correct spacing practices. Weed removal before transplanting the plugs is essential to prevent disease spreading and competition for sunlight and water.  

Because of the deep taproot system, the plant performs best in well-drained sandy-loam soil, rich in nutrients. Although the plant can be propagated in clay soil, water logging and proper penetration of the soil can be a challenge, causing smaller fruit and a weaker plant. The plant leans towards soil with a neutral pH. Avoid planting watermelon in very acidic soil, which will cause premature dropping of the blossoms that could severely hinder fruit setting and cause subsequent low crop yields.  

It is best to grow the vegetable during the dry part of the summer. High humidity levels and high rainfall can lead to lower production in addition to leaf diseases. Although the plant is tolerant to high temperatures, prolonged exposure to temperatures in excess of 30°C can harm it. For optimal growth, the plant requires minimal fluctuations in the day-night temperature range.  

If the watermelon plugs are transplanted to very sandy soil, the farmer should increase irrigation because this type of soil does not have good water-retention capacity. It is imperative to allow for drainage between the irrigation sessions if the plant is grown in a clay soil to minimise the risk of root rotting.

Hishtil Grafted Watermelon Seedlings in the Field

A Word on the Choice of Watermelon Seedlings for Sale


Choosing the right variety for the particular climate, soil, topography, and elevation is essential. Consult with the agronomists of Hishtil SA regarding the best variety for a particular region before placing an order. Grafted and ungrafted seedlings offered for sale are available for delivery anywhere in South Africa.  

Sources: https://www.free-ebooks.net/food-recipes/A-Farmers-Guide-to-Growing-Watermelons/pdf?dl&preview