Planting watermelon in a backyard garden is rewarding and fun. Planting watermelon with children is rewarding, fun, and a great way to introduce the idea of gardening and growing food. This heat-loving annual can be grown in all parts of the country, but higher temperatures and longer growing seasons are more favorable.
Designate a section of garden or yard for the watermelon patch, keeping in mind that a watermelon vine does require space. Give your children some watermelon seeds, a few simple planting instructions, and a little bit of freedom to plant the patch. Then stand back and let mother nature and your children get to work.
My son Stephen planted watermelon seeds on a Tuesday. On the following Wednesday, seedlings were poking out of the soil. The planting cycle for watermelon is fast. This helps keep children engaged in the grow processes; they see changes quickly and constantly. Every time they visit the garden the plants look different: just soil, then seedlings, vines, buds, flowers, and finally fruit. Children can have a return on their investment in 90 days.
While tending their watermelon patch, your children will discover many interesting visitors: caterpillars, grasshoppers, worms, crickets, birds, snakes, and toads. They are sure to feel connected with nature.
Harvesting the watermelon is an exciting event. Together we decide when it’s time to pick a watermelon. Stephen and Aurora cut the fruit from the vine. With pride and a sense of ownership, they carefully carry the watermelon into the house.
Watermelon plants have fairly long roots, so they do not need much watering. Watermelons are very firm and can withstand being climbed on. These aspects, combined with the fast growth rate and delicious taste, make watermelon a very child-friendly garden plant. By the end of the summer you will have sticky-faced children speaking with authority about their watermelon patch, while offering you a slice of refreshing, homegrown watermelon.