The sugar baby watermelon is a variety of watermelon that has high market demand because of its sweetness and low production cost. And with its size, weighing about 8 to 10 pounds, 7 to 8 inches, it is one of the smallest specie of watermelon. Unlike other watermelon species, this is smaller and tastes sweeter than others. Aside from its commercial benefit, families can grow the sugar baby watermelon for their consumption.
Watermelons are suitable for your body as they help sustain the body’s water requirement. And the sugar baby watermelon being smaller than your regular watermelon, is sweeter and, with its size, can easily be carried about on a picnic basket or stored in your refrigerator. The sugar baby watermelon also contains vitamins and nutrients that help with eyesight and the body’s general health.
You can quickly grow sugar baby watermelon with the proper condition and setup. As mentioned earlier, it is low cost and may require little care for you to cultivate and harvest the watermelon. You and your family can enjoy fresh sugar baby watermelon from your home garden, or you can go for commercial production with the guide presented below.
Steps to Grow and Care for Your Sugar Baby Watermelon
The sugar baby watermelon has a short duration for cultivation. In about 80 to 90 days, you will get a fresh, well-rounded watermelon of about 10 pounds. But it would be best if you got it right to reap a bountiful sugar-baby watermelon harvest.
Although it is easy and the cost of production is low, you will need to be technical in growing and caring for optimal harvest. And that is why you should follow the guide below in preparing, planting, tending, and harvesting sugar baby watermelon.
1. Start by planting an indoor nursery
We advise you to start an indoor nursery, planting the seed in a pot. You should control the indoor environment to ensure that the right temperature and soil are in place for proper germination of the sugar baby watermelon. You should note that the plant requires high temperature. You should maintain the temperature in the room in the range of 80-90 degrees.
It would help if you filled the pot with compost and moist soil. This variety of watermelon thrives in soils that drain water and will not germinate appropriately in water-absorbing soil. You can plant up to three seeds in a pot at a depth of one-quarter of the pot.
Ensure that you maintain the correct temperature indoors in the early preparation. And keep the soil drained during the indoor preparation of the seed.
2. Preparing site for transplant
Before you transplant the watermelon seed outdoors, you must prepare the garden. We have started that the sugar baby watermelon variety thrives in warmer conditions, so this variety is best suited for temperate climates. Ensure proper site drainage, and treat the soil with organic material to keep the soil at a PH level of 6.5 to 7.5. you can boost the soil condition by adding organic materials. And the soil should be drained, and avoid planting in areas with water-logged soils.
The garden should have adequate exposure to sunlight. The plant requires enough heat with moist soil for the best results. So select the area exposed to more sunlight for at least eight hours. Avoid areas shaded from sunlight or remove any shade that may block the sun’s rays from the plant.
We have heard of farmers strategically planting the plant in the direction of the rising sun to ensure that the plant gets optimal sunlight during the day. You should determine the area with the maximum sunlight exposure during the day and ensure the watermelon receives the maximum sunlight required.
3. Ensure proper spacing of the watermelon plant
Sugar baby watermelon, unlike other watermelon varieties, can be cultivated in smaller spaces. But they need proper spacing to ensure proper germination and for the plant to grow to its potential. Ensure spacing of about two feet apart for the variety of watermelons that are creeping in nature and will tangle and affect the optimal growth of the plant.
With adequate spacing, you can maintain your plant, prevent pests and infections and provide enough space for growth. Some farmers have used trellis structures to ensure the sugar baby watermelon plants grow properly. Setting up a trellis helps save space and ensure the plant gets enough sunlight. With trellis setup, you can grow plants on fences, and walls.
4. Irrigation and watering of the sugar baby watermelon
Water is essential for growing and caring for the sugar baby watermelon. The plant needs regular watering to blossom and cultivate properly. As you are preparing your site, set up the proper irrigation system. Ensure not to flood the soil but keep it moist. And that is why we advise using soil with a high absorbing capacity, not to soak the plant.
While watering your plant, water at the base and not over the plant. Set up a deep irrigation system to ensure that the bottom of the plant receives enough water that it will need to grow. Most farmers water their plants twice daily, especially early in the morning and during the day, to prevent drought conditions. If drought conditions persist, the sugar baby watermelon will not survive the stage of harvesting.
Different plants thrive in different water conditions. Knowing how well each plans and specie respond to water will determine how well they grow.
5. Picking your sugar baby watermelon at a suitable time
Knowing when your watermelon is ripe and ready to be picked can be tricky. You don’t want to pick the plant when it is not ripe. Still, watermelons will not continue to ripen outside the vine, so they become inedible.
What a waste! Right?
It would help if you timed it properly before you harvest not to waste your effort. A ripe sugar baby watermelon is reddish when cut open but white on the inside and inedible when not ripe. But you will not have to open the fruit to determine if it is ripe.
Below are some ways to determine if your watermelon is ready before you pluck them:
- The watermelon sounds hollow inside you you shake it.
- The watermelon will show a yellow spot where it touches the ground.
- The tendril, which is near the watermelon, is dried up and becomes brown.
You can use the three methods above to determine if your watermelon is ripe. It takes about 75 days after planting for your watermelon to be ready for harvest.
Caring for The Sugar Baby Watermelon Plants
The Sugar Baby Watermelon requires care for you to enjoy a bountiful harvest. We have stated that it requires regular watering but ensure not to flood the plant with water. Leaving it to dry out will kill off the plant, wasting all your efforts.
In addition, cultivating the sugar baby watermelon will attract pests and fungi, which will eat up the plant. Ensure regular pruning and the proper space between the plants to prevent the build-up of fungi and disturbance from pests.
Since the sugar baby watermelon requires enough sunlight during cultivation, it is best to use frost cover during winter or cold weather. The frost cover will prevent the plant from dying as it loses the nutrients necessary for its growth.