why do watermelons split on the vine
(Author of Nothing beats the cool, water-filled fruits of
on a hot summer day, but when your watermelon bursts on the vine before you ve had a chance to, this can be a little disconcerting. So what makes watermelons split in gardens and what can be done about it? Keep reading to find out. There are a few causes of watermelon splits. The most common cause for a bursting watermelon is erratic watering. Whether it s due to poor irrigation practices or drought followed by heavy rain, excessive accumulation of water can put the fruit under a lot of pressure.
As with, when the plants absorb too much water too fast, the excess water goes straight to the fruits. Like most fruits, water makes up a large percentage of the fruit. When the soil becomes dry, the fruit forms a tight skin in order to prevent moisture loss. However, once a sudden surge in water returns, the skin expands. As a result, the watermelon bursts. Another possibility, in addition to water, is heat.
Water pressure within the fruit can build up when it gets too hot, causing the melons to split open. One way to help alleviate splitting is by adding, which will help retain moisture in the soil and insulate plants. Adding shade covers during excessively hot periods may help too. Finally, this may be attributed to certain cultivars as well. Some varieties of watermelon may simply be more prone to splitting than others.
In fact, many thin-rind types, such as Icebox, have even been nicknamed Бexploding melonБ for this reason. Watermelons are a drought-resistant fruit with roots that reach deep into the soil. The plants respond best to deep, infrequent, regular watering. Apply 1 to 2 inches of water once or twice a week, making sure the water soaks deeply into the soil. A drip irrigation system or soaker hose work well for this. Deep watering consistently is especially important during the first three to four weeks as the root structure is developing.
You can cut back the amount of water once the fruit sets to help improve flavor and increase sweetness. Maintaining a consistent watering schedule is extremely important, especially in the last two weeks of growth, as too much water or erratic application at this stage can cause the melons to split. Thatвs why a sudden downpour close to harvest could lead to a garden of split melons.
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