Botanical name: Citrullus lanatus
Sow watermelon seed direct after all danger of frost has passed into warm soil, 1-2 cm deep, 1 m apart on raised mounds, rows 2 m apart; watermelons need plenty of space. Prepare your soil with compost and well-rotted manure; deep digging is beneficial. The soil needs to be well drained. Avoid over-watering once the fruit is nearly ripe as this will make for a bland flavoured melon (as will too much rain). Harvest when the tendril closest to the fruit stem is dry and brown and when the underside of the fruit has changed colour to yellow. For those with a musical ear you can try tapping it to see if it sounds hollow.

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