Species: C. lanatus
The watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. The plant is native to Eastern Africa and has been cultivated since ancient times (its cultivation is documented in Egyptian hieroglyphics, 5000 years ago), it was brought to Europe by the Byzantine around the 5th Century.
It is an annual herbaceous climber that grows long “branches” (some several meters in length) with tendrils and large, alternate, petiolate leaves which are deeply lobed. The root system is highly branched and spreads out below the surface. The watermelon is dioecious (producing both male and female flowers separately), the flowers are yellow, with 5 petals, and for each female flower there are an average of seven male flowers.
The fruit (technically know as a pepo, which is a modified false berry typical of the Cucurbitaceae family) can be oval, elongated or round. The skin is shiny and smooth, and can be various shades of green, both of one colour or striped. Inside the mesocarp is white and can vary in thickness, while the flesh is sugary, red (however there are varieties with white or yellow flesh), full of water and of the classic seeds that go from brown to black.
|Scientific name||Citrullus lanatus|
|Recommended Seeding||In Pots|
|Number of seeds||1|
|Sowing Depth||2.00 cm|
|Distance between rows||200 cm / 300 cm|
|Distance between rows||80 cm / 100 cm|
|Estimated number of plants/sqm||2.00|
|Average growing time||90 gg / 120 gg|
|Average sprouting time||10 gg / 14 gg|
|Produce per sqm||4.00 kg / 6.00 kg|
|Estimated growing sqm per person||1.3|
|Ideal Sprouting Temperature (C°)||15 °c - 28 °c|
|Min. Temperature (C°)||15 °c|
|Soil pH||6.00 / 7.00|
|Can be grown in pots||yes|
Variety producing fruit that is round and slightly elongated, weighing up to 15 kg, pale green skin striped with dark green, very sweet flesh of a bright red colour.
Medium-early variety producing elongated oval fruit, weighing around 14 kg, very sweet flesh.
Early variety producing spherical fruit with a dark green skin, average weight (around 7 kg), bright red very sweet flesh.
Variety producing small fruit (around 2 kg), very sweet, yellow flesh.
Early variety producing elongated fruit, around 60 cm in length and weighing about 16 kg, bright red flesh.