You will be transported to the wonderful world of summer juicy fruit by taking a bite of an icebox watermelon.
Icebox watermelon are smaller than ordinary watermelon but sweeter.
Because they fit easily in the fridge, they were given the name “icebox watermelon”
These watermelon are very popular because they can provide enough fruit for one person.
The average large-sized watermelon, which weighs between 10 and 45 pounds, weighs five to 10 pounds in icebox watermelons.
Icebox watermelon are native to Africa. Their scientific name is Citrullus lanatus.
They are part the Cucurbitaceae Family, which includes edible fruits.
There are many types of icebox watermelon varieties: Sugar baby and Tiger Baby, Mickeylee and Minilee.
These watermelon are all compact, but they vary in size. You can choose the size that you prefer based on their variety.
Because of their small size, icebox watermelon are sometimes called short-season watermelon because they mature in a shorter time than other watermelon varieties.
These are great for those who want to quickly grow them in their gardens.
|Scientific Name||Citrullus Lanatus|
|Common Names||Short-season watermelon.|
|Indoor or Outdoor Plant?||Outdoor or Indoor|
|Sun Exposure||Sun full|
|Water||A drip irrigation system or 1 to 2 inches of water per day will keep the soil moist.|
|Size||12 feet long vine (3 meters).|
|Soil Type||Fertile, well-draining, nutrients-rich|
|Soil pH||Neutral pH. The ideal soil pH ranges from 6.0 to 7.0.|
|Growing Difficulty||It is a low-maintenance, easy-to-manage plant.|
Appearance and Characteristics
Icebox watermelon are trailings plants that can grow up to 12 feet in length.
These plants produce beautiful yellow flowers that are approximately two cm in width before turning the flowers into fruits the same size as a tennis ball (5cm).
The self-pollinators Icebox watermelon plants can be smaller than traditional watermelon plants and are juicier and sweeter.
They are perfect round with bright red flesh and dark green rind.
Growing Icebox Watermelon Advantages
Icebox watermelon are easier to store in your refrigerator, and they are also easier to grow.
Icebox watermelon is a vine plant. However, they can be grown on raised beds or vertically with support from trailings if there’s enough space.
The Icebox watermelon varieties are much more ripe in shorter times. Gardeners can choose to plant them either alone or with their family-sized counterparts to have watermelon fruit throughout the growing season.
Watermelons are great for your health, and are a good source vitamin A and C.
They act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, and they contain minerals like iron, phosphorus and calcium.
Drinking large amounts of watermelon can increase blood sugar levels.
These icebox watermelon plants can be grown in a variety of settings, so they are great for anyone who has a large garden.
Icebox watermelon require a lot of space.
If you are growing in containers, ensure that they have a capacity of at least 5 gallons (22 Liters). You can also use vertical space by using trellis to increase the size of your garden if it is small.
The watermelon is easy to maintain if you plant them in moist, rich soil with lots of nutrients and plenty of sunlight.
To ensure a successful harvest, you should follow the minimum sowing requirements for each variety of seeds.
The icebox watermelon is a short-season fruit.
They can reach full maturity in as little as 85 days. This is a significant improvement over the 120-day wait for the family-size watermelon.
The medium-sized stems of these plants can reach up to 6 feet (180 cm) in length. They can produce up to three watermelon per year.
Icebox watermelon varieties have different ripening times.
The watermelon’s size determines how long it takes to mature.
When planting icebox watermelon seed, it is important to consider the weather forecast.
The best time to sow is indoors. Usually, it’s Spring, three or four weeks before the first frost.
Top Tip Grab some soil and a seedling starter kit and you’re good to go.
You can sow seeds right away if you live in a warmer area.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Place your seeds in a small container, or use a seedling kit.
- The container should be filled with approximately 1 inch (22.5 cm) of organic soil.
- You can lightly water the soil, but it must be kept moist.
- To seal in humidity, cover the container with a light cloth and place it on a sunny windowill.
Once you have planted your seeds indoors, and the first frost has passed; wait around 2 weeks until the soil warms up or reaches 10C (50F) before you take your seedlings outside.
You should be able to see the first shoots within five to ten days if the conditions are favorable. T
When the shoots become visible, transplant the seedlings to the garden.
- For each plant, make small piles measuring approximately 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter and then separate the rows by 3 feet (90 cm).
- For each plant, dig a 2 inch (4cm) hole and place five to six seedlings in each heap.
- Cover with soil, and water frequently.
When the rind turns from bright green to dark green, it is time to harvest the icebox watermelon.
Take a look at the leaf on the stem and only pick the fruit when it is completely dried.
Use pruning shears to remove the watermelon stem. Leave about 2 cm (1 inch) of stem.
Icebox watermelons require approximately 1 to 2 inches of water per day.
Watering should be adjusted according to the weather conditions. Focus on the roots.
A drip irrigation system is a great way to water icebox watermelon plants in a container.
The right watering methods will ensure that the fruit does not become dry or overwatered.
It doesn’t matter how you water, the most important thing to do is keep your soil moist.
When the actual fruit of the icebox melon plant is about the same size as your fist, adjust the watering schedule. Only water the plant when it is moist.
To help with sugar building in the fruit, it is best to not water the plants for a few weeks before they are harvested.
This results in sweeter, more juicer fruits.
The full sun is the best light for Icebox watermelon growth.
To produce fruit, these plants require eight to ten hours of continuous daylight.
Avoid planting under trees or in areas that are slightly shaded as this will affect the quality of your fruit.
Gardeners should plant icebox watermelon in well-drained soil.
Keep your soil clean of weeds, as they can take nutrients and water from surrounding plants.
The soil should be at least 10 degrees Celsius. The temperature can be raised by covering the area with a plastic wrap.
Use nutrient rich soil, and ensure that the pH levels are regularly checked.
The soil pH should be slightly acidic to grow icebox watermelons. It should range from 6.0 to 7.0.
Temperature and humidity
Icebox watermelons are similar to their counterparts, which grow in temperate and tropical climates.
To thrive, they should be able to grow at temperatures above 25°C (77°F).
Watermelon can be damaged by frost, so protect it!
Potting and repotting
Watermelon plants require plenty of space in order to thrive, and the icebox type is no exception.
When transplanting watermelons, a 5 Gallon (22 Liters) container is the best choice.
To allow drainage, the pot should have sufficient holes at its bottom.
- The roots can be very fragile so make sure to place them in a new container. For best results, limit the number of plants per container.
- Allow the plants to mature into mature vines.
- To protect your plants against pests and diseases, make sure to top-up the soil’s nitrogen and fertilizer levels as soon as you notice that the plants are starting to mature.
Pruning and Propagating
It is very simple to propagate icebox watermelon. Here’s a quick guide.
- Make sure to take healthy cuttings of the vine.
- Put it in a small container with water. Place the water in a small jar with water.
- The roots will begin to appear after 12 days.
- The new plant can be planted in the garden.
- To make it easier to plant the roots, dig a deep hole. Make sure to water the soil with lots of water.
- The new plant will begin producing fruit after approximately seven weeks.
Pruning watermelon plants makes them healthier and helps harness their energy for more nutritious fruits.
You should inspect for yellow leaves or dead vines and remove any joint that is connected to the mainvine. You must be careful not to trim the main vine.
Common Problems, Diseases, And Pests
Watermelon leaves, vines, and fruit are all at risk from a few foes.
Aphids, fruit fly, root-knot and striped cucumber beetles are the most common pests.
Watermelon plants can be affected by plant diseases like powdery mildew.
Icebox watermelon must be free from leaf spots, gummy stem blight, mosaic virus and gummy stem disease, especially in high humidity areas and areas with poor air circulation.
Where can I find high-quality seeds?
Trusted suppliers can provide quality seeds.
Some people save the seeds from the actual fruit and plant them directly in the soil, without washing them.
If you have any questions, visit your local garden center.
How can you tell if an icebox watermelon has reached its peak?
Watermelon’s color changes from bright green to dark green.
The vine becomes brown and the leaves near the fruit begin to wilt.
What is the shelf life of icebox watermelons?
An icebox watermelon can be kept fresh for up to three weeks, just like any other watermelon.
Their taste begins to deteriorate, but the watermelon remains edible for another week.
Can you eat a rind from an icebox watermelon?
Yes, you can eat watermelon rind the same way as cucumbers or courgettes.
It can be used in stir-fry, pickles, and smoothies.
It is delicious and has many health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, increasing oxygen in your muscles, improving digestive health, and increasing your overall health.