Saturday, September 3, 2011

I wonder - how seedless watermelon is grown? by Nick

Note: Last Saturday we went to supermarket to buy grocery. During the process of selecting a good seedless watermelon, Nick asked his mom how one can grow a watermelon if it has no seed - and she asked him to do an online research to find out the answers. I asked him to summarize what he found in his weekly journal . I found the outcome of his research is comprehensive and informative and so I posted it here.

A regular watermelon contains thousands of seeds. The removal of seeds is really annoying while eating watermelon. What if we could grow watermelons without seeds in it? But how could we grow such a watermelon?

The seedless variety is actually a sterile plant that results from crossing two similar watermelon plants with differing chromosomes. The diploids (2 chromosomes) and the tetraploids (4 chromosomes) mix together to form the triploid (3 chromosomes) since it has 3 chromosomes the number is odd and it is therefore unable to reproduce and so you get a seedless watermelon seed.

The seedless watermelon should be planted in warm temperatures. Experts would recommend that you germinate the watermelon inside a controlled temperature environment where you can keep the watermelon above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Other people may suggest keeping inside just above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the vine is 6-8 inches long you may move the watermelon outside. But the soil outside still has to be around 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

There many different types of seedless watermelon you can grow for example King’s Heart a watermelon that weighs about 14 -18 pounds and has a striped outside and a thick rind. Other types of seedless watermelon include Crimson Trio, Genesis, Summer Sweet and Tiffany.
To grow the fruit you need 4 things, land ready for growing crop, a shovel, the seedless watermelon seeds (triploids), and the regular watermelon seeds (diploids). Next to grow the fruit the seedless watermelon (called triploids) must be grown next to the regular watermelon (called diploids). The seedless watermelon is unable to pollinate by itself. Therefore, the regular watermelon helps in the pollination process for the seedless watermelon to get fruit. So dig the holes next to each other where you want to plant the watermelons. In the first hole, plant a diploid watermelon plant. In the next two holes, plant the seedless (or triploid) plant. Continue to alternate until all your plants are in the ground. Make sure to mark down the order you planted them so you can distinguish your seedless watermelon from your regular watermelon once they mature. Then in a couple of weeks the watermelons will grow and you’ll be able to eat the triploids and the diploids in the heat or you can just eat the triploids and give away or sell the rest of them.

The down side of having seedless watermelon is that it is more subject to fungal growth but the upside is that seedless watermelons have a longer shelf life because there are no seeds to break down the flesh.

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