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How to Grow Watermelon

Posted Mar 22 2009 3:14pm

The watermelon is a tender, warm-weather annual. Watermelons along with muskmelons and cantaloupes are sometimes called summer melons. Sow watermelon seed in the garden or set out transplants 3 to 4 weeks after the last average frost date in spring. Start watermelon seed indoors about 6 weeks before transplanting seedlings into the garden. Start seed indoors in 4-inch or larger biodegradable peat or paper pots that can be set wholly into the garden so as not to disturb the roots. Watermelons require 65 to 90 frost-free days to reach harvest.


Learn about summer and winter melons: click here.


Description. The watermelon is a long-trailing annual plant. Watermelons can be solid green or striped green and white. Watermelons can be oval, oblong, and round. Fruits can weigh from 10 or 15 pounds to more than 100 pounds and are commonly 30 pounds or more. The watermelon has a thick, solid rind with sweet, succulent flesh that can be pink, red, yellow, orange, or grayish white. Male and female flowers appear on the same vine.


Yield. Grow 2 watermelon plants for each household member.


Site. Plant watermelons in full sun. Watermelons grow best in loose, well-drained, but moisture-retentive soil rich in organic matter. Add aged compost to the planting bed before planting. Melons prefer a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.8.

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