Need top-choice, best-pick recommendations for watermelons to grow at home? Here you go.
You've probably heard that watermelons need warmth, water, sun and space. But actually if you are short on warmth--you live in a short-summer region--or space, not much yard, you can still grow delicious, sweet watermelons in a home garden.
It's true that large watermelons require 4 months of frost-free, very warm weather to come to harvest and that they can gobble up as much as 144 square feet of space. But if you have less than 90 growing days, you can still harvest a watermelon. (See the short-season list below.) And if you have as little as 12 to 16 square feet--that's 4 feet by 4 feet, you still have enough space to grow watermelon. (See the short vine or bush variety list below.)
For best results, plant watermelons in light loam to sandy-loam soil; avoid planting in heavy or clay soil. Plant when the soil temperature has warmed to at least 70°F. (You can get a head start in cool regions by sowing watermelons indoors 6 weeks before planting out.)
Center your vine in the space you have, and dig a hole 3 feet in diameter and 12 to 18 inches deep, a bit deeper in the center. Add rich compost or planting mix to the hole and tamp it down; watermelons require consistent even watering, this compost-rich planting bed will serve as a moisture reservoir. Mound the soil above the re-filled in bed to 6 inches tall. Plant 5 to 6 seeds or set two starts on this mound. Thin to the strongest plant. Space mounds 12 feet apart, unless you are planting the short vine, bush varieties listed below--then you can plant a third to half that distance.