Watermelon Growing Tips for Beginners

All about growing watermelons.

The information contained in this article is information I have obtained from growing watermelons myself, so if you try this and fail miserably- I’m sorry, but you should have followed my instructions better, ha, ha, ha, haaaa!

In 2007 I got an idea that I would grow watermelons and sell them to produce stands, restaurants, and local people in the neighborhood to try and make some extra spending money. I called this venture watermelon world. I was lucky enough to have about three acres of land to grow the watermelons, and plenty of water.

The Big Five

Land is the first thing any prospective watermelon grower needs. Some of my watermelon vines were probably twenty feet across spanning in all directions. You should plan for your watermelon vines to be this big. It is better to have too much space than not enough for the vines to spread out. Even one plant will appear to be taking over your garden if cared for properly.

Secondly, you need a good supply of water. I have two wells and one creek on my property. This may sound excessive, but not if you are planning on growing three hundred plants like I did. I used well water, so I do not know what effects chlorinated water has on watermelons. I am an organic grower, so my advice is to use water with no chemicals in it just to be safe.

Thirdly, I recommend planting watermelon seeds when the temperature is in the mid seventies to mid eighties. If there is snow on the ground, do not plant watermelon seeds!That is unless you have some special hybrid variety that will grow in extreme cold. I can not say for sure with modern day scientific agriculture that these varieties do not exist.

Next you need sand and organic fertilizer. You can grow watermelons using artificial fertilizer but I prefer natural, organic fertilizer like cow manure, and aged chicken litter. The reason you will need sand is because watermelons grow best in sandy soil that allows water to be absorbed easily by the watermelon vine.

Last but not least, you need sunlight. Do not plant your watermelons in the shade. Watermelons will grow in the shade but this could have disastrous affects on non -diseases resistant varieties. I will explain disease resistance in more detail later.

Without these five big elements you should forget about growing watermelons. If you plan to grow only a few, then less land and water will be needed, but sunlight and the correct temperatures are a must have.

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  1. Very thorough article :)

  2. I realy do not think that these are good tips. It wont even tell me how much space you need to grow a watermelon in!
    Two fett five feet, WHAT?

  3. Read the second page! Space each plant three to four feet apart.

  4. I live in albuquerque, N.M. Is it a good time now to plant watermelons. Mar, 2 2009? tem is 65 to 70 now.

  5. Visit http://www.how-much-to-paint.com

  6. Good article. Were you able to make some profit from this venture?

  7. Yes.

  8. Very Thorough Article. I found the knowlege to be VERY useful!! Thank You!!

  9. yes very nice i followed his advice and plats are about 1 1/2 feet long now coming along nicly but i live in califorina and 3 blocks from the beach so my soil pretty sandy alrdy and its alwse 70 to 80 so that helps

  10. What can I put under the watermelon to keep bugs/wet dirt from rotting the bottom. I do not have a trellis or anything to hang them from as has been suggested.

  11. If you water your plants properly your watermelons will not rot. I did not place anything under my watermelons. If you do not pick your watermelons when they become ripe, they will eventually rot if left on the vines too long.

  12. gr8 article.I planted about 6 wks ago.Vines of 3-5 ft growing and budding.I planted 10 plants in a 6×3 ft area.NOW I see I planted way too close together.Will this inhibit growth.Should I pull some and replant elsewhere or leave it alone??

  13. I planted some watermelon for the very first time in May 2009. They are growing well. We have ample space, as our home sits an acre of land. True to this author’s word, the vines are growing very long and the watermelons are beautiful. We are anxiously waiting for one to get ripe. I planted three varieties.

    Oh, thanks for this article; I have learned something from it.

  14. My vines are very long and there are a lot of them. I have lots of yellow blooms but no melons ?!?!?! Why dont I have any melons after about 6 weeks ?

    plz respond to gloryphigod@live.com

  15. To Jim Rocchio. There is a possibility you will grow big watermelons in such a small area but, each plant will be competing for water and nutrients. If you want big watermelons I would say cut all but one or two of the plants off at the surface of the soil very carefully. Since the plants are so close together pulling them up could damage their root systems.

  16. The black spots on your watermelons could be caused by underwatering, overwatering, or disease. Since I have no idea how much water you have been giving our plants, I have no idea what is causing the spots. You have to decide how much water your plants need based on rainfall, size, etc.

    Transplating watermelons can be done but they ususally die after being transplanted. My advice is to leave your plants were they are and next time be sure to give your watermelons plenty of room to grow in all directions.

  17. I seem to have the same problem as howdy from texas. I have about 3 vines and a lot blooms but no melons. It has been about 2 to 3 months since i planted the seeds. What do I do?

  18. My advice is give your watermelons some time. It can take several months to grow a big watermelon.

    If you know what kind of watermelons you have, do some research and find out if your plants are self pollinating or need help from insects or people. If they are not self pollinating, and there are no pollinating insects present, you will have to pollinate the watermelon flowers yourself.

  19. hi everybody I have a question I have about 6 plants about 4weeks old but it seems they are having problems growing, any advice! I live in southern California, they have plenty of water and about 6 hours of sun! Thanks guys!

  20. thanks wil! i will take a look into it, im not sure what i have

  21. Thanks so much for your reply. I suspect it may be due to the heavy rains. Should I cut those melons off, and hope that some additional ones will prosper?

  22. Give your plants more time. If you do not notice they are growing after several more weeks you might have a soil problem.

    If your plants are too close together there growth might be slowed because they are competing for water.

  23. If you think some or all of the watermelons on the vines are not worth saving go ahead.

    Remember there is a possibility no new melons will appear. For many watermelon plants there is only a short period of time when they bloom and prodce watermelons because of seasons. Depending on where you live fall and winter might be coming soon, and the watermelon growing season will end.

  24. How do I prevent worms drilling into my melon? My fruit was great except that I couldn’t stop bugs/worms eating it.

  25. I never had any problems with worms drilling into my melons so my advice is figure out what kind of worms and insects are eating your melons and look for ways on the internet or ask local farmers how to stop them.

  26. when you say leave the seed alone for a week and a half, does that mean not to waterit in that time-span, or what?

  27. Do not water your seed/seeds in that time span.

  28. How many water mellons can you grow in an acre?

  29. It depends on how far you space the plants apart from each other. Once you know how many plants you will be growing and how far apart they will be from each other, you can use basic math to figure out how many plants will be on an acre of land.

  30. I thought that the article was accurate except for the sand and the water. Also, I liked the part about building the little volcanos around it, to save the water. I will try that this year. We did grow ours last year down the hill close to the pond but we have no extra irrigation hooked up and never watered it. It’s not something I highly suggest, but we were too poor to pop for the extra water. Plus, we were short on time, with 30 acres. In North Carolina, the soil can be sandy alot of the time, so I guess we’re lucky, but from the tone of the article, I would have thought I needed to go out and buy some sand. I’ll have to ask my sweetie about that part. I guess I wouldn’t say to use your best composted soil to plant the tomatoes in.
    We didn’t have any giants last year, but we had some awesome sugar daddy’s. (type of watermelon)

  31. For the person that has worms eating into the melons. Here we have crows. We have to build upside down U shapes cages for all the watermelons. Very labor intensive. Last year we lost about 40% of the crop, for not getting the cages up in time. We didn’t have any problem with worms. I think you were not planting in sandy enough soil, otherwise, not as many worms would be hanging out there. Worms like moist, nutrient rich soil.

  32. I grow watermelon in my back yard. I prepare my bed starting with dried grass clippings in the fall. I save the clippings during the summer and spread them over the bed. They decompose during the winter and keep the ground soft. In the spring, I spread well composted manure and a slow release fertilizer over that and til it all in.

    Then, I lay out my drip irrigation line/soaker hose and build mounds spaced according to the variety of melon I am growing. Some vine out more than others but eight feet between mounds works for most. Then I cover the bed with black plastic. Its important to poke a lot of small holes in the plastic to allow the rain to pass through. I use my pitchfork.

    Good drainage is very important when growing watermelon. Where I live, it can be a problem. My soil is not sandy, it tends to be sticky. The solution I found was to grow them over my leech field. The chambers keep the soil well drained. It’s perfectly sanitary to grow vine crops over the leech field. Just don’t grow root crops there.

    I like to use a water timer to adjust the amount of moisture. I set it longer during hot dry periods and less according to the amount of rain we are having. About mid growing season, I fertilize the watermelon using a dry plant food in a garden hose sprayer. Just wet down the leaves. The plants will feed through them.

    Another option would be to use an in line feeder. But, it is kind of a single purpose device.

    Right now, I am harvesting crimson sweet watermelons weighing twenty to thirty pounds each.

  33. it has been two days dosnt grow

  34. My mom and I are growing sugar baby watermelon. Several were quite large. One day we noticed one had split and there were yellow jackets in it, we picked it and cut open. The split where the yellow jackets were was over ripe but the rest was light pink and slightly sweet. The next day we went out, we discover another melon with a soft spot on it,when we pick it, it slushy inside like a large water balloon. After that we decided we better pick all the large sugar babies. We pick 6, cut open the largest one and to our disappointment it was unripe. What problem are we having.

  35. The split watermelon does not seem like it was completely ripe yet. A wild animal could have slpit that watermelon.

    The watermelon with the soft spot probably did not get enough water or you waited too long before picking it.

    Be sure the watermelons are ripe before picking them!

    Be sure to plant your watermelons in a sunny area, with the right kind of soil, and water them appropriately.

  36. how can you tell when the watermelon is ripe? It’s hard to tell, I grew other types of melon this past year, when following the directions for picking, some was not even close to being ripe, while others were way past being ripe. So just how can you tell when the melon is ripe and ready to pick. Thanks

  37. The truth is you have to use a lot of indicators to tell if a watermelon is ripe.

    My advice….

    Plant all of your watermelons at the same time and be sure not to pick them before your planting instructions say to pick them.

    Ask these questions….

    Is the first, small, curly stem on the main stem coming from the watermelon brown and dead?

    Does the wateremelon have a creamy yellow spot on the
    bottom?

    Does the wateremelon have a waxy appearance?

    Does the watermelon feel heavy for its size?

    Does the watermelon sound hollow/empty when you tap it with your finger?

    Sometimes a watermelon can be ripe and not have a creamy yellow spot on the bottom. But if you want to pick a watermelon and it does not have most of these ripening signs, do not pick it and wait a little longer.

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  39. I would love to know where you got your sugar daddy watermelon seeds. I use to grow them when I was a kid in TX, but then we moved to TN and I haven’t seen them since. I can find sugar babies, and sugar dolls, but their not the same. Help please.

  40. I planted several sugar baby watermelon seeds not sugar daddy. You can get sugar baby watermelon seeds on Amazon.com

  41. hello! i live in croatia and produce wms for five years. i agree with most of the stuff you say except watering. watermelon dont need too much water after it sets fruits because it is originally desert plant and uses fruit to keep water in it for days with no rain.

  42. one plant can produce how many water melon?

  43. One plant usually produces one to two large watermelons if cared for properly.

  44. What causes an unripe watermelon to split?

  45. Sudden changes in watering can cause splitting.

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