We’ve all struggled to grow watermelon at some point. Many of you may not even want to try and grow watermelons because of all the stories of struggle but we are here to tell you…it’s easy! With the right tools and knowledge, we will have you growing watermelons successfully!
Types of Watermelon
Seedless: Seedless watermelons were developed in the 90’s to have small edible seeds. Typically produce 10-20-pound fruits and mature in 85 days and require a pollinator variety. (Tailgate, Harvest Moon, Summer Breeze, Tripe Play, Treasure Chest, Captivation, Yellow Buttercup,
Icebox: Specifically bred to be small enough to fit in a refrigerator and feed one person or a small family. Round fruits average between 5-15 pounds and mature in 75 days. (Sugar Baby, Black Tail)
Yellow and Orange: Specifically bred to be small enough to fit in a refrigerator and feed one person or a small family. Round fruits average between 5-15 pounds and mature in 75 days. (Tender sweet Orange, Yellow Doll, Orangelo)
Picnic: The largest watermelon variety weighs in between 16 and 45 pounds. Makes a great option to feed large crowds. Oblong fruits will mature in 85-90 days. (Crimson Sweet, Sangria, Georgia Rattlesnake, Moon and Stars, Charleston Gray, Carolina Cross 180, Jubilee, Jamboree, Congo, Dulce Fantasia)
Seed Starting Dates
Wondering when you should start your watermelon seeds for your zone? See the list below:
Zone 10 – 12/15
Zone 9 – 1/15
Zone 8- 2/20
Zone 7- 3/15
Zone 6 – 4/1
Zone 5 – 4/20
Transplanting Your Watermelon Seedlings
Once your watermelon seedlings have at least 2 sets of true leaves, the weather is warm enough for the soil to maintain at least 70°F, and the plants have a healthy root system, your seedlings are ready to transplant into the ground.
The most important thing to remember when transplanting watermelons is to take extra care with the root systems. They are very delicate and disturbing them could result in the loss of your plant.
When the plants can easily be pulled from the seed tray cells, that is a good indication that they are ready to go in the ground. If they don’t come out of the trays easily, that’s okay. You can help them out by very gently pushing them through the hole in the bottom of the 162 cell seed starting tray.
Watermelon Seedling Planting Depth
Row Spacing – 4 to 6 feet
Plant Spacing – 2 to 3 feet
Planting Depth (Plants) – Soil Level
When choosing a spot to plant your watermelons, make sure it it has full sun and won’t be shaded by other plants.