Growing Watermelons

Category Growing Food
When the hot days of summer arrive who can resist a sweet, juicy, homegrown watermelon. This is a page about growing watermelons.


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It is suggested that when watermelon is grown in containers, the containers have at least a five gallon capacity per plant. Each of the containers shown here will hold about twenty gallons, so I planted two plants per container.

I've learned that excellent drainage is critical when growing plants in containers. For this reason, I have added a hefty amount of perlite to this medium, and of course, there are lots of drainage holes.

I've also learned that watermelon do best in a rich, moist soil. For richness, I've added horse manure compost, and to help retain moisture, I've added mulched leaves.

Probably most important is adequate light. These containers are placed in an open field where the plants will receive at least eight hours of sunlight.

The plants are healthy, near the bloom stage and are growing vigorously. I've put a lot of work and research into this little project. I hope to harvest several delicious Jubilee watermelons. Wish me luck, Y'all!

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September 18, 2010

How can I grow sweeter watermelons? My soil is sandy and alkaline.

Hardiness Zone: 7a

By pecanblondie from Las Cruces, NM


September 24, 20100 found this helpful

Check with your local county extension office! these folks are master gardeners, and well familiar with your local area and extremely knowledgeable! They are great!

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September 26, 20100 found this helpful

I have always throughout the growing season top dressed, pile on, some compost around the planting mound. I believe that has helped, however, I've recently learned that the melons need a really dry spell as it's maturing to the end with less water to sweeten it up. I wasn't water-logging them but I was always making sure if it didn't rain in a couple/few hot days to make sure I "helped" out Mother Nature.


Well, I didn't this year. I didn't have watermelon but my cantaloupe was the sweetest ever! We were amazed at how sweet they turned out(just ate my last one last night). In this case I truly believe that, less is more! Hope that was helpful.

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September 26, 20100 found this helpful

Protect it from what? Let it grow, then eat it! If it gets bugs, use an organic spray to rid them. If it gets a powdery mildew (which they are susceptible to), use Serenade disease control (it's organic). But other than that, let it grow and enjoy it.

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August 12, 2011

How do you know when to pick watermelon? How big does it need to be?

By Debora


August 12, 20110 found this helpful

They can be various sizes depending the the type of melon you are growing. I have been told that when the melon is yellowish on the bottom but the rest is a good green it is ripe. In a store you can knock on a melon and if it sounds hollow it is ready. Not sure if that works in a garden or not. Another person told me if you lift the melon and the vine drops off it is ripe but if it clings on it still has some time to simmer :)

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August 14, 20110 found this helpful

Went out to my garden last night to check my watermelon and made a discovery. One of the melons that grew first had a dead vine. It popped right off. The melon didn't sound hollow nor was the bottom yellow but I took it inside. After cleaning it up and cooling it off we cut it open and it was definitely ripe.


Tasty little thing with lots of seeds. So if you look over your melons and you notice the vine has died or is about dead you should probably pick it.

As a note: all the other melons still had good vines on them and I left them for now.

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June 23, 2011

I couldn't figure out what was eating the flowers on my watermelon and green peppers until I caught a squirrel eating them, even though I use a fence along with rabbit and squirrel deterrent spray. The only thing that helped in the past was a pantyhose leg over the plant flowers. That looks kind of tacky, though. Are there any other ways to keep the squirrel from getting to the plants and eating the flowers?


By Jackie


July 22, 20110 found this helpful

If you have a dog or cat, after groomimg put animal hair around your plants this sometimes helps keep wild animals away.

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May 22, 2011

I planted some Bonnie Blue crimson red watermelon plants about a week ago. The leaves are turning white on them now. What is the problem?

By Ronnie


May 29, 20110 found this helpful

It sounds like "sunburn". If you did not acclimate the plants to the sun, and planted them directly in the sun, the leaves can suffer. Luckily, the plants should recover. You can always rig up a little sun shade for them (like a tent) for a few days, if they still look to be suffering.


In the future, bring the plants home, then put them in a place where they will only get an hour or two of direct sunlight each day, then gradually move them to where they will get more sun, over the course of a week or two (or build them a "tent", and keep them covered for less time each day).

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August 29, 2007

I am looking for information on how to grow watermelons.

James from Las Animas, Colorado


August 29, 20070 found this helpful

I'm not sure your climate will support watermelons: they like it hot, humid, and rainy. If you can grow them, they are very easy. I used to throw seeds in pine straw and leave them alone and they came up all by themselves.


It really is up to Mother Nature. One oddity about watermelons: the vines always go north to south so plant them so they can spread that way.

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November 24, 2012

I would like to know what is the best method for growing rock melon and watermelon.

By Sabrina

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September 3, 2012

What is the best fetilizer to grow the largest and sweetest watermelons and cantaloupes?

By Clarence

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July 14, 2011

I would like some information on growing watermelons. Thanks.

By David

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June 10, 2011

I have big red ants with black bottoms eating my watermelon plant. How can save them?

By Barbara C

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January 24, 2007

How long should watermelons be planted in the greenhouse before transplanting to the field?

Hardiness Zone: 8a

Randy from Oak Ridge, LA

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this page.

Photo Description
I live in a strange world. I could give you many examples. For now, I'll give you just two.

1. Recently, I posted an article giving a detailed account of my experiences with using vinegar as a fabric softener. In the article, I stated that vinegar was a very good fabric softener. I also stated that because of it's lingering scent, no matter how thoroughly I rinsed my clothes, I would not be using it. I know it's hard to believe my clothes could have a lingering vinegar scent after rinsing them in a vinegar solution. It seems this strange phenomenon happens only in my world.

2. Example number two involves the picture you see at the top of this post. It's not a very good picture. Why would I enter it into a contest? Because it is further proof of just how strange is the world in which I live.

Everybody knows watermelon vines only grow from north to south. This fact was even documented right here on ThriftyFun in a post titled 'Growing Watermelons'. In feedback to this post, Joan Pecsek (in 2007), clearly points out that watermelon vines grow from north to south. I quote Joan: "One oddity about watermelons: the vines always go north to south so plant them so they can spread that way".

Well, people, the watermelon vines in the picture are growing from east to west! You might say this cannot be. Normally, I would agree. But, remember, these vines are growing not in the real world, but in my strange world.

Prominent geophysicists tell us we can expect north and south magnetic poles to switch places again sometime within the next few thousand years. The poor watermelon vines won't know which way to turn! And they never said anything about east and west. Golly, I wonder what else they're keeping from us!

Photo Location
My Strange World

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September 15, 2008

This picture is of my Grandmother in 1930. I do believe that is a watermelon she is getting ready to cut. She certainly did something right in her garden!

By Jackie from Orlando, Florida

My Grandmother With Her Watermelon

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 18, 2010

I have two questions about growing watermelon. We have a small watermelon growing in our garden. What do I do to protect it? I remember reading something about a milk jug, but don't remember the specifics. Also, how do I know when its ready to be picked?

Hardiness Zone: 8b

Thank you!
Amy from Austin, TX


Help With Growing Watermelons

I don't know anything about the milk jug, but I know when they're ripe: the stem attached to the watermelon will be brown and shriveled up, the bottom will be yellow, and the melon will make a hollow sound when you thump it. My sister lives in Houston and has told me about all the rain going on there. The same in Austin? If so, you will need to elevate the melon on bricks or something. They will rot if they sit in water or ground that's too wet. (08/22/2007)

By joan pecsek

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