Growing Great Watermelons

The watermelon or Cucumis melo/Citrullus lanatus is always a reminder of sunny days and picnics. The picnic was either in the family backyard or at one of the Conservation areas around Toronto. Watermelon was messy and best enjoyed outdoors where we did not have to be concerned about making a mess of either ourselves, or the area around us: we would be wearing bathing suits, because swimming was also on the menu and outside. The seeds were part of the experience. I try not to buy seedless fruit, they are not natural.

Watermelon demands full sun and warm weather. It is best ground in a well-drained soil and is fed with organic mater and that has a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.

It will need regular watering so pay attention if it is a dry season.

If you want an early crop, look for a variety that matures within 70 to 80 days and get them started indoors. Here with our short growing season, I usually do not plant any heat loving crops (tomatoes, peppers, for example) outside until around June 15, so I start them indoors about four to five weeks before that date.

Spend time in your watermelon patch keeping an eye out for cucumber beetles which in small numbers can be picked off and disposed into a can of water or squished. Early intervention can prevent a full scale invasion.

When the danger of the last frost has passed it is time to move the watermelon plants outdoors. It is a good idea to have row covers handy just in case the nights, especially early and late in the season are anticipated to be cool.

If you plan to direct seed the watermelons into your garden the sow them rows and space properly or sow into mounded 1’x2’ hills, leaving 2 watermelon plants per hill, with hills spaced at 4-6’.

Watermelon is not only tasty and fun to eat but it is a good source of vitamin C. There are watermelon festivals in many counties in North America where among other events a giant watermelon contest is held. Special seeds are usually used to plant these monsters.

Watermelon is a seasonal vegetable and best enjoyed if grown and eaten or purchased from a grower near you. I find the ones in the grocery store are not only seedless but nearly tasteless as well. So grow your own or buy them in season direct from the grower.

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Comments 10 comments

Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

We have grown watermelons for a few years now. Last year we finally got a couple.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Happy gardening.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Can you grow the in containers like a bucket?


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Watermelons spread out along a vine so you would need room for the vines to run.


brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

Hello, Hello...growing in containers will work, just provide a strong vertical support for the vines.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

True you do need to support the melons


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for all your help.


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

My pleasure.


GENO WASICKI 6 years ago

i live in ct. i brought back seeds from california blackseeds from a large rectangular shape green with stripes was very very sweet.i started seeds early may planted 3rd week in may i feed them reg. with cow manure juice how long does it take to harvest? GENO


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Have any flowers appeared yet?

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