The Q&A Archives: watermelon

Question: We are growing watermelon, when do they start producing fruit? I've seen a couple flowers but am not sure exactly how a watermelon grows.

Any suggestions on controlling the vines would be nice!

As always thank you for your help

Answer: Watermelon vines can take lots and lots of space, as you are discovering. Here's how they grow: as the vines elongate, they produce flowers and each female flower has the potential to develop a watermelon. Male flowers show up first; they are attached to the vine by straight stems. Female flowers develop a little later; they are attached to the vine by stems with a slight swelling directly behind the petals. If all goes well, you'll have both male and female flowers open on your plant at the same time. When pollen is transferred by insects from the male to the female flowers, a watermelon will develop. Even if pollen is not transferred, sometimes little melons will begin to develop, but they will die off when they are golf-ball to softball size. So, don't get your hopes up too high until the melons are well on their way. You can slow or even stop a vine's growth by pinching out the growing tip. Wait until each vine has at least two melons, then pinch out the growing tip of the vine. It won't get any longer and it won't produce new flowers, but it will support the melons that are growing on it. Hope this answers all your questions!

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