Ask a Question forum: Watermelon growing

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Name: Jared Nicholes
Post Falls, Idaho
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jnicholes
Feb 21, 2016 9:41 PM CST
Hello!

I decided I wanted to try to grow watermelon this spring. I have never grown them before. I was wondering, can anyone could give me some advice on how to grow them? Are there things I need to know that are important?

Thanks!

Jared
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Vegetable Grower Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tomato Heads
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robertduval14
Feb 22, 2016 7:01 PM CST

Plants Admin

I usually grow my watermelons on mediums sized mounds with 2 or 3 plants on each mound. Most important with them, I think, is giving them plenty of water and space, getting as much full sun as possible.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Feb 22, 2016 9:37 PM CST
Yes, watermelon take a lot of water, a lot of sun, a lot of room and a lot of nutrients (especially manure). You will only get 1 - 2 watermelons per vine. And you will waste the first few trying to figure out when/if they are ripe.

If you really insist on growing watermelon, choose something that will grow to maturity in your growing season.

Can you tell I think watermelon growing is a huge waste of time? Sad

Daisy
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Vegetable Grower Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tomato Heads
Annuals Hostas Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Spiders! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US
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robertduval14
Feb 23, 2016 11:25 AM CST

Plants Admin

I disagree with Daisy (sorry). I've grown plenty of watermelon and I am a full zone colder than she is. I do typically grow shorter season varieties such as Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus 'Sugar Baby') , Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus 'New Hampshire Midget') , and Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus 'Golden Midget') but have also had some success with longer season melons such as Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus 'Crimson Sweet') as long as I gave them a head start by starting them early indoors.

Those early season types I listed first can also be started early indoors, but I've also found I could direct sow them in the garden and they still had plenty of time to finish.

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 23, 2016 12:00 PM CST
I'm with Daisy - I think it's a waste of time, energy, resources especially your precious water, and a lot of garden space for so few melons. The biggest reason, though, is that I found the ones I grew at home didn't taste any better than the ones I could buy at the store.

That's become my guiding philosophy in growing edibles - it must be something that bears lots, or over a long period and the harvested fruit or veggies must taste better than store-bought.

Planting some thing like a big row of raspberries would be a lot better use of the space, plus they are perennial (come back year after year) and they are a crop that gives you lots of fruit that is much better than store-bought. Berries like strawberries that really don't ship well unless they are picked too green are also something that's worth it to use your garden for.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Feb 23, 2016 1:52 PM CST
If you have plenty of space, watermelons are fun. If a pack of seeds is $1 and you get 1 melon, you've saved at least $4. The seed pack should tell you how long they take and when to sprout seeds in your zone.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 23, 2016 2:14 PM CST
Not just the cost of the seed that counts here, though Tiffany. Compost, manure, fertilizer and most of all, water are all expensive. If your water bill even goes up $20 per month for the summer months when you're growing those melons, they're some mighty expensive melons.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Vegetable Grower Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tomato Heads
Annuals Hostas Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Spiders! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US
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robertduval14
Feb 23, 2016 2:52 PM CST

Plants Admin

Here is the bottom line...if you want to try and grow watermelons, you should. If you find you are no good at it, then you never have to grow them again.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Feb 23, 2016 5:51 PM CST
No doubt! Something for everyone here. I didn't stop after my first fail, and always try again with anything annual. Some years, some things do well, some yrs they don't. It's a gamble whether it's Zinnias or melons. For someone in Idaho, the exploits of those in totally different climates might be interesting, but maybe not terribly relevant. Few things in gardening are 1-size-fits-all.
You could also ask for anecdotes in the veggie/fruit section:
http://garden.org/forums/view/eateat/

The melons we grew last summer were free & effortless (and small, but good.) I make compost but the melons were just in the lawn in the back yard, not in a bed because I don't have a bed big enough for melon vines. I saved some seeds from a tasty melon, used a screwdriver to poke some holes in the ground, stuck in some seeds. Some sprouted & we mowed around them. After they were finished making melons, we mowed over them & it's back to looking how it did before.

Our water is about $18 per month. During the summer, I run the hose for about an hour a couple times a week if it doesn't rain for a while but it doesn't make a noticeable difference on the bill, (and I only went out to where the melon vines were if I noticed they were wilting.) I think all the extra laundry during winter evens things out.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ‘’โ˜€๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Alisa
Gresham, Oregon (Zone 8a)
Region: Oregon
Purplebloomcactus
Feb 24, 2016 11:28 AM CST
I was wondering if hydro growing watermelon is more successful then putting them in direct dirt ? I hydro Etrog a is citrus tree and I got 10 plants from seed .

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