Seedless Sugar Baby Watermelons - Knowledgebase Question

Grove City, PA
Question by LoriEsh
March 3, 1999
This year I am growing watermelon for the first time, specifically Seedless Sugar Baby watermelons. I understand that the seedless kind are trickier, I'll need a pollinator and I'll probably have to start them indoors, which is never a problem. What I can't seem to figure out is how compact the vines of Seedless Sugar Babies are and how much space I will have to give each plant. My plan is to plant them in fertile soil which is not far away from a rocky area, then put black plastic mulch over the rocky area and let them sprawl. Still, I do have a small garden and would like to squeeze in as many plants as possible in a limited amount of space. Also, being new to watermelons I wonder how many melons I can expect from each Seedless Sugar Baby plant?


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Answer from NGA
March 3, 1999

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Watermelon growth and yield both depend on the season and weather. The vines need warm soil and hot weather to grow and set flowers. Once you or insects have done the pollinating, it takes weeks to get a mature melon. Some gardeners will allow each vine to set only one or two melons thus diverting the plant's strength to growing the best possible melons as fast as possible. If you allow more to set, keep in mind that the later set melons may not have time to mature before the weather turns cold. The vines are usually planted in hills set at least six feet apart with only one or two vines per hill -- unfortunately these "babies" take a lot of room! If you garden is truly tiny, you might want to consider the bush type melons as a space saver.

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