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Feb 21, 2016 9:41 PM CST
Name: Jared Nicholes
Dietrich, Idaho (Zone 6a)
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
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Feb 22, 2016 7:01 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Rob Duval
Milford, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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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.
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Feb 22, 2016 9:37 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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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
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Feb 23, 2016 11:25 AM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Rob Duval
Milford, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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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.
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Feb 23, 2016 12:00 PM CST
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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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
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Feb 23, 2016 1:52 PM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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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.
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
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โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try! Try to be more valuable than a bad example.
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Feb 23, 2016 2:14 PM CST
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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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
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Feb 23, 2016 2:52 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Rob Duval
Milford, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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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.
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Feb 23, 2016 5:51 PM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
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/...

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.
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. (-Unknown)
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try! Try to be more valuable than a bad example.
Avatar for Purplebloomcactus
Feb 24, 2016 11:28 AM CST
Name: Alisa
Gresham, Oregon (Zone 8a)
Region: Oregon
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 .
Avatar for Michaelhammond
Jul 24, 2020 1:18 PM CST
California
Hi can someone tell me what causes a baby watermelon suck up like a prune when it's getting plenty of water and also. turns black on the ends ?
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Jul 24, 2020 5:01 PM CST
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Amaryllis Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida Irises
Herbs Region: Florida Vegetable Grower Daylilies Birds Cat Lover
This happens usually with melons and cucumbers if they were not properly pollinated. Next time you get a female and male flower on the plant, take a little paintbrush or a q-tip and move pollen from the male flower to the female carefully.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Avatar for Rubi
Jul 25, 2020 10:00 AM CST
West Central Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Hummingbirder
Heat and sunshine are important for watermelons. It's an adventure for me growing them on the border between zone 3 and 4. Some years they work, and some years they taste like a cucumber. Nampa ID might not get enough heat units to ripen watermelon. You might get the hot days, but I imagine the nights are kind of cool.
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Jul 8, 2021 3:56 PM CST
Name: cheapskate gardener
South Florida (Zone 10a)
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dyzzypyxxy said: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.


Awesome philosophy. I agree

I can't eat store bought blackberries. When I was a lot younger my grandmother had some blackberry bushes that were a cross between the wild variety and a domestic variety she had grown years prior.

The berries were just a bit smaller than a raspberry and about the best thing I've ever tasted. I mourn the day those bushes were ripped out and burned before I was in a position to move one to my parent's place. Sad Grumbling

Store bought blackberries are practically tasteless by comparison.
I have found that coffee, tea, and rose can all agree on one thing... water everyday.
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Jul 9, 2021 11:28 AM CST
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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@hlutzow just an FYI, dyzzypyxxy posted that in 2016. This thread was bumped up by a new member with a question which I have split out of this thread.
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