Watermelon is a warm-season fruit that is easy to grow and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Whether you want to grow a large or small variety, watermelon is a delicious and refreshing fruit to add to your garden. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil and a pH between 6.0 and 6.8. Watermelon prefers soil that is rich in organic matter, so amend the soil with compost or aged manure before planting. Sow watermelon seeds directly in the garden after the last frost date in the spring. Plant seeds 1.5-2.5cm (½-1”) deep and 90-180cm (3-6’) apart in rows that are 1.5-2.5m (5-8’) apart. Watermelon vines can be quite long, so make sure to give them plenty of space to grow. Watermelon plants need consistent moisture throughout the growing season, so water them deeply once a week or more often if the weather is hot and dry. Mulching around the plants can help to retain soil moisture and prevent weed growth. Fertilize watermelon plants with a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth and smaller fruit. As watermelon fruit develops, place a board or other object underneath it to prevent direct contact with the soil. This will help to prevent rot and ensure that the fruit ripens evenly.
Harvest watermelon when it is fully ripe, which is indicated by a creamy yellow underside and a dull, rather than shiny, skin. Tap the fruit and listen for a hollow sound to indicate ripeness. Cut the fruit from the vine with a sharp knife, leaving a few inches of stem attached. Watermelon can be enjoyed fresh or used in a variety of recipes, including salads, smoothies, and sorbets. Soil Conditions: Well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8. Planting Depth: Sow seeds 1.5-2.5cm (½-1”) deep. Germination: 7-10 days. Height at Maturity: 30-90cm (1-3’) tall and 1.5-2.5m (5-8’) wide. Days to Maturity: Depending on the variety, watermelon can take anywhere from 70-100 days to mature. Watering: Water deeply once a week or more often in hot, dry weather. Sun/Shade: Full sun. Spacing after Planting: Plant seeds 90-180cm (3-6’) apart in rows that are 1.5-2.5m (5-8’) apart.