Planting Instructions for Watermelon

Overview

Watermelon is a tender, warm-season fruit. Watermelon generally prefers warmer weather and long-growing seasons. Early harvest varieties are good to grow in northern growing sites. Watermelon varieties come in many sizes, shapes and colors. They are eaten fresh or frozen for use in slushies, fruit smoothies and sorbets.

Step 1

Remove all the weeds and debris from the planting area after the soil has warmed up in the spring. Watermelon seeds are planted outside after all danger of frost has passed.

Step 2

Dig up the soil to the depth of 6 inches with a shovel. Remove large rocks, sticks and tangles of roots.

Step 3

Mix three parts potting soil and one part sand with one part peat moss. This creates a quick-draining, sandy soil with a rich source of organic material.

Step 4

Create a hill 1 foot high and 1 foot wide with your soil mixture. Flatten the top a bit. Using your finger tip, make six holes in the soil, 1 inch deep each.

Step 5

Place one seed in each hole and cover with soil. Do not firm the soil over the top of the seeds to prevent soil compaction. Sprinkle the hill with water.

Step 6

Plant other hills 3 to 5 feet apart. Place a layer of black plastic between the hills to suppress weed growth. Spread a 2-inch layer of straw mulch on the watermelon hills to keep the soil moist and warm. Keep only three watermelon plants per hill once they sprout.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watermelon can become infested with cucumber beetles. Pick the attacking beetles off the vines and place them in a quart jar half full of soapy water.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Potting soil
  • Sand
  • Peat moss
  • Watermelon seeds
  • Water
  • Black plastic
  • Straw mulch

References

  • University of Illinois Extension---Watch Your Garden Grow: Watermelon
  • Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: Growing Watermelon in the Home Garden
Keywords: watermelon, planting watermelon, watermelon growing

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.