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How to Soak Watermelon Seeds in Milk Before Growing

By Julie Richards ; Updated September 21, 2017

Watermelons need a long growing season to develop to maturity. Some areas provide the right amount of days without worry. Other areas have shorter growing seasons so the watermelon plants must be started ahead of time for transplanting into the garden. If you soak the watermelon seeds in milk before planting them, the seeds soften and germinate more quickly than they would if planted directly in the soil. Although you can soak the watermelon seeds in water, the milk adds extra nutrients upon which the sprouting seedlings feed.

Pour 1 cup of warm milk into a small container large enough to hold the milk and watermelon seeds. Recycle a butter bowl or other plastic container for soaking purposes. The container should have a flat bottom so all the seeds are equally exposed to the milk.

Place the seeds into the milk. It is fine if some of the seeds overlap as long as they are all submerged.

Place the container of milk and watermelon seeds in a cool area away from pets who may try to drink the milk. A warm spot, like on top of the refrigerator, will cause the milk to spoil.

Check the seeds after 24 hours to ensure the milk is being absorbed. Stir the watermelon seeds so each seed is able to absorb as much milk as possible. The watermelon seeds should begin to swell. The color may even change a little. This is normal.

Remove the seeds from the milk after 48 hours. Do not rinse the watermelon seeds. Either discard the container or wash it to use again. Direct sow the seeds into the garden or plant them into growing trays if you are starting your plants early.


Things You Will Need

  • 1 cup milk
  • Small container

About the Author


Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for over 30 years, and published a variety of e-books and articles on gardening, small business and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English.