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How to Grow Watermelon

If you love to bury your face in a cold slice of watermelon on a hot summer day, learn to grow them in your own backyard.


  • Step 1: Start indoors Start your seedlings indoors, especially if you live in a cooler climate. Plant two to three seeds per pot and choose the healthiest seedling for transplantation.
  • TIP: For best results use peat pots that can be transplanted whole without uprooting and potentially traumatizing your seedling.
  • Step 2: Give space Give your watermelons space to grow. Seed hills in a row, and space the rows 7 to 10 feet apart. If you don’t have that much room, consider a smaller bush variety.
  • Step 3: Plant Plant your seeds or seedlings outdoors after the last frost. Plant one to two seedlings per hill, or thin your plants to this number once they have taken root.
  • Step 4: Feed well Feed your watermelon plants with fertilizers rich in nitrogen early in their growth, followed by fertilizer rich in phosphorous and potassium after flowers have formed.
  • Step 5: Water if necessary Water your watermelons only when necessary, such as during a prolonged dry spell.
  • Step 6: Protect Protect your plants and their roots by aggressively weeding with a shallow hoe. Stave off cucumber beetles and other pests with appropriate pesticides.
  • TIP: Use black plastic as mulch in your watermelon rows to reduce weeds and keep your plants warm and moist.
  • Step 7: Harvest Harvest your melons after 75 to 100 days. Signs of ripeness include yellowing on the underside, a dulling of the overall color, resistance to thumbnails on the rind, and browning of the stems near the fruit.
  • FACT: Some varieties of watermelon can grow to over 200 pounds.

You Will Need

  • Watermelon seeds
  • Garden plot
  • Fertilizer
  • Pesticide
  • Shallow hoe
  • Big appetite
  • Peat pots (optional)
  • Black plastic mulch (optional)

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