How to grow Watermelon in the Garden step by step: Complete guide

Hello everybody! Today we are going to talk about the cultivation of watermelons in the garden , that delicious and refreshing fruit that we eat around this time. It has a high water content, it is tasty, with a low caloric content and purifying effects. Without a doubt, there are many reasons to consume it…  and many more to grow watermelon in the garden!

Characteristics of watermelon

The watermelon belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family and its scientific name is Citrullus lanaus . It is an annual herbaceous plant whose origin dates back to Africa, precisely to the Kalahari desert where it grows wild. However, it was on the banks of the Nile River where the cultivation of the fruit expanded until it reached the Mediterranean Sea and was commercialized in countries such as Italy, Greece and Spain.

Watermelon is normally  grown through grafting on other plants , such as squash, as it is very prone to attack by a fungus called  Fusarium.

Watermelon is grown as a creeping plant , since the fruits are very heavy. However, we can also grow them in large pots .

Soil and Climate Requirements to Grow Watermelon


Watermelon  requires a warm climate for its cultivation and does not occur in cold climates. The optimum temperature for watermelon development is between 23 and 28 ºC . For germination, you need a minimum temperature of 15ºC, although the ideal would be 25ºC. Below 13 ºC, the plant stops its development . When the temperature differences between day and night are 20-30 ºC, imbalances arise in the plants: in some cases the neck and stems open and the pollen produced is not viable. Also, the watermelon plant needs to be exposed to full sun.

The optimal relative humidity for watermelon is between 60% and 80% , being a determining factor during flowering.

I usually

Watermelon is not very demanding on soils , although well-drained soils, rich in organic matter and nutrients, do well.

Steps to grow watermelon

Types of watermelon varieties

Two groups of hybrid varieties existing on the market can be considered:

– » Sugar Baby Type «, with dark green bark.

– »
Crimson type «, with striped bark.

Within both types, watermelons with seeds and without seeds can be considered .

Planting and transplanting watermelon

As we have mentioned before, the watermelon seed needs a minimum temperature of 15ºC to germinate and 13ºC to develop, which is why the best time for sowing is after the frost season . Late spring is the ideal season.

You can grow watermelon  directly in the definitive field of cultivation or establish a seedbed first  (especially if the temperatures are not very high) in order to ensure the minimum germination temperature of the seeds and later transplant to the definitive field.

To sow, you just have to make three or four holes in the soil 2.5 cm deep and place a seed in each hole to ensure that some will germinate. If more than one germinates, you can thin it later.

If you place the seeds in individual spaces such as a pot or growing table, remember that they have enough space for their roots to grow. Before planting the specimens, it is recommended to add compost to the soil and remove it by removing the weeds.

Whether you are going to do direct sowing or at the time of transplanting, you must take into account the distance between plants.  You can do it in rows 2 m apart and with a separation of 2 m between one and another plant in the same row, or in a 4 x 1 m frame.  The former has the drawback that the surface is covered very early and sometimes even before enough female flowers have developed. The second framework is more appropriate, since it also allows better use of water and nutrients. If you don’t have too much space you can leave it at 1.5 x 1.5 m or 2 x 1 m.

If you dare to make a graft or buy grafted seedlings, when transplanting them you must place the plant so that the root ball is in contact with the ground, covering it with soil, and the graft is above the substrate, thus avoiding the emission of roots by part of the watermelon due to the humidity provided by irrigation.

You should know that the grafts are done at an intensive level to obtain better crop yields and avoid attacks by certain pests; However, it is a technique that requires a lot of skill and it is likely that if you try to do it yourself you will not get good results, but you can try.

Watermelon cultivation work


It consists of covering the soil generally with a black polyethylene film , in order to increase the temperature of the soil, reduce the evaporation of water, prevent the emergence of weeds, increase the concentration of CO2 in the soil and increase the quality of the fruit. , by preventing direct contact of the fruit with soil moisture. You can also use another type of mulch such as straw or pine bark.

How to prune watermelon

It is carried out on an optional basis , since no significant differences have been observed between the production of pruned and unpruned watermelons, and its purpose is to control the way the plant develops , eliminating main shoots to advance the growth of the secondary ones. It consists of eliminating the main shoot when it has between 5 and 6 leaves, allowing the 4-5 secondary shoots that start from their axils to develop , giving the plant a more rounded formation.

How to water the watermelon

At the beginning you should water them practically daily . Pay attention to flowering since at this time they require less water and to water you must wait until the substrate is dry, more or less every three days, depending on the area.

Watermelon pests and diseases

This is another of the basic tasks when growing watermelons in the garden. The most important thing to avoid damage from watermelon pests and diseases is to prevent them and, for that, it is very important to know what they are.

In this post on common watermelon diseases and pests, I will tell you about some of the problems that you may encounter when growing watermelon in the garden.

Harvesting watermelons in the vegetable garden

The watermelon growing cycle lasts from 90 to 150 days . To know when to start harvesting, you should be guided by signs on the plant:

– The tendril on the peduncle of the fruit is completely dry , or the first leaf above the fruit is withered.

– When you hit the fruit with your fingers,
a dull sound is produced .

– When pressing the fruit between the hands a
clear sound is heard as if it were cracking inside.

– By
scratching the skin with the nails , it is easily separated.

– The waxy layer (pruin) on the skin of the fruit has disappeared.

There is nothing better than a large piece of watermelon when the thermometer raises its temperature and we want to eat something fresh. Don’t you want to eat a delicious watermelon from your own garden? Well you know, get down to work to grow watermelon at home!

Related posts

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

Botón volver arriba