Quick Reference

Harvest Type:  Continuous

Transplant/Direct Sow:  Direct sow or transplant

When to Plant:  Sow seeds directly when soil temperatures are 70°F.  Indoors 4-5 weeks before the average last frost date.

Days to Germinate:  3-10 days

Days to Maturity:  80-100 days

Planting Depth:  1” deep.

Germination Temp:  Soil Temp 70°F

Seed Spacing:  Sow watermelon seeds in hills with 5-10 seeds per hill. Space hills 4-feet apart,

Row Spacing: 8’ apart

Light:  Full sun

Soil pH:  6.0-8.0 pH

Water:  1-2” of water per week

Fertilizer:  10-10-10 or 12-10-10 N-P-K ratio. Once they begin to set blossoms, switch to a 5-10-10 N-P-K ratio for fruit development.

Rotation:  Annually


Harvest Type

Watermelon plants produce several melons throughout the growing season, making them a continuous harvest.

Transplant / Direct Sow

You can sow seeds directly, but many people start seeds indoors and then transplant seedlings to the garden due to the longer time to harvest.

 When to Plant:

Sow seeds directly outdoors 2-3 weeks after your last average frost date.  Watermelon seeds germinate when the soil is 70°F or above.

Days to germinate

It takes watermelon seeds 3-10 days to germinate.

Days to maturity

It takes about 80-100 days for watermelon to produce a harvest. 

Planting Depth

Plant seeds at 1" deep.

Germination Temperature Range

Watermelon will germinate with soil temperatures 70°F or warmer.

Spacing Between Plants

Plant watermelon in hills with 5-10 seeds per hill- space hills 4' apart and rows 8' apart.

TIP: protect the melons from direct sun and bottom rot by placing them on a platform and covering them with shade cloth or pot tray.

Growing conditions

Watermelon can be fussy, but don't let it deter you from growing it. Start with good, fertile soil amended with aged compost. Watermelon plants likes nitrogen early on but needs phosphorous when the blooms start. Keep the soil moist at all times but not overly wet. Plan on watering with 1-2" of water per wee.  Watermelons are a heat-loving plant.


Rotate melons crops every year and on a three-year cycle, meaning do not plant them in the same spot for three years.

Anticipated yields

Plan your garden yield at two watermelon plants per person. Plan on 8-50 pounds of watermelon per 10-foot of row space.

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