When and How to Plant Watermelons

To many, summer is not summer without an abundance of watermelon. The sweet and juicy fruit provides the perfect amount of refreshment on hot and humid days. An easy and cost-effective way to always have the treat nearby is to grow it yourself. Growing the watermelon plant is actually quite easy, although the large fruit does require a certain amount of attention. If you provide the fruit with space, sun, water and a bit of food, you'll likely be rewarded with an abundant crop.

Growing watermelon in your own backyard is easy and rewarding.

Step 1

Place two or three watermelon seeds inside peat pellets or peat pots about three weeks before you place them outside. Watermelons can be planted outdoors once the threat of frost is gone. Push the seeds into the soil until they're just covered. Water the melon seeds by misting them with a spray bottle. Cover the containers with a clear plastic lid and keep the temperature between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Mist the plants with water when the soil looks dry.

Step 2

Separate the seedlings so only one remains in each pot. When the seedlings grow two or three true leaves—the leaves that form after the first set appears -- pull out seedlings that look smaller or weaker, leaving the largest to grow.

Step 3

Plant the seedlings outside in a sunny location with sandy, loamy soil when the threat of frost is past. Dig holes that are about twice the size of the seedling's roots, and 6 feet apart, as watermelons need lots of room to grow. Keep the rows approximately 7 to 10 feet apart. Place the seedlings in their holes and cover their roots with soil.

Step 4

Place mulch around the watermelon plants to prevent weeds from occurring and to help keep the soil moist. Use compost or aged manure for the best results, as they contain lots of food for the watermelon. Water the plant when the soil starts to look dry. Pour enough water on the plant until the soil becomes soggy.

Heather Vecchioni

Heather Vecchioni is a freelance writer in Maryland. Her work has appeared in several animal-interest magazines, as well as Baltimore-area newspapers and publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. She has worked in the veterinary field for over 10 years and has been writing and editing professionally for over five.