How Much Space Is Needed To Grow Watermelons? Grow Guide

The watermelon is an annual fruiting vine that needs a relatively long, hot growing season in order to produce the beloved summer treat that picnickers all over the world are familiar with.

Perhaps more than any other fruit, watermelon is well known for being not only sweet and juicy but also incredibly refreshing. In mid-to late-summer, they flower with yellow blossoms.

Do you know how much room I need to grow watermelons and a detailed grow guide?

The good news is that growing watermelon is not too difficult. Give it room to spread out and it will mostly require no maintenance, but it has a long growing season and does best in hot weather. Let’s start you off with more things regarding watermelon growth.

What Types Of Watermelons Should I Grow?

The best part about growing watermelon is that you have so many options besides the typical red variety you find at the grocery store. You can grow yellow, orange, and even watermelon with white flesh! Some of our preferred types are as follows:

  • The intriguing markings on the rind of this fabled heirloom watermelon gave it the name “Moon and Stars.” Melons can grow to be 40 pounds each!
  • This small-sized watermelon with seeds lives up to its name; it is called Sugar Baby. It is so sweet that you’ll think sugar has been sprinkled on it! You can get up to 4-6 of the 10″ across melons per watermelon vine. The same watermelon can also be found in Sugar Baby Bush, a plant that can be grown on a patio and has a bushy environment.
  • Orangeglo Watermelon – While many orange and yellow watermelon varieties are attractive to look at but don’t have a strong flavor, Orangeglo does!
  • Blacktail Mountain: If your summers are shorter and cooler than average, Blacktail Mountain may be a good choice for you. It has excellent flavor and ripens quickly (a full-sized watermelon only needs about 70 days).

How Much Room Do I Need To Grow Watermelons?

To spread out, watermelon plants require a lot of space. For an early variety, such as 85-95 days, three feet between plants in rows that are eight feet apart should be adequate. For hill planting, arrange the plants in a grid with squares that are at least 6 feet by 6 feet in size. Plant the starts 5 feet apart in rows spaced 10 to 12 feet apart for the larger, later varieties (over 100 days). Use a grid of squares that are at least 8 to 10 feet apart for hill plantings, and put a plant at each intersection.

How To Plant Watermelons?

Watermelons can be started indoors in paper or peat pots two to four weeks before your last frost date, or they can be directly sown in the garden after the risk of frost has passed. Wait until air temperatures remain constant at 70 to 80 degrees before planting watermelons, which is around the time the peonies start to bloom. The germination of seeds requires warm soil. By putting a black plastic cover on it, outdoor soil can be warmed to the required 70 degrees.

Since watermelons are big plants that need room to sprawl, they are typically planted in slightly mounded hills separated by 4 to 6 feet. In the center of the hill, sow four to five seeds about an inch deep. Once the seeds have sprouted, thin them out so that each hill only contains two or three plants. Plant two transplants per hill if starting from nursery seedlings or seeds started indoors.

Row covers can be used to keep young plants warm in colder climates. In order to ensure pollination, row covers must be removed when the flowers bloom. Row covers will also shield the plants from the numerous insect pests that watermelons attract.

Throughout the growing season, keep the area weed-free. Any flowers that bloom in the final six to seven weeks before the first frost date should be pruned off by gardeners with short growing seasons so that the existing fruits can ripen in time. Row covers can be used to cover the plants late in the growing season if necessary.

Typically, each watermelon vine yields only two to four melons. To prevent rot and pests as the fruits grow larger, carefully lift them and place them on cardboard or a layer of straw.

Watermelon Care


When first transplanted, watermelons require regular watering. Unless it’s an especially dry season, you can reduce the water once they start setting fruit. Because of the depth of their roots, they can withstand brief dry spells. In fact, if given too much water, they will lose their sweetness.


To thrive, watermelons need direct sunlight. Although the plants, especially in hotter climates, can tolerate some partial shade, melons need a lot of suns to develop their sugars. The number and size of the fruits will decrease in overly shady conditions.


Watermelons thrive in almost any rich, well-draining soil. 6.0 to 6.8 is the pH range of mildly acidic to neutral soil. is best. Since they are heavy feeders, it is advised to heavily amend the soil with lots of organic matter before planting.

Temperature And Humidity

80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is the ideal temperature for growing watermelons. If the soil moisture is sufficient, they will thrive in both humid and dry conditions.


Watermelon plants consume a lot of nutrients. Before planting, make sure the soil has been adequately amended with organic matter. Slow-release organic fertilizer should be added at the beginning of the season if your soil is deficient in organic matter. Side dress watermelons with a layer of compost in the middle of the season to maintain steady growth.

In order to promote the growth of the leaves and vine, if you decide to use chemical fertilizer, feed your plants early on with a fertilizer that contains more nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium. But once flowering starts, fertilize again with a low-nitrogen fertilizer to promote the growth of flowers and fruit.

Watermelon Harvesting

There are a few indicators that can help you learn how to determine when a watermelon is ready, but it takes some practice to judge ripeness:

  • There will be a dulling of the watermelon rind.
  • Close to where the melon attaches, the vine’s curly tendrils will turn brown.
  • With your thumbnail, the rind shouldn’t be accessible.
  • Pale light green will turn into a pale yellow on the portion that is resting on the ground.

You should eat watermelons as soon as possible. The short shelf life of cut watermelon requires refrigeration. Melon that hasn’t been cut shouldn’t be kept in the fridge. If you can, choose a room that is cool (45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit). Melons will last up to two weeks in this environment if they are left uncut.

Disease Of Watermelon

Watermelons can occasionally succumb to disease, just like other garden plants.

The most effective defense is prevention. Here are some helpful precautions to take:

  • Always buy your seeds or plants from reliable suppliers. Unintentionally spreading disease from infected plants to seed savers is possible.
  • By crop families, rotate your plants. Watermelons are members of the Cucurbitaceae family, along with cucumbers, squash, and other melons. In your garden, wait three years before planting a plant from the same family in the same location.
  • Splashing water can spread disease, so irrigate at the base of plants with a watering wand or drip irrigation – don’t use a sprinkler!
  • The easiest way to spread disease from plant to plant is to handle plants when they are wet.
  • Never compost or till your soil beneath sick plants to avoid the spread of disease.


How much water do watermelons require?

Watermelons require 1 to 2 inches of water per week, just like the majority of other plants in your vegetable garden, to grow properly. This is crucial when the watermelon plants are producing fruit and setting seeds. 92% of a watermelon is water, so watering your plants regularly will ensure that they grow big, juicy watermelons for you!

What degree of heat do watermelons need to grow?

The ideal air temperature range for watermelons to grow is between 75°F and 95°F.

Do watermelon plants require a lot of suns?

Yes, watermelon plants need eight to ten hours of direct sunlight each day in order to produce melons.