Planting the best watermelon seeds
- 20 watermelon seed varieties
- Believe it or not, you can eat the rinds too
- A great source of vitamin C and antioxidants, as well as hydration
- Sure to provide a garden-fresh, delicious summer snack
Growing delicious and juicy watermelons at home
By weight, watermelon is the most consumed fruit in the US. Not just a day, but an entire month has been dedicated to it. (It's July, in case you were wondering.) And who can really blame us? Watermelon is delicious. All watermelon is delicious. All watermelon is not, however, equal, and nothing beats a melon taken straight out of your garden and left in the fridge just long enough to chill before eating it.
Growing requirements for watermelon seeds
So how do you grow watermelon in your own backyard? Watermelons are easiest to grow in the south, where they can get the full three months of sun and then some that they need to ripen properly. That doesn't mean, though, that a determined northern gardener can't make their watermelon dreams come true. In the north, start seeds indoors one to two weeks before the last frost date. Transplant seedlings out into the garden when soil reaches 65°F. Southern gardeners will simply direct sow at that same soil temperature, usually about two weeks after the last frost. Plant watermelons on raised hills for better drainage, and leave a lot of room for vines to sprawl outward. Even the most contained varieties will need a good six feet to every side.
Find the right watermelon variety for your garden
In gardens where space is at a premium, or where summer is shorter, smaller melons are better. Try varieties like Eden Brothers' Yellow Petite Watermelon Seeds, which can ripen in as little as 60 days, or Golden Midget Watermelon Seeds, which weigh only three pounds when they're done growing. For a seedless option, go with Triple Baby Watermelon Seeds. If you have the time and the space and want to go for something bigger, plant Eden Brothers' All Sweet Watermelon Seeds, producing melons that can reach upwards of 25 pounds. Or, for the truly adventurous, there's Eden Brothers' Tendersweet Orange Watermelon Seeds, which, like the name suggests, produces orange-fleshed watermelons that can weigh up to 40 pounds.
How to tell if your watermelon is ripe
All watermelons need watering. Water regularly with one to two inches per week, and try to water near the base rather than soaking the leaves. When the fruit approaches ripening, watering can be dialed back to concentrate sweetness. There are a few ways to tell if a watermelon is ripe: Thump it and listen for a hollow sound, check for a cream or yellow (rather than white) bottom, or look at the tendril that grows near the stem. Is it starting to brown and die? If so, the melon is ready to pick. Cut from the vine with a sharp knife, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
To learn more about planting, growing, and caring for watermelon seed, see our Watermelon Seeds Planting Guide.