Watermelon growing and Melon growing thread of 2018


Here in zone 7A northern VA, I planted watermelon seeds on April 30 in a raised bed and in a row that I tilled. This was at the start of a very warm week. I had a number of seeds germinate, but then it cooled off, and we had about 8-9 days of nearly nonstop rain. Some of the seedlings are now putting on their true leaves after the seed leaves emerged. I’ve just planted another 8 seeds or so.

As well, my son noticed three watermelon plants emerging on the lawn right off the back deck–right where we were spitting OrangeGlo seeds this past September. I’m going to nurse them to see if they’ll produce.

I’m looking for a 30-watermelon summer!


Last year was my first time and it was so easy (except for the animal that ate most of them) I decided to try 3 more this year. They’re off to a flying start and have flowers already. I’m not sure how the names translate, but I have a standard large melon, dark Congo, and smaller grafted watermelon. There were so many varieties, I had no idea which ones to get. Landscape fabric helped a lot last year, and I’ve got some extra room this year it’s already covered, so I may get another melon. I don’t think we can eat them all, but I’m hoping to give a bunch away as presents, as they’re held in much higher regard than cucumbers and tomatoes which nobody wants after a while.


I’m using that paper mulch this year for my melons, but I don’t care for the stuff and won’t get anymore of it.


Is anyone seeing any fruit set yet? My early jump on watermelons didn’t pan out as hoped. Warm weather seemed to fully arrive a month later than last year here in northern VA.

Right now I’ve got about 15-20 vines putting on flowers, including a few female flowers. No fruit growing yet. Compared to last year, I’m at least a week behind schedule.

Varieties vining out:
–Big Stripe
–Gold Strike
–3 vines of unknown type that are coming up where we were spitting seeds last year off the back deck

On a related front, we’ve been eating 1-2 store-bought watermelons a week from the grocery stores the past month–all seedless unfortunately. They have varied greatly in taste and quality. I’m hoping I can find seeded melons soon, which are usually much tastier in my view. There’ll probably come a day when seeded melons are impossible to find at the typical chain grocery stores.


Although I’m also running late this year, I have melons that are growing
nicely and should be ready to harvest in another month. I intentionally
planted fewer plants this year, in order to get bigger melons. You planted
some good varieties. I planted Gold Strike, Big Stripe, Orangeglo, and
Sugar Queen and Super 45 cantaloupes.
I don’t bother to even look at grocery store melons any more. They’re
not worth buying. I can wait for the REAL DEAL.


Well, you get most of the credit for my watermelon selections! In fact, I also bought Super 45 cantaloupe seeds based on your reviews, but I ran out of planting room. I wonder if it’s too late to plant some now–they wouldn’t be ready till the first of October here in zone 7a. Not sure they’d produce.


@UnderDawgAl I am in Central Virginia, I have large plants but few watermelons. Excluding Faerie Watermelons I have only 3 vines that have set so far with one melon each. Not sure exactly what is going on I have 2 plots of melons with a lot of plants and varieties. Plenty of bees. I wonder if I planted them to close together and they are crowding each other out? Maybe I am to impatient :slight_smile: . I have 5 melons on my Faerie plants but they are a small variety.


If you ran out of room, where would you plant them?


I had a couple watermelon seeds that didn’t germinate. That gives me a few feet in the row that I had expected to be watermelons.


I was just out this evening, after the sun went down.

This is looking across our melon rows…winter squash in the closest, then 4 rows of musk melons, then 4 rows of watermelon.
There are a few empty spaces, and a few volunteers in odd spots.

Many varieties this year. Whatever impresses us will get grown again.


When did you plant your melons?


@SpudDaddy I Started some on mother’s day, direct sowed some June 4th. Some are blooming, Old Time Tennesee for one. With that many rows we will get plenty, even with a late start.


I staggered mine this year. Started May 3rd, ended May 29th. I thought I was to late, on the last batch planted, but you give me hope.


We planted all from seed last year on June 4th, and had a bunch. Only 2 varieties last year Georgia Rattlesnake watermelon and Hale’s Best Jumbo cantaloupe.
46.6 was the weight on one.
Kids loved eating them, and sold a bunch too!


Seeds are cheap, so why not give it a try.


@SpudDaddy, I don’t know what’s going, except the variability if weather. I had great intentions of trying a little row cover after planting, but the weather and motivation level just didn’t cooperate. Good thing we don’t have to earn a living raising watermelons.

@joleneakamama, that patch is huge. I wish we had room for something like that. Looks like y’all had great success last year.


Last year we had all we could want for eating, and sold 800 bucks worth too. It was the most fun thing we grew.
The melons patch was work setting up. They raised the rows and put in drip with 2 gal per hr emitters every 2 feet. Then we all trucked tons of chips out there to hold the weeds. Once it was set up the rest was easy. We had to weed down the rows a couple times, and wade through the vines to find melons.

This year there are 15 different watermelon varieties, and 15 other melon varieties from Bana to Zata. Lol
I love variety…at least until I figure out a favorite.


I never used drip lines before. Do you have them on a timer? Or do you just turn them on for x number of hours per day?


We run them manually, when the ground dries out a bit or we don’t get rain. Right now we are dry as a bleached white bone in death valley…almost. We got almost an inch on the 16th of June. Not a drop since. We spend all weekend when the power is cheap running sprinklers.

Last year once the plants took off and got rooted in we only watered deep once every 4 to 6 days…as I recall. No water on the leaves lets us water mid day without the sunshine burning the leaves shining through droplets.


here is my orangeglo x white wonder with two weeks left