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How to Grow Watermelon For Dummies (Step By Step Guide)

by Idris Ya'u
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

An easy way to grow watermelon is to first understand the processes involved. So, here’s a step by step guide to growing watermelons.

Introduction To Growing Watermelon Seed Process

Botanically the watermelon is called Catullus lanatus and belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. Watermelon cultivation, if done in a rational and scalable way, can be a good source of income.

They till the soil, make the beds or furrows, and put a black plastic film across the rows. Fertilization, drip irrigation, weed management and thinning will be applied in most cases.

Selection Of Seeds For Growing Watermelon

The selection of watermelon seeds plays the main role in obtaining an adequate yield and quality of the fruit for planting.

Therefore you want to choose the best quality seeds to grow healthy watermelon seedlings.So, ensure that the watermelon seed is of the appropriate improved high-yield variety.

The seed should be fully ripe, well-developed, and plump.The watermelon seed should be free from signs of ageing or poor storage. The seed must be clean and free of mixtures of other seeds.

The seed must have a high germination capacity to obtain higher yields.Before planting watermelon seeds in the garden, the seeds should be treated with fungicides to protect them from soil-borne fungal diseases and to promote the growth of watermelon seedlings.

Use only fresh seeds.

Related: Learn How to Prepare Watermelon Seeds for Planting

How to Collect Watermelon Seeds

Watermelon seeds are one of the easiest seeds to collect and are also saved from ripe fruit. Simply remove the seeds from the watermelon and rinse with water to remove any fruit or juice lumps, and then air dry on paper towels.

In general, the seeds remain viable for about four years. However, the longer you wait, the lower the chances of optimal germination. For best results, plant the seeds as soon as you harvest them.

When buying packaged watermelon seeds, please check the expiration date to make sure it does not exceed the four year limit.

Avoid Watering the Seeds

Many types of plant seeds benefit from pre-planting immersion in the outer seed coat and accelerate germination. Too much watering of seed can affect its growth and germination process.

Planting the Watermelon Seed

Ensure that you do not plant too deeply. Watermelon seeds planted too deep will not be set properly. For optimal seed germination, bury watermelon seeds 1/2 to 1 inch (2.54 cm) deep.

Space your watermelon seed appropriately.The general guideline for common watermelon varieties is to plant 3 seeds 1 inch (2.54 cm) deep on a hill 1 meter apart, with a row spacing of 6 feet (1.83 meters).

Ensure to plant 6 to 8 seeds per mound, then thin to 3-4 plants per mould.  Then plant the seeds about ½ inch deep. Water the seeds on the hills after planting.

If you are growing watermelon seeds outdoors, try placing black plastic mulch over the planting site. This help absorbs the heat from the sun and increases the temperature of the soil during the day, then in turn speed up the germination of the watermelon. 

Planting the watermelon seed directly into the soil is the easiest method, to begin with. However, for seedlings to grow, the right conditions are needed.

Wait until the soil temperature exceeds 21 °C to plant seeds. Plant watermelon seeds 6 feet (1.83 m) apart in rows 6 feet (1.83 m) apart to allow the watermelon vines enough room to grow.

Water after planting or before expected rain. Add 10-10-10 fertilizer and lightly rake the soil immediately after the seeds germinate to feed the seedlings.

Germinating Time and Temperature of Watermelon

The watermelon seeds germinate in about four to twelve days after planting. Note that the warmer the soil, the faster the seeds germinate. 

For example, it takes about 3 days for watermelon seeds to germinate at 32°C and about 10 days for germination at 21°C.

If you start growing watermelon seeds indoors, consider using a heater or heating pad to increase the temperature.

Harvesting the watermelon

When they are ready for harvest, in most cases we notice a yellow spot on their skin on the surface that is in contact with the ground.

In addition, we can observe a dry tendril in the part where the stem is linked to the vein. Due to differences in pollination time, not all watermelons ripen at the same time.

Therefore, we may have to harvest the same field more than once. Watermelons can only be harvested manually. 

Be careful when cutting the watermelon, don’t pull the watermelon, otherwise it will crack and not be good if you intend to sell.

Tip: Learn more about harvesting watermelon here

In Conclusion

Growing watermelon is not difficult. With tHe right knowledge, you are on the go. Hopefully, this article will give you an insight into how you can successfully grow your watermelon from seeds to harvest. Ensure to follow each process carefully for good results.

Want to grow your watermelon in a small space? Learn how to grow the watermelon in a small space here.


  1. DIY Network “How to Grow Watermelon” retrieved from here
  2. “Growing Watermelons for Beginners” retrieved from here

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