How to grow: Watermelon, UC Davis Vegetable Research and Information Center
Pest management: Watermelon cultural tips, pests, and diseases
When to plant
- Transplant or direct seed: May–June
- For best results, wait until daytime temperatures are regularly over 75 degrees and soil temperature is over 70 degrees
- Start in pots for transplants: April–May; ready to transplant in 4 weeks
Harvest window: July-October, depending on variety.
- Vines need plenty of room in full sun.
- Use floating row covers to protect seedlings and transplants from cool air temperatures and early insect pests. Remove the covers when plants start to blossom.
- Encourage bees with companion flower planting or consider hand pollinating female flowers.
- 2006 watermelon trial
- Fruit Set Problems in Squash, Melons, and Cucumbers In Home Gardens
- Watermelon Factsheet
- Watermelon production in California
Recommended Varieties for Santa Clara County*
|Sweet Siberian||Red flesh, and dark green seeds. 83 days. Very prolific.|
|Russian variety with sweet pink-red flesh. Weight from 10 to 15 lbs, round shape, pink flesh, small brown seeds, some reddish. 95 days.|
|Large 20 to 30 lb oblong fruit, very sweet crisp and flavorful with deep orange flesh. The rind is light-green with jagged dark green strips. Harvest period was 105 to 150 days from seeding.|
Other recommended varieties: Charleston Gray, Moon & Stars
* Many other varieties may also do well here in Santa Clara County. This list is based on UC Master Gardener trials, taste tests, and feedback from local growers.