Watermelon is a cool season vegetable that prefers sunny locations and fertile, well-drained soil. For more information on watermelon, click here.

VARIETIES: Crimson Sweet and Mirage Hybrid are large (15 to 25 lb) red-fleshed melons.  Mickylee and Minilee are smaller (10 to 15 lb) icebox types.  Golden Crow and Yellow Baby are yellow-fleshed varieties.  There are many other good watermelon varieties available in Utah. 

CULTIVATION:

Soil Preparation:

Before planting, incorporate 2 to 4 inches of well-composted organic matter and apply 4 to 6 cups of all purpose fertilizer per 100 square feet.  For more information on soil preparation, click here.

Planting:

  • Plant watermelon when soils reach 65°F or after frost danger has passed.

  • Plant four to six seeds in mounds 4 feet apart.

  • Once plants have two leaves, thin to two plants per mound.

  • Transplants should be planted 2 feet apart in a row with rows 4 to 6 feet apart.

Irrigation: Water watermelon deeply and infrequently while trying to maintain even soil moisture.  About 1 to 2 inches of water are required per week.  Use drip irrigation, if possible, to conserve water.  Applying mulch around the plant also helps conserve soil moisture and reduces weed growth.  For more information on watering, click here

Fertilization:  Once the vines develop runners, side dress with a nitrogen fertilizer, applying 1 to 2 tablespoons per plant or mound.  For more information on fertilizing, click here

Harvest:  Watermelon plants take 35 to 45 days to mature from flowering.  Pick watermelon as they ripen.  Watermelon will store for one to two weeks if kept refrigerated. 

COMMON PESTS AND DISEASES: Aphids, cucumber beetles and wilt diseases are common pests of watermelon.  Appropriate insecticides at seeding or strong water streams are both effective ways to control watermelon pests.  For more information on controlling pests and diseases, click here.