How to grow a watermelon

intact watermelon

How do you grow a watermelon? Darned if I know. Here in Southern Maine in spring and summertime,  the growing (of anything, really) doesn’t (usually) come easy.

Someone must know how, because I see them all the time at my local farm store, Spillers. I see them at the Farmers Markets. I see them at the supermarket. My favorite gardening book, The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch, devotes pages 457-465 to the topic, therefore one must conclude that she must also believe that it’s possible to grow them here.

When my husband decided he wanted to grow watermelons, we picked up some seed packets. We hedged our bets by also planting some seedlings that we found already started at Agway. We tried for three years to grow watermelon to no avail…until this year.

This summer, I even saw them (briefly) in my back yard, on the vine that grew from the seeds that we lovingly sowed in very early spring.  .  . we had such high hopes! This would be the year! And a miracle happened…this was the year!  We had a few fruits on some of the vines. We even glimpsed one good-sized watermelon growing on one of said vines. We were so happy!

We were so naive!

We were happy for about three minutes, which must have been about how long it took before whichever critter from the wild also noticed it and took matters into its own hands–er, mouth. Our next trip out to the garden to lovingly gaze on our produce prodigy ended in tragedy as we noticed the large bite that was taken out of the side of it.


One of the smaller ones remained, so despite its size, we brought it into the house. We weren’t willing to risk losing the last intact melon. With bated breath, I cut it open.

There was enough for my husband and I each to have a teaspoon of watermelon.

The fruits of three years labor. Reminds me of the $64 Tomato.

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P.S. Buy the books at your local bookstore, such as Longfellows or Kennebooks (in Maine), or Literary Bookpost (in North Carolina).


2 thoughts on “How to grow a watermelon

  1. I too have not had success growing watermelons. Since I am the only one in the house that really eats them, I buy them. I may try my hand at it next year.

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