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How To Grow Watermelons in a Container

How To Grow Watermelons in a Container

Ryan Lugo
5 minute read

Watermelon is a popular summer fruit that is juicy and refreshing. If you want to enjoy fresh, home-grown watermelons but don't have enough space in your backyard, you can still grow them in a container. In this article, we will discuss the step-by-step process of how to grow watermelons in a container.

Choose the Right Watermelon Variety

Before you start planting your watermelon seeds, you need to choose the right variety that is suitable for container gardening. Here are some popular watermelon varieties that grow well in containers:

  • Sugar Baby: This is a small, round watermelon that is perfect for small spaces. It has a thin rind and sweet, juicy flesh that is perfect for snacking.
  • Blacktail Mountain: This is a small watermelon that is dark green on the outside and bright red on the inside. It has a thin rind and a sweet, juicy flavor.
  • Golden Midget: This is a small watermelon that has a yellow rind and sweet, juicy flesh. It is perfect for small gardens or containers.

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Assorted Melon Seeds | 5 Variety Pack


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Choose the Right Container

When it comes to growing watermelon in a container, you need to choose a container that is large enough to accommodate the plant's growth. A container that is at least 18 inches in diameter and 12 inches deep is ideal for growing watermelon. The container should also have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

Prepare the Soil

Watermelon requires well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients. You can use a high-quality potting mix that is specifically formulated for container gardening. You can also add compost, perlite, or vermiculite to improve drainage and soil quality.

Start Your Seeds Indoors

Watermelon seeds require warm soil to germinate, so it is best to start your seeds indoors a few weeks before the last expected frost date in your area. You can start your seeds in small pots or seedling trays filled with high-quality potting soil. Here's how:

  1. Fill your pots or seedling trays with potting soil, leaving about an inch of space at the top.
  2. Plant your watermelon seeds about 1 inch deep in the soil.
  3. Water the soil lightly, making sure not to overwater.
  4. Cover the pots or trays with plastic wrap or a humidity dome to keep the soil moist.
  5. Place the pots or trays in a warm, sunny location, such as a windowsill or under grow lights.

Transplant the Seedlings

Once your watermelon seedlings have grown to be about 3-4 inches tall, it's time to transplant them to their permanent container. Here's how to do it:

  1. Fill your container with high-quality potting soil, leaving about an inch of space at the top.
  2. Make a hole in the center of the soil that is deep enough to accommodate the root ball of your seedling.
  3. Carefully remove your watermelon seedling from its pot or tray, being careful not to damage the roots.
  4. Place the seedling in the hole and gently pack the soil around it.
  5. Water the soil well, making sure the water reaches the bottom of the container.

Provide Adequate Water and Nutrients

Watermelon requires a lot of water, especially during the hot summer months. Make sure to water your plant regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. You can also add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil to provide your plant with the nutrients it needs to grow.

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Sugar Baby Watermelon Seeds


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Provide Plenty of Sunlight

Watermelon requires full sunlight to grow and produce fruit. Make sure to place your container in a sunny location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. If you don't have a sunny spot, you can use grow lights to supplement the light.

Protect from Pests and Diseases

Watermelon plants are vulnerable to pests and diseases, such as cucumber beetles, aphids, and powdery mildew. To protect your plants from these issues, you can use row covers, insecticidal soap, and fungicides. It's also a good idea to keep the area around your container clean and free of debris.

Harvest Your Watermelon

Depending on the variety, it can take anywhere from 70-100 days for your watermelon to be ready to harvest. Look for the following signs to know when your watermelon is ripe:

  • The tendrils near the stem of the watermelon will turn brown and dry up.
  • The spot where the watermelon sits on the ground will turn yellow or cream-colored.
  • The watermelon will sound hollow when you tap it.

Once your watermelon is ripe, cut it off the vine using a sharp knife. You can then store it in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator until you're ready to enjoy it.

Tips for Growing Watermelon in a Container

Here are some additional tips to help you grow healthy, productive watermelons in a container:

  • Choose a dwarf or compact watermelon variety that is suitable for container gardening.
  • Use a trellis or support to keep the vines upright and prevent them from taking up too much space.
  • Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and water your plants deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth.
  • Fertilize your plants every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
  • Prune your watermelon plants to remove dead leaves, diseased branches, and unwanted growth to promote airflow and prevent pest and disease problems.

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Crimson Sweet Watermelon Seeds


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Growing watermelon in a container is a fun and rewarding way to enjoy fresh, home-grown watermelons. With the right variety, container, soil, water, and sunlight, you can grow delicious watermelons in even the smallest of spaces. Remember to start your seeds indoors, transplant your seedlings to a container with good drainage, and care for your plant by watering regularly, fertilizing, and protecting it from pests and diseases. Happy gardening!

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