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How to Grow Watermelons in Texas: A Complete Guide

How to Grow Watermelons in Texas: A Complete Guide

Jeena Lugo Jeena Lugo
6 minute read

Watermelons are a refreshing and delicious fruit that is popular in Texas during the hot summer months. They are relatively easy to grow, but it's important to know the right techniques and practices to ensure a successful harvest. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about how to grow watermelons in Texas, from choosing the right variety to harvesting your ripe fruit.

Choosing the Right Variety of Watermelon

Before you start growing watermelons, it's important to choose the right variety for your location and preferences. Here are a few of the most popular watermelon varieties in Texas:

  • Crimson Sweet: This variety is well-suited to the hot and humid climate of Texas. It produces large, round fruit with sweet, juicy flesh.
  • Sugar Baby: If you prefer smaller watermelons that are easier to manage, Sugar Baby might be a good choice for you. This variety produces small, sweet watermelons that are perfect for personal consumption.
  • Black Diamond: This variety is a favorite among Texas growers for its large, sweet fruit and high yields.

When choosing a watermelon variety, consider your climate, available space, and taste preferences.

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Hardening Off Watermelon Plants

Before you transplant your watermelon seedlings into your garden, it's important to harden them off first. Hardening off is the process of gradually acclimating your plants to the outdoor environment. Here are the steps to follow when hardening off watermelon plants:

  1. About a week before you plan to transplant your watermelon seedlings, start bringing them outside for a few hours each day. Choose a spot that's sheltered from direct sun and wind.
  2. Gradually increase the amount of time the plants spend outside each day. By the end of the week, they should be spending most of the day outside.
  3. If you're transplanting your seedlings into a sunny spot, it's a good idea to gradually expose them to more direct sunlight. Start with an hour or two of the morning sun, and gradually increase the amount of time they spend in direct sunlight each day.
  4. Make sure the seedlings are well-watered during the hardening-off process. Wind and sun can dry out the soil quickly, so be sure to check the moisture level frequently.

Hardening off your watermelon plants will help prevent transplant shock and ensure a successful transition to the outdoor environment.

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Planting Watermelons in Texas

Watermelons require warm soil and plenty of sunlight to thrive. In Texas, the best time to plant watermelon seeds is in late March or early April, after the last frost date. Here are the steps to follow when planting watermelons in Texas:

  1. Choose a sunny spot in your garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.
  2. Prepare the soil by removing any weeds, rocks, or debris. Use a tiller or garden fork to loosen the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches.
  3. Add compost or aged manure to the soil to improve its nutrient content. Watermelons are heavy feeders, so it's important to give them plenty of nutrients.
  4. Plant watermelon seeds about 1 inch deep and 3 to 4 feet apart. Rows should be spaced 5 to 6 feet apart.
  5. Water the seeds thoroughly after planting.

Caring for Watermelons in Texas

Once your watermelon seeds have sprouted, it's important to provide them with the right care to ensure a healthy crop. Here are some tips for caring for watermelons in Texas:


Water the plants deeply and consistently, providing about 1 to 2 inches of water per week. It's best to water in the morning so the foliage has time to dry before evening. Watermelons are sensitive to drought and can develop cracks or become misshapen if they don't receive enough water.


Fertilize the plants every three weeks with a balanced fertilizer. Watermelons require plenty of nutrients to grow and produce fruit. You can use a slow-release fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer, depending on your preference.

Watermelon Seeds


Use drip irrigation to water the plants and avoid getting water on the leaves and fruit. Wet leaves and fruit can lead to disease. Drip irrigation also helps conserve water by delivering it directly to the roots.

Pest and Disease Control

Monitor the plants for pests and disease. Common watermelon pests in Texas include squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and spider mites. You can use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control pests. Powdery mildew and other fungal diseases can be prevented by providing good air circulation around the plants and avoiding overhead watering.


Do shallow hoeing around the plants to control weeds. Be careful not to damage the roots. Weeds can compete with watermelons for nutrients and water, so it's important to keep them under control.


Watermelons have both male and female flowers on the same plant, and they rely on pollinators to transfer pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers. Bees and other pollinators are attracted to watermelon flowers, so it's important to avoid using insecticides that can harm them. If you don't have a lot of pollinators in your area, you can hand-pollinate the flowers by using a small paintbrush to transfer pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers.

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Harvesting Watermelons in Texas

Watermelons take about 80 to 100 days to mature, depending on the variety. Here are some tips for harvesting your watermelons:

  • Check the tendril closest to the fruit. When it turns brown and withers, the watermelon is ripe and ready to be picked.
  • Give the watermelon a gentle tap. If it sounds hollow, it's ready to be harvested.
  • Cut the watermelon from the vine, leaving about an inch of stem attached.
  • Once you've harvested your watermelons, store them in a cool, dry place until you're ready to eat them.

Tips for Growing Watermelons in Containers

If you don't have a lot of space in your garden, or if you're looking for a more manageable way to grow watermelons, you can also grow them in containers. Here are some tips for growing watermelons in containers:

  • Choose a container that's at least 20 inches deep and 24 inches wide. Watermelons have deep roots and need plenty of room to grow.
  • Fill the container with well-draining soil and compost.
  • Plant one watermelon seed per container. Make sure the seed is planted at a depth of about 1 inch.
  • Place the container in a sunny location and water the seedlings regularly.
  • Once the watermelon plant starts to grow, provide support for the fruit with a trellis or stake.
  • Fertilize the plants every three weeks with a balanced fertilizer.


Growing watermelons in Texas can be a fun and rewarding experience. By choosing the right variety, planting at the right time, providing proper care, and harvesting at the right time, you can enjoy a bountiful crop of sweet, juicy watermelons. Whether you have a large garden or a small balcony, there are ways to grow watermelons that will fit your space and your taste preferences. With a little bit of effort and patience, you can enjoy one of Texas's most beloved summer fruits right from your own backyard.

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