Home What's New Message Board
BigPumpkins.com
Select Destination Site Search

Message Board

 
Watermelon Growing Forum

Subject:  What should I do to grow a giant watermelon?

Watermelon Growing Forum      Return to Board List

From

Location

Message

Date Posted

Grower216

Where the PUMPKINS grow/My backyard

I want to start growing giant watermelon, so I searched up how to grow giant watermelon on the internet. A few results were helpfully however they contradicted each other. One I saw said that you should grow them like pumpkins in a Christmas tree pattern, another said not to prune them. I th out that you could probably explain it and I also don't know what ferts are good for the plant.

2/9/2020 8:33:31 AM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

Most growers that I know do not prune plants like pumpkins. They allow the melon to grow until it fills up it;'s alloted space. They prune off any vines that go out of that cerain space. 300 square feet is a decent plant size to start with. Some prefer bigger and some prefer smaller. The following is a quote I found from Chris Kent from back in 2012.
"There are 2 groups in the melon growers. One who let their plants get as big as they want, growers like Bright, Pleasant, many of the long time growers. Others like Mitchell & Edwards prune theirs like pumpkins. Both groups have been sucessfull. I'm kinda in the middle & prune to the size of area i'm growing in but will let it grow as much as it wants inside that area. The melons are harder to keep pruned & since you can set on multiple vines makes it more difficult to make a case for either at this time. Both have merits. Melons share many of the traits as pumpkins, but not all so were all still learning what works best."

2/9/2020 8:49:24 AM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

The best growers take great care in their fertilization programs. I think a giant melon grower would do very well if he adhered to an Atlantic Giant fertilization program. A good way to learn is to scroll through some diaries of melon growers. Smoky Mtn pumpkin, Holloway, Louisiana big dogg, midwest grower, Ice Man, Jlindley, Bubba Pressley, barbeetoo just to name a few. GO back and look at the diaries from the earlier years 2010-2015. Also this watermelon growing forum has lots of good information if you scroll back you can read a lot of information. I also recommend Lloyd Bright's book you can get on his website giantwatermelons.com. It contains some older growing techniques and also contains a lot of practical insight into growing.
These are just a few ideas to get you started in growing giant watermelons. In my opinion the most important thing will be to get your hands on some good competition strain melon seed. You can buy seed online from some of the pumpkin websites or you can email growers on here and most of them will gladly help you if you send them a self addressed stamped bubble envelope. (I have never been refused seeds by a melon grower)

2/9/2020 9:05:29 AM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

some places to get seeds
http://www.worldclassgardening.com/products/seeds/watermelon

https://giantwatermelongrowers.com/

http://giantwatermelons.com/order.php

Last but not least you can buy melon seed at the auctions here on bp
http://www.bigpumpkins.com/Attachments/2020_OGPG_Auction-Draft6.pdf

2/9/2020 9:19:29 AM

Penryngarden

Penryn CA

Whats the start date for Giant Watermelons?

2/9/2020 10:49:20 AM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

Depends on where you live but most growers start in April and set out in May.

2/9/2020 1:11:53 PM

Grower216

Where the PUMPKINS grow/My backyard

Thanks for replying fast. I am thankfully for the help. I had read from a site put out by someone, I think, in Italy and it had said that you should prune like a Christmas tree. So I guess it as right as well as the one I read that said to not prune at all. Would you suggest that growing in an indefinite space would be better than in a confined raised bed? If so do the plants need the whole area they will grow in to be dug under or could they be grown, starting in a dug area, on a lawn? Also I have seen that watermelon likes 25+ degrees as a temperature. Would it be beneficial to grow the entire year in a hoophouse? Also I have read a grower diary that said they planted directly into soil in late May or early june( I can't remember) and they still got good sized melons.

2/9/2020 3:38:27 PM

Grower216

Where the PUMPKINS grow/My backyard

Sorry if all the questions are overwhelming. I am just curious.

2/9/2020 3:39:32 PM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

Some of the best growers in the world grow in a confined bed, They do not allow them to grow out of the space allotted. You could grow them out over a lawn, but the bigger the area you prepare, the better. Melon roots can extend for long distances, the tilled soil will help those roots spread further and not cause any restrictions. Watermelons like warm temperatures, (in Fahrenheit) I would say 85-90 during the day would be ideal and at night temperature in the low 70's would probably provide ideal conditions for growth. They will grow in lower temperatures, but that will really slow down their growth. If you live in a cooler climate you may want to consider growing them in a hoop-house.
Planting date is largely determined by your climate, I live in a shorter season area in the North and I would not want to direct seed my melons in the garden. The seeds need 85 degrees or more to germinate well. European growers will often benefit from the higher temps of a greenhouse or hoophouse. Unless you are in one of the Mediterannean regions. Like Spain, Greece or Italy. Giant watermelon growing seems to be quite popular in Italy. The former world record was grown there.

2/9/2020 8:46:38 PM

Grower216

Where the PUMPKINS grow/My backyard

I am actually in southern ontario(canada) so I have a fairly cool climate. Would you suggest about 6 weeks before last frost or 4 weeks? I was wondering about space because the area I have allotted for 2 plants is only 75 square feet

2/10/2020 9:22:56 AM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

I would start them six - eight weeks early. Have them in one or two gallon pots. They will be nice and big by the time you set them out. 75 square feet is too small. I think you will have a hard time keeping one plant in a space that small. They really need space to run.

2/10/2020 3:51:21 PM

Grower216

Where the PUMPKINS grow/My backyard

So would you say 1 could grow on that area.

2/10/2020 4:17:58 PM

Grower216

Where the PUMPKINS grow/My backyard

I think I may have a spot I can dig under soil and possible give them a few 100 square feet of space each but it would be mostly shaded, so I am not sure if that is better. I know that watermelons require almost complete sun, and you are saying lots of space, so I don't know. One spot possibility of close to 1000 square feet each but only a few hours of sun verses 75 square feet and almost full sun. Which would be better?

2/10/2020 4:28:00 PM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

I would choose to grow one in the 75 square foot sunny spot.

2/10/2020 6:42:45 PM

Grower216

Where the PUMPKINS grow/My backyard

Okay, in that case can they be self pollinated? Because I would only be able to plant 1 in that case.

2/10/2020 7:10:47 PM

Kerry gross

Thomas wv

Yes they can be self pollinated I grew 189 last year yes full sun alot of heat 300 foot is more then enough especially in a cooler climate hard to get good growth from them if it's not above 80. So hoop is not a bad idea if you can cover full area a good fungicide schedule and dont over water basic I did a light npk fertilizer kept up with fungicide plant health is key

2/10/2020 8:04:47 PM

Grower216

Where the PUMPKINS grow/My backyard

Alright, so would 75 square feet be enough to get over, say, 100 lbs? Also, what I live, the not eat whether I have experienced is about 40 degrees Celsius (110 degrees Fahrenheit) is that to hot for a hoophouse to be on? Average summer temperature is about 80-95 degrees Fahrenheit. Are you saying some chemical fert is all I need to get one big?

2/11/2020 10:48:03 AM

Grower216

Where the PUMPKINS grow/My backyard

Wow I type to fast, just noticed "not eat whether" is supposed to be most heat weather. Sorry about that.

2/11/2020 4:22:51 PM

Kerry gross

Thomas wv

If you get 80 95 degrees you should get great growth out of them 90 seems to be a good temp for them I did 12 x 12 my first year got 102 out of it but downy got me last year I did 15x15 my average summer temps are 70 80 no I'm not saying chemical fert is all you need plant health is most important

2/11/2020 8:36:39 PM

Grower216

Where the PUMPKINS grow/My backyard

My space is only 5×15 So it is significantly smaller than what you grow in. Also, with the chemical fert I just meant that I wanted to know if watermelons need an extremely specific fertilizing schedule or if a average one with chemical fert and some seaweed would work? Also would you still suggest using a year round hoop house or just a early and late season one? Appreciate the help.

2/12/2020 4:54:26 PM

Total Posts: 20 Current Server Time: 10/22/2020 1:57:45 AM
 
Watermelon Growing Forum      Return to Board List
  Note: Sign In is required to reply or post messages.
 
Top of Page

Questions or comments? Send mail to Ken AT bigpumpkins.com.
Copyright © 1999-2020 BigPumpkins.com. All rights reserved.