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Growing Watermelon

(Cucurbitaceae c. lanatus)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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(Best months for planting Watermelon in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)


  • Harvest in 68-100 days
  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed.
  • Best planted at soil temperatures between 21°C and 35°C.
  • Space plants: 60-75cm

Large, round or oval, smooth green skinned, delicious, sweet pink fleshed melon.

Some have stripes on the skin.

Some varieties will produce fruit up to 14 Kg (31 US pounds).

Harvest when the part in contact with the ground is turning yellow and the fruit sounds hollow when tapped.

Watermelon needs plenty of room to grow as it sends out long vines

Needs a long warm season to mature.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Watermelon

Cut up and eat in slices.
Use to make fruit drinks.
Use in fruit salads.

Your comments and tips

20 Feb 10 Raewyn from Waikato (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My 6 yr old grandaughter put 15 watermelon pips into potting mix in wee containers indoors , once grown into wee plants we planted into the ground in January they are healthy and about 3 -6 inches high, have we left our run to late in planting now? we are Hamilton based, thanks
16 Oct 10 Shannel (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I am considering planting watermelon. I wonder since they send out long vines is it safe to just let the vines run over the grass if they go further than the garden/mat they're on?? Thanks!
21 Oct 10 Mark Carterton, Wairarapa (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I've grown watermelon for the past couple of years here in Carterton. The vines do grow far, like pumpkin, but I carefully move the vines to more convenient locations if they go too far. Plenty of food, water and warmth and keep the wind off them if possible. As noted by Raewyn, you need to get as much of a start on the growing season as possible, otherwise (as we found out last year) the fruit, whilst large doesn't have time to mature properly on the vine.
09 Jan 11 Anne Harvey (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Why do the fruit not set after flowering?
16 Jan 11 teresa someeville (New Zealand - temperate climate)
we are grown watermelons for the first time and they are gown realy well,lots of flowers and fruit,but the vines are not very long.Does it take a while to grow.also do you water alot and do they need food.The frit that is grown is around the size of a tennis ball at the moment and im not doing alot just watern.we live near wanganui(north island)
18 Jan 11 Tim Kerr (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I live in Hamilton and have tryed to grow watermelon for 3 years now, in full sun, in part shade, well almost everywere, this year i had a few great plants and then the leaves started to die one by one untill the whole plant was just gone, i feed and gave water, what am i doing wrong? I have no problum growing Pumpkin.
22 Jan 11 Debbs (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
We have huge vines spreading everywhere and covered in flowers. We were concerned that alot of flowers were dying off and not becoming fruit, then found out that the vines have male and female flowers, and the male flowers fall off, and the female become fruit. Fingers crossed the fruit is growing nicely now.
28 Jan 11 Rach (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I have give Watermelon a go for the first time, in a tunnel house, they were off to a roaring start with pleanty of fruit but they have been attacked by a sticky tiny white fly they are everywhere and my plants now look very sick. This same fly destroyed my Cumcumber plants as well any suggestion on getting rid of it???
14 Feb 11 Peter (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have seeds...have I left it too late to plant at this time?
15 Feb 11 Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Peter, it's probably a bit late as a sudden change to cool weather, or a light frost, will finish off your plants before the fruit mature.

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See planting calendar for these climate zones

New Zealand - cool/mountain,   New Zealand - sub-tropical,   New Zealand - temperate  

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