Originally published Summer 2011
Watermelon should be easy to grow in this area, but I have never had what I consider great success – I believe this is mainly due to the fact that I just don’t have the room I need nor am I allowed to use the water I need (because I don’t grow lawn grass). So, with my limited garden space and water, I decided to grow Sugar Baby melons, an heirloom variety. They are supposed to provide 2 fruits on a 3′ vine. A few of the melons may be Black Diamond and Louisiana Sweet, although I really don’t know if any of those varieties survived. I had lots of initial sprout death, and have replanted these melons several times. Won’t know until the plants and fruit are mature.
My first watermelon.
I use pointed sticks to try to train the vines to circle around their mound. I am taking an aggressive approach to keeping the vines in order. I re-place the sticks every day as the vines grow daily. I pull the stick up and re-place it a few inches along the vine – trying to get the vines to grow where I want them to grow. Also, this year my 3 watermelon mounds have a foot of compost buried under them. Once the roots tap into this, the plant should thrive.