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Watermelon plants usually require a lot of space to grow, but there are ways to grow them vertically or in containers to save space. If you’re looking to grow watermelons but have limited space, don’t worry, it’s possible! We are going to talk about how to grow watermelon in a small space with some careful planning and a bit of patience. 

One option is to grow watermelon plants vertically by using a trellis or other support structure. This method allows you to grow multiple watermelon plants in a small area, while also making it easier to care for the plants and harvest the fruit. Another option is to grow watermelons in containers, which is a great option if you don’t have a lot of outdoor space or if you want to grow watermelons on a balcony or patio.

No matter which method you choose, it’s important to provide your watermelon plants with the right growing conditions. Watermelons need full sun, warm temperatures, and well-draining soil to thrive. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy fresh, juicy watermelons from your own small-space garden.

Growing Small Watermelons In Pots: Choosing the Right Variety 

When it comes to homegrown watermelons in a small space, choosing the right variety is important because it can help you maximize the space you have available.

Watermelon Varieties for Small Spaces

Miniature watermelons, also known as personal watermelons, are the best watermelon varieties for small spaces.

These varieties are smaller melons, making them easier to grow in containers or raised beds. 

Some of the popular miniature watermelon varieties include Mini Love, Little Baby Flower, Bush Sugar Baby and Sugar Baby( the last two are icebox melons).

By the way, icebox melons produce some of the sweetest watermelon fruit! 

They got their name because they are very compact and they can easily fit in the fridge.

Seedless Watermelons

Seedless watermelons are another great option for small spaces. These varieties produce fruit without seeds, which makes them easier to eat and less messy.

Seedless varieties are also easier to grow since they don’t require pollination. Some popular seedless watermelon varieties include Crimson Sweet, Jubilee, and Sangria.

When selecting a watermelon variety, consider the following:

  • Size: Choose a watermelon variety that is appropriate for the size of your small space. Miniature watermelons are the best option for small spaces.
  • Climate: Choose a watermelon variety that is suitable for your climate. Some varieties are better suited for warmer climates, while others can tolerate cooler temperatures. Watermelons can withstand temperatures as cold as 33 degrees. Until the danger of frost has passed, don’t plant your watermelons outside.
  • Days to Maturity: Choose a watermelon variety that matures within your growing season. Some varieties can have a long growing season and take longer to mature than others. 
  • Pests and Diseases: Choose a watermelon variety that is resistant to common pests and diseases in your area. This will help ensure a successful harvest.

Preparing the Soil

Growing watermelon in a small space requires careful planning and preparation of the right conditions.

 One of the most important steps is to prepare the soil. In this section, we will discuss the soil requirements and pH levels for growing watermelons in a small space.

Soil Requirements

Watermelons prefer nutrient-rich soil that is well-drained and has a sandy loam texture. If you are planting in a raised bed, use a potting soil mix that is specifically designed for growing fruits and vegetables. 

Alternatively, you can amend your soil with organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve the soil quality.

When preparing the soil, make sure to remove any weeds or debris and loosen the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches. This will allow the watermelon root systems to grow deep and access the necessary nutrients and moisture.

Soil pH

The pH level of the soil is also important for growing watermelon. The ideal pH range for watermelons is between 6.0 and 6.5. If the soil pH is too low or too high, it can affect the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and water.

To test the soil pH, you can purchase a soil test kit from your local garden center or use a pH meter. If the soil pH is too low, you can add lime to raise it. If the pH is too high, you can add sulfur to lower it.

Growing Small Watermelons in Pots

Growing watermelon in a small space can be challenging, but with the right techniques, you can still enjoy a bountiful harvest. 

In this section, we’ll cover creative ways to grow watermelons including planting techniques, spacing, and pollination to help you grow healthy watermelon plants.

Planting Techniques

When planting watermelon, it’s important to choose the right location. Watermelons need full sun for at least six hours a day, so choose a spot that gets plenty of sunlight. 

If you don’t have a location that gets that much sun, watermelons can handle partial shade, just know that they won’t produce as much fruit and they will be smaller.

You can plant the watermelons from seeds.

  1. Choose a container that is at least 18 inches deep and 24 inches wide. Watermelons have a large root system, so they need a lot of space to grow.
  2. Fill the container with a high-quality potting mix. Watermelons prefer a soil that is loose and well-draining.
  3. Sow the seeds 1/2 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Watermelon seeds can take up to two weeks to germinate, so be patient.
  4. Water the seeds regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy.
  5. Once the seedlings have emerged, thin them out so that only one plant remains per container.

Watermelons do not like being transplanted. If you must transplant watermelons, it is important to do so carefully and to plant them in a location that has well-drained soil.

Vertical gardening or growing watermelon in containers vertically is another option for growing watermelons if you don’t have much space. You can build a trellis or use an existing fence or wall for support.

Make sure the trellis is at least 6-7 feet tall and securely anchored into the ground and can handle the weight of the vines and fruits.

Plant the seeds at the base of the trellis and train the vines up as they grow. 

Tie the vines to the trellis using soft, flexible ties. Be sure to tie the vines loosely so that they do not get damaged.

As the vines grow, continue to tie them to the trellis. Make sure that the vines are evenly spaced on the trellis so that they receive equal amounts of sunlight.

Once the vines have reached the top of the trellis, you can let them trail down.

This technique will help maximize your garden space while still allowing your watermelon plants enough room to spread out and produce fruit.


Wondering how much room do watermelon plants need?

Watermelons need a lot of space to grow in traditional gardening, but we will address spacing for container watermelons. 

When planting in a pot or container, make sure it’s at least 5 gallons in size and has enough drainage holes.

You will also notice that when planting watermelons in a pot, the vines will not stay contained, so plan for that.


Watermelon plants need to be pollinated to produce fruit. Bees are the primary pollinators of watermelon, so make sure to plant flowers nearby to attract them. 

You can also hand-pollinate watermelon plants by using a small paintbrush or cotton swab to transfer pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers.

Please note that seedless varieties of watermelons do not produce pollen and cannot pollinate themselves.

Caring for Watermelon Plants

Growing watermelons in pots gives you more control over the environment that the plants grow in.

Watermelons that are grown in pots tend to have sweeter fruit than those that are grown in the ground.


Watermelons are thirsty plants that require consistent watering, especially during hot and dry weather. Water the plants deeply once a week, making sure that the soil is moist to a depth of at least 6 inches. 

Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to problems:

  • Root rot: Overwatering can cause the roots of the watermelon plant to rot, which can kill the plant.
  • Diseases: Overwatering can make watermelon plants more susceptible to diseases, such as powdery mildew and fruit rot.
  • Poor fruit quality: Overwatering can cause watermelons to have poor flavor and texture.
  • Sproutless vines: Overwatering can cause the vines of the watermelon plant to become weak and sproutless.


Watermelon plants are nutrient-rich and heavy feeders. They require regular fertilization to ensure healthy growth and fruit production. 

You can use a granular fertilizer or manure to provide the necessary nutrients. 

Apply the fertilizer or manure to the soil around the plants, taking care not to get it on the leaves or fruit.


Mulching potted plants can help conserve moisture and suppress weeds around your watermelon plants. 

Use a layer of straw, leaves, or grass clippings to cover the soil around the plants. This will help keep the soil cool and moist, which is important for healthy growth.


Watermelon plants have lobed leaves and tend to sprawl, so they may require some pruning to keep them under control. 

Remove any side shoots or suckers that grow from the base of the plant, as these can divert energy away from the main stem and reduce fruit production. 

You can also remove any damaged or diseased leaves to promote healthy growth.

Companion Plants

Watermelon plants can benefit from companion planting with other garden plants, such as lettuce, herbs like dill or mint, and garlic, onions, and chives. 

Cucumbers and watermelons can be planted together and the cucumbers help to attract beneficial insects that prey on watermelon pests.

You can also plant flowering plants, such as marigolds, around your watermelon plants to help repel pests.

Sunflowers help to attract beneficial insects that prey on watermelon pests. They also help to provide shade for watermelon plants.

Harvesting Watermelon

Harvest time is an exciting and rewarding experience. It is important to know when to harvest watermelon in containers to ensure that it is ripe and delicious.

Harvesting Techniques

When harvesting watermelon, it is important to use the right technique to avoid damaging the fruit. Here are some tips to help you harvest watermelon like a pro:

  • Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the stem of the watermelon. Do not pull the fruit off the vine as this can damage the stem and the fruit.
  • Cut the stem close to the fruit to avoid leaving a long stem that can attract pests and diseases.
  • Support the fruit with your hand or a soft surface to avoid dropping and damaging it.
  • Harvest watermelon early in the morning when the temperature is cool. This is the best time to avoid heat stress on the fruit.

Ripe Watermelon

Determining when a watermelon is ripe can be tricky, but there are a few signs to look for:

  • Check the color of the watermelon. A ripe watermelon will have a uniform color and a dull appearance. A shiny appearance may indicate that the watermelon is not ripe.
  • Tap the watermelon with your finger. A ripe watermelon will have a hollow sound.
  • Check the tendril closest to the fruit. A ripe watermelon will have a dry tendril, while an unripe watermelon will have a green tendril.

When harvesting watermelon, it is important to consider the size of the ripe fruit. A small watermelon may not be ripe, while an oversized watermelon may be overripe and less flavorful. It is best to harvest watermelon when it is at the optimal size for the variety you are growing.

Common Watermelon Problems

Watermelons are a delicious and refreshing fruit, but they can be challenging to grow. 

Here are a few common watermelon problems you may encounter and some tips on how to prevent or treat them.

Pests and Diseases

Watermelons are susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases that can harm or kill the plant. Here are a few common ones to watch out for:

  • Aphids: These tiny insects can suck the sap from the leaves and stems, causing them to wilt and turn yellow. You can control aphids by spraying the plant with a solution of water and dish soap or by introducing natural predators like ladybugs.
  • Squash bugs: These pests can attack the leaves and fruit of the watermelon plant, causing them to wilt and die. You can control squash bugs by handpicking them off the plant or by using an insecticidal soap.
  • Powdery mildew: This fungal disease can cause a white, powdery coating to appear on the leaves and stems of the watermelon plant. You can prevent powdery mildew by ensuring the plant has good air circulation and avoiding overhead watering.

Fungal Diseases

Watermelons are also susceptible to several fungal diseases that can affect their growth and yield. Here are a few common ones to watch out for:

  • Anthracnose: This fungal disease can cause sunken spots to appear on the fruit and leaves of the watermelon plant. You can prevent anthracnose by ensuring the plant has good air circulation and avoiding overhead watering.
  • Fusarium: This fungal disease can cause the leaves of the watermelon plant to turn yellow and wilt. You can prevent Fusarium by ensuring the plant has good drainage and avoiding overwatering.
  • Gummy stem blight: It’s caused by a fungus called Didymella bryoniae. The fungus causes dark spots on the leaves and stems of the plant. It also causes the fruit to rot and turn black. You can use organic methods like crop rotation and using resistant varieties of plants. You can also use fungicides to help control it. 

By being vigilant and taking steps to prevent or treat these common watermelon problems, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of these delicious, juicy fruits. 

Remember to provide your watermelon plant with plenty of moisture, full sun, and proper drainage holes, and avoid planting in areas with too much shade or frost.

Frequently Asked Questions

Growing watermelons in a small space can be a bit tricky, but it’s definitely doable. Here are some frequently asked questions that can help you get started:

Can watermelons grow in a bush form?

Watermelons are typically grown in vine form, but there are some varieties that can be grown in bush form. An example of this is a Jubilee bush watermelon.

These bush varieties are usually smaller in size and are ideal for small spaces.

Can watermelons grow on an arbor?

Watermelon vines can be trained to grow on an arbor, but it’s important to choose a sturdy structure that can support the weight of the fruit. 

A galvanized garden fencing or a trellis made of sturdy wood can be used to support the vines. Be sure to prune the vines regularly to keep them from becoming too heavy.

How much yard space do I need to grow watermelons?

Watermelons need a lot of space to grow, but you can still grow them in a small yard if you can prepare for at least 20 square feet per plant.

Can watermelons be grown with other vegetables?

Watermelons can be grown with other vegetables, but it’s important to choose companion plants that are well-suited to growing alongside watermelons. Some good companion plants for watermelons include beans, corn, and cucumbers.

What kind of soil do watermelons need?

Watermelons need well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Be sure to amend your soil with compost or other organic matter before planting your watermelon seeds.

Is it possible to grow homegrown watermelon in partial sunlight?

Watermelons need full sun to grow and develop properly. While they can tolerate some shade, they will not thrive in partial sunlight. If you have a shady yard, consider growing watermelons in containers that can be moved to sunnier locations as needed.

Can watermelons be grown in hot weather?

Watermelons thrive in hot weather and need warm temperatures to grow and develop properly. 

Is it difficult to grow watermelons in a home garden?

Growing watermelons in a home garden is not difficult, but it does require some planning and preparation. Be sure to choose a variety that is well-suited to your climate and soil conditions, and be prepared to provide your plants with plenty of water and nutrients. With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy delicious homegrown watermelon all summer long.

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