I feel like a watermelon virgin. Oh I’ve been around the block a few times over the years, and even made it to home base on occasion. But I don’t feel confident around watermelon vines. They don’t naturally love Michigan weather, and honestly…I don’t really have a good understanding of what keeps them thriving.
This year I dropped the ball again. I figured I’d just plant whatever they had in stock at the local nursery instead of planning ahead and starting seeds of my own choosing. The vines grew fine for a while, but then got hit with something that caused patches of the leaves to wilt. In the end there were two melons.
The truth is that if I’m growing something the takes up as much space as watermelon vines, I want a seedless end product.
Seedless watermelons require planting a pollinating variety nearby, or else no fruit. A couple of years ago I bought a pack of seedless watermelon seeds from Burpee that came with seeds of a pollinating variety.
Unfortunately all of the seeds were in the same package, and I couldn’t distinguish for certain which were which. There wasn’t room to plant the whole pack in my garden, and I evidently picked the wrong seeds. No melons. And kind of a rip (in my view) by Burpee.
Next year (isn’t that a wonderful gardening phrase?) I plan to order seedless watermelon seeds and pollinating seeds separately. But first a long winter. Plenty of time to hunker down and focus on watermelon growing and culture. And hopefully to come out the other side a little bit better gardener.