Packed with electrolytes, vitamin, antioxidants, and no fat, watermelon is perfect hydration for hot weather. There is a watermelon for almost every climate, from Blacktail Mountain (earliest) to Moon and Stars (biggest). We have tricks to help you grow it anywhere with a 90-day season.

70 degrees is the right soil temperature for planting watermelon. Most places, that is about two weeks after the last frost in spring. In the north, it's usually the time when peonies bloom. If your area has soil that stays cooler than that for a long time--or even all summer--try this trick:

Watermelon likes heat, organic matter, and nitrogen. A compost pile provides all three.  So if you can, plant either on the edge or on top of the pile. (Put a 4" layer of soil if you want to plant on top) This simple method does the same, right in your garden bed or anywhere in your garden:

1) Scoop out an area about a foot deep and 2 feet across. Fill it
8 to 9 inches deep with fresh manure, grass clippings, or weeds and food waste.
2) Cover with 4" of good soil, and tamp down.
3) Water well, and plant 4 or 5 seeds (1 inch deep) in a circle. If you make several, space them 4' apart.

As the compost breaks down, it makes heat and nutrients. If your summer days are mostly below 80 degrees, use a cold frame, fleece, or row cover to hold heat in. This trick works whenever you need extra heat--we use it in winter to grow lettuce, and in spring to get an earlier start.

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