When to Plant Watermelon in Texas?

We will provide how and when to plant watermelons in Texas. You can eat your own watermelons in no time.


Timing is everything in gardening. Knowing when to plant watermelons in Texas can make all the difference. Here's your complete guide to planting watermelons in Texas.

Texas Climate and its Impact on Watermelon Growth

Texas Climate Zones

The vast expanse of Texas encompasses the humid Gulf Coastal Plains, the drier and more arid areas out west, the Hill Country's diverse microclimates, and the Piney Woods' temperate rainforests. Each boasts distinct growing seasons and weather patterns.

Temperature and Rainfall Patterns

Watermelons are heat-loving plants. A consistent soil temperature of about 70°F is ideal for germination. The right amount of warmth, often coupled with intermittent watering, will spur plant growth.

When to Plant Watermelons in Texas?

In South Texas or along the Gulf Coast, the best time to plant watermelon in Texas is in mid to late March. On the other hand, North Texas may require waiting until mid April, when frost risks have significantly diminished. Timing is crucial. This avoids both late spring chills and the summer torrents.

When to Plant Watermelon in Texas?

Early Spring Planting

Planting watermelon in late February or early March can give you a head start. This depends on the last frost date in your area. The warm days and cool nights of early spring can stimulate vigorous growth. The vines might outperform those started later.

However, the risk of frost can pose a significant threat to these tender plants. You must provide frost protection measures when growing watermelon in Texas. For example, row covers or cloches.

Choice watermelon varieties for early planting include Crimson Sweet and Charleston Gray. They are known for their adaptability to varying Texas climates.

Late Spring Planting

Waiting until April or early May to plant can secure a safer growing season with minimal frost risks. Late spring brings warmer soil and consistent temperatures. It is ideal for robust growth and fruit set. Additionally, later-planted watermelons may be less susceptible to certain pests and diseases.

Varieties to consider for late planting include Sugar Baby and Black Diamond. Both of them flourish in the Texas heat and can produce a sweet summer harvest. You can also grow watermelon in 5 gallon plant pot.

Summer Planting

For most of Texas, the summer planting season typically begins from late March to early June. The soil temperature should be at least 70°F for seeds to germinate properly. Keep an eye on the soil and air temperatures. Ensure it's warm enough to support watermelon growth.

Summer planting demands vigilant care due to the intense heat and potential drought conditions. Consider utilizing techniques like mulching to retain soil moisture. Provide shade if possible. Selected varieties should be drought-resistant and fast-maturing. For example, Crimson Sweet and Sugar Baby.

Fall Planting

In regions with mild winters, fall planting can extend the watermelon growing season. Fall planting is best started from mid-July to early August, a few months before the first predicted frost date.

The cool temperatures and more consistent moisture during the fall can lead to better-tasting, more consistent fruits. Ideal varieties for the fall season are those with a slightly longer growing period. For example, Charleston Gray or Luling's Early.

IV. Factors to Consider When Deciding Planting Time

Soil Temperature Requirements for Watermelon Seeds

One of the most vital factors impacting planting watermelon in Texas is soil temperature. Watermelon seeds need consistently warm soil to germinate quickly and healthily, ideally around 70°F (21°C). In Texas, this usually falls between late March and early April.

To assess soil temperature, use a thermometer to monitor the temperatures at both depths of 2 inches and 4 inches. If the average over a 7-day period is above 70°F at a 4-inch depth, it’s the green light for planting watermelon seeds in your garden.

Frost Dates in Different Regions of Texas

Texas is massive, and its varied climates require a nuanced understanding. Be aware of your local frost dates. This can range from late February in the coastal regions to as late as April in the northern panhandle. Planting after your last frost date reduces damage to tender watermelon plants.

Soil Preparation and Condition for Optimal Growth

Preparing your soil is also critical. Watermelons love well-drained, sandy loam soil with a slightly acidic pH around 6.0 to 6.8. Work the soil thoroughly to a depth of 8-10 inches. Mix in compost for added nutrients. Good soil preparation sets the stage for healthy watermelon plants.

Pest and Disease Management Considerations

Lastly, have a plan in place for managing pests and diseases when growing watermelon in Texas. Regularly inspect plants for signs of trouble. Consider using row covers or organic sprays to protect your crops. Planting watermelon in plastic nursery pots facilitates the management of pests and diseases.

How to Grow Watermelon in Texas?

Best Watermelon to Grow in Texas

For the muggy coastal plains, you should choose fast-growing, quick maturing varieties. They can capitalize on the short spring-to-fall growing season.

In contrast, the longer growing season of the central and southern parts of the state can accommodate larger, later-maturing varieties. They are known for their hefty yields and robust flavors.

Providing Adequate Irrigation and Drainage

Adequate irrigation is a regular part of your gardening routine. Drip systems or soaker hoses can be a godsend in the heat. They provide consistent moisture to watermelon roots without the risk of fungal diseases.

Proper drainage is critical as well when growing watermelon in Texas. Over-saturated soils can stunt growth and introduce rot.

Proper Fertilization Practices

Watermelons are famous for sprawling, productive vines. They need plenty of food to fuel their growth and fruiting. When planting, you should mix in a balanced fertilizer or compost.

Once your watermelons have established, feed them regularly with a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer. If your soil is sandy, it may not retain nutrients as well as richer loams.

Mulching techniques

Mulching can help retain precious moisture. Mulch also suppresses weeds. They would compete for water and nutrients. Straw or shredded leaves make for excellent mulches. They provide a protective layer against dryness. Mulch also contributing to soil health as they break down.


When to Plant Watermelon Seeds in Texas? You can maximize your chances of growing that perfect Texas watermelon by adhering to these timing and cultivation tips.

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