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|Scientific name||Citrullus lanatus|
|USDA Zone hardiness||3a - 11+|
|Height||1 to 2'|
|Spread||6 to 10'|
Watermelons are a tender, warm-season fruit often considered a vegetable or melon, but technically neither. Watermelons can be grown in all parts of the country, but areas with longer warm summers tend to produce better flavor and larger crops. Many seedless varieties have been developed which are self-sterile hybrids that develop normal-looking fruits but the seeds never fully develop and remain small, soft and tasteless. It is necessary to interplanted a seeded cultivar for pollination of the seedless variety. Seedless varieties tend to start slow, for the best results started in a controlled environment indoors or in a greenhouse. Because seedless varieties spend less energy producing seeds the plants are noticeably more vigorous and the flesh tends to be sweeter. Start all seeds indoors 3-4 weeks before they are to be planted in the garden. Plant 1" deep 6' apart. Plant in the ground once the danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm. Watermelons grow best in sandy-loam soil, in full-sun, water semi-regularly. Harvesting watermelon depends on the variety, Early Season (70-75 days), Midseason (80-85 days), Seedless (80-85 days).