Watermelon cultivation

Watermelon is one of the flowering plant species. Watermelon is also grown for commercial purposes in long frost free warm periods. Asia grows three fourth of the world production. In comparison of other crops, cultivation of watermelon requires more sunlight and space.

  • India

    1 January - 28 February
Water Melon
Water Melon

Common name: Watermelon

Botanical name: Citrullus lanatus

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Origin: Tropical Africa


  • Watermelon belongs to climatic vegetable.

  • Serotonin is toxic substance present in watermelon.

  • Cucurbitacin is the bitter molecule found in it.

  • Watermelon is suitable for long distance transport.

  • Its cultivation is common in all tropical and subtropical areas of the world.

  • Watermelon is good source of zinc, manganese, magnesium & phosphorus.

  • On the other hand it contains sodium and cholesterol in very low quantity.

  • China is the largest producer of watermelon in the world.


  • Watermelon belongs to the warm season crop and common in tropical and sub-tropical areas.

  • Abundant sunshine is essential.

  • Dry weather and long day suits to the cultivation.

  • Excessive humid condition is harmful as it can cause disease like viruses, insects and mildew.

  • At least 20°C temperature is required at the stage of germination.

  • Temperature for early growth: 25-30°C

  • During fruit development: 30-35°C


  • Soil for the cultivation of watermelon should be fertile. Sandy or sandy loam soil is preferred for the cultivation of watermelon.

  • Soil pH: 6-7.

  • Soil of poor drainage does not suit the cultivation of Watermelon.

Watermelon Field
Watermelon Field


  • Dry season is best for the cultivation.

  • North India: February-march

  • Western states of India: Winters

Extreme heat and humid conditions are harmful for the cultivation.

Fertilizers and Manures:

Required quantity of fertilizers is given below:




100 Kg/ha


60 Kg/ha

Potassium oxide

60 Kg/ha

During the time of land preparation, 25 tones of FYM should be applied in field.

Seed rates:

Seed rate ranges from 3.5-5.0 Kg per hectare.

Land preparation:

  • A fine tilth is required for the cultivation.

  • Normally seeds are directly applied in the farm.

  • It can also be seeded in nurseries or greenhouses (to prevent frosts).

Seed spacing:

There are different systems of sowing seeds depending on the season and system of cultivation.

Method of  seed spacing

Required distance

Furrow method

2-3m apart

Pit method

2-3.5m apart

Hill method

1-1.5m apart


Watermelon Cultivation
Watermelon Cultivation


  • Watermelon requires less repeated irrigation as it has deep tap roots.

  • 10-14 days of interval in irrigation is needed.

  • Fruit cracking can occur on excessive irrigation.

  • Irrigation in the evening and at night should be avoided to protect crop from foliar diseases.


There are many varieties of watermelon. Some of them are mentioned below:



Sugar Baby

·       Weight of each fruit 3-5 Kg.

·       Deep pink flesh.

·       Small seeds.

Improved shipper

·       Dark green outer skin

·       Average in sweetness.

·       Large in size.

Special No.1

·       Red colored flesh.

·       Early maturity feature.

·       Small in size.

Arka Manik

·       Very sweet in tast.

·       Deep red flesh.

·       Oval-shaped fruit.


  • Harvesting can take place after 95-120 days from the time of sowing.

  • It is harvested when the fruit is fully matured.

  • Maturity of watermelon can be seen when the rind becomes hard and cannot be separated with the help of thumbnail.


Yield of watermelon ranges from 150-220 quintals per hectare (depending upon the climatic conditions and variety).


  • Watermelon requires to be cooled in temperature of 12-15°C within 24 hours of harvesting in case of long period of storage.

  • Watermelon can be stored up to two weeks if they are in the atmosphere of 7°C and relative humidity.

  • Long period of storage can cause lose of crispiness and color.

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