I just bought Icebox watermelon seedlings from the nursery. The instructions just say to stick the whole batch into the ground (the inner cardboard is biodegradable). I think these are just generic instructions that appear on all the various seedlings that Bonnie sells. I'm wondering whether I need to do something extra for watermelon in particular. It appears like there are three seedlings. Do I need to space them apart or can I just plant them as is?

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2 Answers 2


We always hilled watermelons (and pumpkins and squash, etc.) which would be 3-4 plants in a small area, hilled up (pull the soil into a mound), with the whole area around them for them to grow into.

So plant the whole batch (and nothing else within 3 feet in any direction) looks fine by me for a garden, as opposed to a farming situation where equipment might require rows.

I would make a hill (2-3 feet diameter, 6-8 inches high) to put the pot into.

For more vigorous squash/pumpkins, the space around the hill might be 10 feet in any direction ;-)

  • Did your seedlings grow as close together as the ones in my photo?
    – JoJo
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 6:29
  • Probably not quite, but not a huge amount more. They would within 6-8 inches of each other at the center of the hill.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 16:23

Icebox Watermelons range from 6-15lbs. Recommened In-Row spacing is 2-3 feet.


Watermelons are difficult to transplant as they do not take soil disturbance that well. Breaking these apart might cause them all to not make it, but could be worth it if it works, since you'd have 1+ of them. Retailers might overplant these transplants in case some of their seeds don't germinate, plants die, or other issues. It's recommended to plant it, and just cut back all but 1 start.

  • I need some more detail. Are you saying I should plant all 3 as is? Then when they get bigger I should pull out the 2 weaker ones. Wouldn't that disturb the soil as much as if I were to pull them apart before planting?
    – JoJo
    Commented Apr 5, 2015 at 23:05
  • Just cut the others with scissors to the ground and they will die.
    – rockerBOO
    Commented Apr 5, 2015 at 23:14
  • Whatever the case, if you do split them up, keep them out of the sun for a few days (maybe put something over them to shade them). That should increase your odds of transplant success. Some extra potassium (no extra nitrogen at this time) may also increase the odds. Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 22:03
  • 1
    Normally, plants together like that might stunt each other, but Sugar Baby is a small melon anyway. It might not hurt it much, if at all. I'm really surprised they grew them in the same pot like that. You can get plants like that from seed, and much bigger, really fast if you can plant melon seeds within a couple inches of a fluorescent bulb. Those don't look very old--maybe two or three days old after germination. They really do grow fast with proper lighting. I just tell you in case you want to save money next year or even start more this year (there's plenty of time for that). Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 22:20
  • I only paid $4 for those seedlings. I've never grew anything from seed before - don't have any knowledge about that.
    – JoJo
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 6:07

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