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At The End Of Harvest Of Watermelons, Do You Need…

Bonnie Asked

At the end of harvest of watermelons, do you need to pull all watermelon plants and start fresh with new plants come spring?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Bonnie: Homegrown watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is certainly a refreshing summertime treat! You are correct in thinking that after this season’s crop has been harvested the plants should be pulled and new ones should be planted the following spring. Leaving the plants in the ground will create an environment where insects or disease can overwinter. Making sure all plant debris is removed is considered good sanitation practice and will ensure for a healthy crop next year. This is also a good time to replenish the nutrients and add some compost to the soil. These warm-season vines are not tolerant of any frost and you may not have the winters like we have in Kentucky, but they still have to be replanted each year. The California Cooperative Extension Service, in collaboration with land grant universities, has publications available to home gardeners. For more information on growing watermelon in California, visit:
. The Sacramento County Cooperative Extension Service would be a wonderful source of information for you. The following is a link to their Web site:

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