I started some watermelon from seed this year but because of our crazy weather pattern, they are just beginning to grow and it is too late to put them in the ground for this season. Is it possible to pot them up and keep them til next year?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Cheryl: There is nothing like enjoying a slice of freshly harvested watermelon. This large fruit takes 75-100 days to mature. Here in Kentucky it would be too late in the season to plant it and still get a crop. It really should be planted shortly after the frost-free date for your area has passed. Living in California your growing season may be a lot longer than ours so it may be feasible for you to plant it and still enjoy a melon but this depends on the weather in your area; more specifically when you typically get your first frost. I believe you are gardening in Hardiness 9 but you should contact the Santa Clara horticulture agent to get more specific information on growing melons in your area. The Web site for your Extension Service is http://cesantaclara.ucdavis.edu/
or you can reach them at (408) 282-3110. As far as keeping your plants until next spring and then replanting them, you are better off just starting more when the time comes. Unless you have a heated greenhouse it would not be worth the effort. It is easy enough to germinate the seeds.