Pumpkin or Watermelon?

“I think that’s a watermelon” Jon said as he took a picture of what I called a pumpkin yesterday,  that’s growing in the  barnyard next to the feeder.

And now I’m thinking he may be right.  It does seem really early for pumpkins.

I’ve never seen watermelon growing and since I don’t know what their leaves look like, I googled “watermelon leaf”.  Most of the pictures  don’t look like the leaves on our “pumpkin/watermelon” patch, but they don’t look exactly like pumpkin leaves either.

It’s like trying to name a bird from a bird book.  There are so many different types of leaves for each fruit, it’s hard to tell.  And the leaves look different when they’re smaller than when they’re really big.

Of course, we’ll be able to tell in time when the fruit ripens.  But I’d really  like to not have to have to wait that long if I don’t have to.

So if there are any experienced gardeners out there who know the difference between what  pumpkins and watermelons look like when their growing,  I’d love to hear from you.


23 thoughts on “Pumpkin or Watermelon?

  1. This doesn’t look exactly like either a pumpkin or a watermelon. It may have cross bred. Many times I’ve had interesting plants in my compost heap as a result of dumping seeds from melons, pumpkins and squash there.

  2. I had a volunteer plant just like this is my garden last summer, & I have two this year. I thought it was a watermelon on cantaloupe, but was greatly disappointed when I tried to cut it. I understand it is a “citron” – it is very hard, white on the inside & has no taste. I hope yours is better than this one!! I enjoy your blog. Mary Ann Cauthen

  3. It could be a cross of two different squash. Not a watermelon leaf. Squash will cross pollinate easily, so if it sprouted on its own, it may be something entirely different.

  4. Hi, Maria–

    FWIW, it looks more like some kind of pumpkin derivative (maybe a hybrid throwback?) than a watermelon–or any kind of melon–to me. Most watermelon plants have grayish leaves, somewhat thinner and deep cut (not like, but similar to, an oak leaf) and they are not bristly but rather sort of leathery. Melons usually have pretty smooth skins, though some are ribbed. I am growing about five varieties of pumpkins in my garden right now, and most of them have leaves very similar to your plant’s. I am betting your volunteers got an early start because the seeds were in the manured area, which is typically warmer–think rotting compost–than normal earth would be, and then, of course, they are very well fertilized.

    …and of course, I could be wrong about all that! 😉

    Hope this helps!

    Anne from Montana

  5. Hi Maria

    I am not sure but judging by the flower it looks more like some like some kind of squash? I am going to go google that LOL…

  6. Did you ever find out what this is? We have the exact same plant growing in our front yard. It just sprang up on its own. The fruit looks exactly the same! Please let me know!

  7. I would have agreed with donna courteau. We have a bit of the same problem in my garden this year. But it’s not volunteers as much a my husband doesn’t remember what he put where. Or even exactly what seeds grew. I’m pretty sure he had spaghetti squash seeds and pumpkin. This fruit looks like small watermelons, but we didn’t tend it or have enough sunshine this year to yield that many watermelon. My money is going on striped spaghetti squash. I thought he had pumpkin seeds in the mix as well, but the fruit just isn’t the right shape.

    Then again I’m two years in on growing oblong french rounds (from purchased seeds both years) so what do I know. 😀 Last year I grew them in bags with potting soil and this year they’re in the ground. I can only guess it’s something on the seed supplier’s end (it’s a small company).

  8. we have this very fruit/plant in our garden this year- wondering if it was edible? Or if anyone else had any ideas as to what it might be…
    My youngest daughter is hoping for watermelon (& I’m hoping for green-striped spaghetti squash!).
    Any thoughts would be appreciated!!!

    1. It turned out to be a mix of squash and pumpkin. I didn’t eat it, but the sheep and donkeys love it! Maybe yours is something different.

  9. I have something similar, but not exact. I threw out watermelon to the chickens around late May and this guy popped out. I’ve grown several pumpkins and this plant is missing the tendrils and other characteristics of pumpkin, yet leaves looked like pumpkin now look like watermelon. I used this app called SEEK on my IPhone and it’s saying 100% watermelon, so fingers crossed. Any help please. I cannot wait to find out lol.

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