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How to Grow Melons

by on May 25, 2012

melons

If you have never experienced the flavor explosion of a home grown melon firsthand, you are missing out on one of the most time-honored tastes in the garden.
From watermelon to cantaloupe to honeydew, it is easy to learn how to grow melons at home as long as you have a long enough warm season to let the fruit get ripe in the warm sun!
AT A GLANCE: MELONS
Temp Range: 70+ degrees F
Seed to Plate: 90 – 120 days
Light Needs: min. 6 hours of full sun
How Much to Grow Per Person: 1 plant / person
Average Space Needs: 1 plant / 2 Square Feet
Water Needs: 2 inches water/week
Soil pH: slightly acid, 6.0 –6.5

Melons thrive in warm, sunny climates, and they need a lot of food. For that reason, it is wise to amend the soil deeply and side dress with fertilizer after planting to ensure adequate nutrition for your melon of choice.

If you are following the square foot planting method, you can plant a single vining melon plant in 2 square feet, provided you use a trellis to allow it to grow vertically. Recycle old hosiery by tying them into miniature hammocks to support maturing fruit.

It is important to note that there are two distinct types of blooms on a melon plant. The female bloom is the only one that can produce fruit, and you can tell the difference by  the tiny bulb at the base of the flower. If early blooms fall off without fruiting, it is because the female melon blooms have not yet started.

Water is crucial to a developing melon plant, and they are highly susceptible to damage during drought conditions. Soaker hoses are an excellent option, but if you water by hand water at the ground level to keep the leaves dry. Excess moisture on the plant can lead to fungus growth.

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