How to Grow Melons

Few things say “summer” sort of a juicy slice of melon. Watermelons, cantaloupes, and other melons are an excellent addition to the garden. With a touch preparation now, you’ll be enjoying a sweet harvest by July!

Watermelon on vine Selecting and Starting Your Seeds Melons fall under two different categories: watermelons (members of the genus Citrullus) and muskmelons, which are often simply mentioned as melons (members of the genus Cucumis). Their requirements are similar, although there are some differences in cultivating these yummy cousins. Among the muskmelons, there are many sorts to settle on from including Cantaloupe, Persian, Canary, Casaba, Honeydew, Piel de Sapo, Galia, and crosses like Crenshaw (Casaba x Persian). All melons are warm-season crops, then they are doing not tolerate cold temperatures. they will be started indoors two to 3 weeks before the last frost date (for more on the way to start seeds indoors, read this). Transplants are often beginning after the danger of frost has passed and nighttime temperatures are consistently above 50F. Before transplanting, water muskmelons minimally, and watermelons deeply. Once transplanted, water all plants moderately. it is also an honest idea to offer your transplants some liquid kelp at the time of transplanting. they will even be planted directly into your garden after danger of frost has passed. Plant seeds at a depth of ½” every 3 to five feet. Water seedlings moderately. If a chilly snap threatens your plants, it’s an honest idea to offer them some extra protection (read this for nice options). Cantaloupe GrowingSite Selection and Soil Preparation All melons need full sun so as to thrive. Plan your melon patch for the most well-liked, sunniest a part of your garden. If you reside during a cool climate, you’ll want to use mulch plastic to extend your soil temperature. Melons love it hot, with their ideal soil temperature around 65 to 80F. confirm you give each plant a full 3 to five feet to sprawl, as they’re going to grow into big creeping vines. If space is restricted, you’ll trellis the vines instead, and support their fruits in slings. Melons like moderately rich, fertile soil with good levels of organic matter. The soil should be drained to assist prevent disease. Ideal soil will have many phosphorus and potassium, and a pH of 6.0-6.8 for muskmelons, and 5.5-6.5 for watermelons. to stop diseases, it’s suggested that you simply rotate your melon patch, and don’t plant melons within the same spot for five years. Summertime Care Summer heat will cause a rapid climb in your melon vines. because the season progresses, keep your plants moderately watered. Once the fruit begins to make, decrease the irrigation to supply low but even amounts of water. Mulching your melon vines can help prevent weed competition, and also help conserve water within the soil. you’ll mulch with plastic, which might additionally help with warming the soil, otherwise, you can mulch with natural materials like cocoa hulls. Cucumber BeetleMonitor your melon patch for pests and disease throughout the season. If you chose seeds of melon varieties that are disease resistant, you’re now a step before the issues which melon growers are often faced with. Cucumber beetles also are common pests for melons. Not only do they eat the plants, but they also spread diseases like Bacterial Wilt. Cucumber beetles are often difficult to control; traps and sprays that focus on these bugs are available. Fusarium may be a fungus that affects the roots of the plants then spreads throughout the vine. Diseased plants become stunted and eventually wilt and die. There are not any effective treatments for this fungus; it is often prevented by selecting resistant varieties, not over-watering your garden, and practicing crop rotation. mildew seems like a white powdery coating on the upper surfaces of melon leaves. Though the mildew might not kill your plants, affected vines’ growth will likely be stunted and fruit production will suffer. Bi-Carb is one product that’s labeled for the control of this fungus. Harvesting counting on the variability you decide on for your garden, the fruit is going to be able to harvest in 90 days or more from the time of planting. Most melons are able to harvest when the rind changes color to the ultimate ripe appearance and delicate pressure separates the stem from the vine, and typically has a sweet aroma. However, some melons don’t slip or become fragrant, like Jaune Canary. These should be judged ripe by appearance and when the blossom end softens. Watermelons are ready for harvest when the tendril closest to the stem turns dry and brown and therefore the stem turns brittle. Most melons don’t store well. However, there are some good keepers, like Piel de Sapo. This melon is usually called Santa melon because it can keep until Christmas when stored during a cool, dry place. While they’re best eaten fresh, it’s possible to preserve your melons when your garden is producing quite you’ll eat. you’ll cut melons in chunks and freeze them in light syrup. they will be dried during a dehydrator to form sweet candied melon, or mashed and dried into fruit leathers. The rind of watermelons makes excellent pickles. With a touch more effort, you’ll also turn your watermelons into wine. you’ll find recipes for all this and more from Mother Earth News.

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