The melon, whose scientific name is Cucumis melo , has been cultivated for more than 5000 years. This is because, although it is a fruit consumed throughout the world today, the melon is originally from Ancient Egypt, where it was already enjoyed in the III millennium BC.
As you well know, it is a very popular fruit for its sweet taste and its incredible properties and benefits, since melons are rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium. If you want to learn how to plant your own melons to be able to enjoy an organic harvest, don’t miss the following article, where you will discover everything about planting melons: when and how to do it .
When and how to plant melons
To begin with, from EcologíaVerde we want to tell you that it is totally possible to sow melon directly outside. However, there are many who advise starting with a seedbed indoors, especially in colder climates to ensure a good development of the plant in its early stages.
In addition, starting with seedlings will allow you to start sowing earlier, so you can plant your melon seeds between late winter and early spring .
It is best to use generously sized seedlings , roughly that of a regular grocery store yogurt. Use a substrate enriched with compost and peat, and keep the seedbed in an area where the temperature is around 15ºC. Bury the seeds completely in the substrate and water them abundantly but without waterlogging.
It is also important that it receives an adequate supply of sunlight, especially once the seedlings begin to appear. If they do not get enough light, the sprouts could stray, something that is always best avoided.
When and how to plant melons
A month after planting, your melons should be ready to be transplanted to their final location. To do this, we show you this guide on how to plant melons step by step :
- The first thing you should do is prepare a soil that is rich in humus.
- You will also need to make sure that the soil is not acidic. To keep the PH above 7, which is what you want, you can add some lime to the soil.
- Now, you can proceed to choose a location that receives a great contribution of light, especially during the afternoon.
- When transplanting, you can sow in line, with a separation of just over 1 meter between each melonera . If you make more than one line, respect at least 150 cm of separation between them (unless you use deep beds, in which case you can reduce these centimeters).
- Bury the plant along with the soil from the seedbed.
- Make sure the roots are not damaged throughout the process.
- Once you have finished the transplant, water the plant.
Growing and caring for melons
Now that we have seen when and how to sow and plant melons, let’s proceed to see the necessary care to take into account so that they develop properly. Follow these guidelines if you want to know how to grow melons successfully:
One of the most important points to take into account for the correct development of the melonera is the temperature, as it has to be warm enough. This plant is very sensitive to low temperatures , and if you want your melonera to develop well and bear good fruit, you should keep it between 23 and 30ºC. For this reason, it is important to dedicate a location with good lighting. Additionally, on cold days you can cover the plant with some type of plastic or tarp that does not crush it and helps it maintain a stable temperature.
Melons have a huge water content. Taking this into account, it is not difficult to imagine that the plant needs a good supply of it to grow healthy and bear large fruits. In the warm months, water your meloneras daily, ensuring that the soil is always moist and that it does not dry out completely. In the cold months, you can space out the waterings a bit to prevent the soil temperature from dropping excessively.
Meloneras are very demanding when it comes to soil nutrients. They need a soil rich in organic matter, fertilized with compost or humus twice a month in the warm months, and once a month or every two months in the cold ones.
Although we have already said that this plant requires a lot of water, it is important that the earth does not get flooded at any time. That is why, from EcologíaVerde, we recommend that you ensure good drainage to the area where you plant the melonera.
Melons are also quite susceptible to attack by pests and insects that tend to get into the plant or its fruit. To prevent this from happening, you can use hydrogen-rich fertilizer before the rainy season, or some type of natural insecticide.
When to harvest melons
And when is the best time to pick melons? Now that you know all the steps necessary for your melons to develop properly, from EcologíaVerde we want to tell you about the best time of year to pick melons and be able to enjoy this sweet and delicious fruit.
The ideal time to pick melons is between late summer and early fall . The characteristic smell of the fruit will tell you if the time has really come to pick it up or not, because if you can smell the melon even through the peel, it will mean that everything has gone well and that you can safely pick your melons.