What’s tastier on a hot day than a melon from your garden? Fresh, lightly chilled chunks of melon are all you need on a summer day for making smoothies and other refreshing drinks.
Melons come in all sizes, shapes and colors and require a lot of space, full sun and plenty of water. They are also heavy feeders and grow best in fertile, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0 (see more on soil testing). Vining melons like cantaloupe and honeydew can be trained on a trellis or fence to save space.
Plant seeds directly in the ground when the soil temperature warms to 70 degrees or about 2 weeks after the last frost.
HOW TO PLANT MELONS:
- Amend soil with compost manure and any nutrients indicated by the soil test before planting.
- Create mounds or hills for melons that are about 2’ high and 5’ in diameter. Dig extra compost into each hill.
- Plant 2 to 3 seeds in each mound. Sow seeds ½” deep and about 2’ apart.
- Cover the hills with row covers to keep insects, rabbits and squirrels off emerging plants. Remove covers when yellow flowers appear, so pollinating insects can do their job.
- After seeds sprout and vines begin to ramble, give plants a dose of boron to help them produce sweeter fruits. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of household borax in 1 gallon of water, mix well, and pour this mixture over one mound with 2 to 3 melons. Repeat for other mounds.
- Keep soil consistently moist.