Heat-Loving Melons Need a Sunny Spot and Room to Roam. Plant This Week.

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Difficulty: Beginner
Duration: 1 hour

Garden tips by region heat-melons

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:

  1. Amend soil with compost manure and any nutrients indicated by the soil test before planting.
  2. Create mounds or hills for melons that are about 2’ high and 5’ in diameter. Dig extra compost into each hill. 
  3. Plant 2-3 seeds in each mound. Sow seeds ½” deep and about 2’ apart. 
  4. Cover the hills with row cover to keep insects, rabbits and squirrels off emerging plants. Remove covers when yellow flowers appear, so pollinating insects can do their job.
  5. 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 2-3 melons. Repeat for other mounds.
  6. Keep soil consistently moist.

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