Growing Melons at Home

Seasonal Fruits

Weather is an important factor as the melons will be sweeter the warmer it is. This means waiting until the soil has warmed up so plant from late spring or early summer.

Melons, including watermelons, require loads of sunlight and a warm growing season of at least 3 months. USDA zones 4 and warmer is best.

Like any fruit or vegetable, soil preparation is important for healthy plants, so add goodly amounts of compost and mulch well. Ph should be between 6.0 – 7.0.

You can plant from seeds or seedlings. With seeds it is better to propagate them indoors and only transfer to the ground after the soil is warmed up and the risk of frost has passed. The water or moisture should be even.

Make rows of little “hills” about one foot by two. For watermelons keep the ‘hills’ about 5 foot apart and put only two watermelons per hill. It can be less for smaller melons.

Melons are not excessive feeders, but do need a moderate and regular feeding during the growing season. Use a balanced fertiliser and keep the soil well composted. Foliar feed with compost tea.

Harvesting

Melons are ready when they come off the stem easily. With watermelons, tap the fruit and listen for a dull thud sound. If the sound is sharper, then it needs more ripening time. Also, If the stripes are almost invisible and the base is yellow then it is ready. They usually will be ready about 35-45 days after flowering.

With honeydews, they skin should have gone from furry to smooth and slippery. You can also smell their sweetness.

Tip: to keep the watermelon nice and clean, as it grows place straw under it or even put it on a small wooden frame – even two lengths of 4 x 2 will work. Even a flat board will do the job.

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