Growing: Melons in Pots + Ground
Growing Melons - Facts
2 + weeks from last frost
From planting 65 to 100 days
68 to 86F
Three on a mound – 2 feet spacing – rows 6 feet apart
North to south
Soaker hose or drip-system
6.0 – 7.0
Marigolds, catnip, tansy, lettuce, radishes
Vitamin C, vitamin B9, fibre, potassium, beta, carotene, antioxidants
Seven Steps to Growing Melons
Growing melons in pots or in the ground at home is easy, just follow these steps.
Melons are one of the sweetest fruits you have around today. Originating from the southwest Asia region of Iran and India or hailing from Africa, these nutritious delights were brought over to Europe by the Roman Empire.
Melons exists in a wide spread of diversity from the juicy watermelon to the cream coloured honeycomb melon to the exotic honeydew melon. Each of these melons are commonly found in farmers market or bidding platforms where people will compete to get the best melon of the season.
Melons grow well in various types of soil. It is best suited for loose, organic fertilize rich and well drained loamy soil. Loamy soil has a higher pH level of 6-7 which helps it to grow easily.
Also, loamy soil provides high concentration of calcium to ensure that the water reaches the roots of the melon plant and reduces the salt content in soil. Loamy soil has gritty texture which provides the draining properties needed to drain out the excess water.
Other soils like sandy soil does not retain the nutrients well. Neither will the high fertility silt soil as it gets waterlogged easily.
After the melon seeds germinate within 8-10 days, you can use a heat map or black plastic with holes to pre-warm the bed to optimal temperatures.
Then port over the seedlings into the pots with 0.5 to 1 inch deeper than its initial setting. Keep the compost moist but not wet.
As the melon matures, you will want to ensure the surrounding area well-watered and weed-free. If you are growing them on the ground, ensure that the mounds are spaced 4-6 feet apart.
Planting in Containers
Melons normally outgrow the containers they are in. Select a container that is minimally 18 inches wide and deep enough to support the vines. You can place other support structures around it like a trellis to save space.
Start growing them indoors during colder seasons first before shifting them outdoors when it warms up.
Marigolds repels flies and other garden pests. Catnip and Tansy repels leafhoppers, aphids and squash beetles. Lettuce and radishes have weed suppressing attributes on the soil when grown in the melon patch.
Melons take in large amounts of water, requiring a gallon to 1 gallon of water twice a week. The increment comes in when the melons start to bear fruit. As the fruit ripens, reduce too much water can dilute the sweetness of the melon.
While ensuring the 1st two inches of the seedbed remains wet, you can use soaker hoses or drip system for water irrigation. You will want to avoid overhead irrigation as it gets the leaves wet and brings about fungal diseases.
Flowers blossom regularly during the flowering phase. Remove to leave only four fruits to form on each vine. The lesser the number of fruits produced, the sweeter your fruits.
Avoid pruning off the leaves till just before harvesting as leaves produce the sugar for the melon’s sweetness. The common melon pests include spider mites, cucumber beetles and squash bugs.
You can invest in growing other complementary plants like marigolds and radishes to repel these pests. Other forms of protection can include nettings and insecticidal soaps.
Most melons are harvestable within a period of three to four weeks. During this time, limit the water content a week before to allow for the fruit sweetness to be concentrated.
You can tell a ripe melon just by the circular cracks observed near the stem, hollow sound when you strike and exudes a sweet aroma. Only harvest melons when they are dry.
You can keep melons for up to a week in the refrigerator. However, you can expect the sweetness to diminish over time. Other ways include freezing the slices or the melon balls.
It is advised for you to eat the melon immediately if you want to enjoy the sweetest experience. We do not advise keeping the melon out in the open as it will be subjected to the varying surrounding temperatures.