Growing: Melons in Pots + Ground

There are many great reasons for growing melons. 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 exist in a widespread of diversity from the juicy watermelon to the cream-colored honeycomb melon to the exotic honeydew melon. Each of these melons is commonly found in a farmers market or bidding platform where people will compete to get the best melon of the season.

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Details for Growing Melons

Planting Months

2 + weeks from last frost

Harvest Months

From planting 65 to 100 days 

Temperature to Plant

68 to 86F

Planting Depth

4 inches

Spacing

Three on a mound – 2 feet spacing – rows 6 feet apart

Sunlight

8 +

Direction

North to south

Drainage

Soaker hose or drip-system

pH Level

6.0 – 7.0

Companion Plants

Marigolds, catnip, tansy, lettuce, radishes

Health Benefits

Vitamin C, vitamin B9, fibre, potassium, beta, carotene, antioxidants

Table of Contents

Seven Steps to Growing Melons

Recommended Reading:

one

Soil type

1 Soil type

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.

Loamy Soil

Also, loamy soil provides a high concentration of calcium to ensure that the water reaches the roots of the melon plant and reduces the salt content in the soil. Loamy soil has a gritty texture that provides the draining properties needed to drain out the excess water.

Sandy Soils

Other soils like sandy soil do not retain the nutrients well. Neither will the high fertility silt soil as it gets waterlogged easily.

Recommended Reading:

two

Seeding

2 seeding

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.

three

Planting

3 planting

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.

Growing Indoors

Start growing them indoors during colder seasons first before shifting them outdoors when it warms up.

Companion plants

Marigolds repel flies and other garden pests. Catnip and Tansy repel leafhoppers, aphids and squash beetles. Lettuce and radishes have weed-suppressing attributes on the soil when grown in the melon patch.

Recommended Reading:

four

Watering

4 watering

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 systems for water irrigation. You will want to avoid overhead irrigation as it gets the leaves wet and brings about fungal diseases.

five

Care

5 care

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.

Pruning Melons

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.

six

Harvesting

6 harvest

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.

Ripe Melons

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.

seven

Storing

7 fridge

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.

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