Melon is large round fruit of a plant of the gourd family, with sweet pulpy flesh and many seeds. Heat-loving melons can be a challenge to grow in cooler regions.
The fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin A, (100 g provides 3382 IU or about 112% of recommended daily levels) one of the highest among fruits. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Height: 1 to 1.5 feet
Spread: 3 to 12 feet
Foliage color: medium green
Foliage texture: coarse
Shape: low and trailing, climbing / vine
plant 3-4 seeds 1/2” deep in hills 3-4’ apart on rows 5-6’ apart. Once established, thin to two strongest plants.
For cooler climates we prefer to start in pots in the greenhouse.
Once seedlings are 4” tall, plant in rich loose soil. Keep well watered until fruits are tennis ball sized and then water only if absolutely needed. (We know organic farmers that never water them and grow amazing melons, but a great deal depends on your soil.) Remember, you must have a healthy population of pollinators like bees to get a good fruit set.
Maintenance and care:
If using fabric row covers, remove at flowering to allow pollination by bees. Good pollination is critical to fruit set.
Plants require consistent moisture until pollination. Once fruits are about the size of a tennis ball, only water if soil is dry and leaves show signs of wilting.
To prevent insect damage to developing fruits, place melons on pots or pieces of wood.
If growing melons on a trellis, support fruit with slings made from netting, fabric, or pantyhose. Trellising improves air circulation around plants and can help reduce foliar disease problems. Choose small-fruited varieties and reduce plant spacing.
For large plantings, leave a strip of rye cover crop every second or third row perpendicular to prevailing winds to protect plants from damaging wind.
To reduce insect and disease problems, avoid planting cucumber family crops (melons, squash, pumpkins) in the same spot two years in a row.
The picture is an indication of type only
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Check our video on best method for good germination of seeds