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Melons

Melon Stat Summary

Plant Spacing: 24-48" (609-1219 mm)
Row Spacing: 60-72" (1524-1828 mm)
Planting Depth: 1/2" (12 mm)
Plants Per Person: 2
Soil Temperature: 70-85°F (21-29°C)
Days to Emergence: 3-10
Recommended Soil PH: 6.5-7.5
Seed Indoors: 4 weeks before transplanting
Earliest Outdoor Planting: After Last Frost
Tick Can direct seed outdoors
Tick Can seed indoors

Planting Melon

Melons can be direct sown in warm regions, but will normally yield more if started indoors about 3 to 4 weeks prior to your last frost. For transplants, fill 3-4 inch individual pots with sterile seeding mix; plant 2 to 3 seeds 1/2 inch deep. After the seedlings are well established, thin the pots to the single best plant.

After plants develop 2 leaves, transfer to a cold frame if you have one. Melons prefer a warm, sunny, well-drained, soil, high in organic matter with pH 6.5 to 7.5. Transplant the melons into the garden just before the plants become root bound and the soil temperature has reached at least 60 degrees F. Space the transplants 2 to 4 feet apart in rows 5 to 6 feet apart.

Growing Melon

Melons and watermelon require even moisture levels that are damp to the touch. Using green, silver or black mulch increases both the soil and air temperatures close to the plants; it helps control weeds around smaller plants. After plants begin to bear fruit, feed with a water soluble plant food every two weeks.

Harvesting and Storing Melon

Cantaloupes easily slip from the vine when ripe. Honeydew are ripe when the stem end is slightly springy and the skin begins to turn a creamy yellow. Watermelons emit a hollow sound when thumping their side with your finger. Watermelons will not ripen any further once they are taken off the vine.

All melons are best eaten fresh, but may be stored for short periods of time at temperatures between: 32-35 degrees F with 95% relative humidity for muskmelons; and 40-45 degrees F with 85% humidity for honeydews and watermelons.

Melon Insect and Disease Information

Bacterial wilt and powdery mildew are common problems but can be controlled with proper soil management with mulching, crop rotation, not wetting leaves during watering and adequate spacing of plants for airflow. Cucumber beetles can be controlled by making tents of fine netting or cheesecloth or use floating row cover over young plants; put in place at planting and remove when plants begin flowering. Aphids can be removed from plants with a hard stream of water; it is best to do this earlier in the day to allow for maximum drying time for the foliage.

Melon Yield Information

No yield information for Melon.
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