08 Jun 7 TIPS TO HELP INCREASE YOUR MELON GROWING SUCCESS
Raise your hand if you like to geek out on gardening! It’s okay, you’re in good company. While many gardeners are the “one and done” types (and that’s okay, too), preferring to stick to the basics, others really get into more detailed growing methods to increase their harvest and get larger fruits.
If this is you, you’re reading the right article — here’s some next-level info to kick your melon party up a gear.
How to grow more melons:
1. Start seeds indoors. While you can certainly direct sow your melon seeds into the garden soil, starting them indoors a month before your transplant date improves germination rates, prevents cutworm damage, and discourages damping off.
2. Fertilize after transplanting. You’ll want to give your little babies some added nutrients without overwhelming or burning them, so try a product like Organic Plus Fish and Kelp Fertilizer.
3. Cover transplants. Ever heard of the dreaded cucumber beetle? Turns out they don’t prefer just cukes — they’ll go after your melons, too. Gently place a row cover over your transplants to protect them.
4. Remove covers at the right time. Look for growing vines and the appearance of your first bloom, then remove the cover. You’ll want pollinating insects to have easy access to your melon plants in order to get a great harvest.
5. Water properly. Melons need regular irrigation while they’re growing, and drip irrigation is recommended. Then watch carefully — when your melons get to full size but are not yet fully ripe, stop watering unless the plant looks like it’s stressed from heat.
6. Harvest at the right time. Look for a slight softening of the fruit, a change of skin color, shriveling of the leaf closest to the stem, and shrinking where the stem connects with the fruit.
7. Harvest the right way. Some melons prefer to be cut (honeydews, for example), while others prefer a slight tug or “full slip” (cantaloupes), and still others need a firm push or “forced slip” to remove them from the vine (Canary melon).
Melon Storage Tips
- Most melons store for a few days unrefrigerated.
- After a couple days, you’ll want to pop them in the fridge until it’s time to eat them. Know what type you have, because different melons require specific storage temps and humidity to hold up well.
- Netted melons have different storage needs than other, smooth melons.