Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Growing Great Melons!

Sweet, juicy and easy to grow, nothing says “summer” like a ripe melon!
On a hot summer day, few things quench your thirst and inspire fond memories like feasting on a slice of succulent red watermelon. Try growing watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew melon, and you can relive those wonderful memories and at the same time spare your wallet and your taste buds from bland, expensive supermarket produce.

Here are a few tips on how to grow some great melons:
A sun-loving crop, melons need protection from cool spring and fall winds, proper air circulation, and space, whether it’s up a sturdy lean-to trellis or spread out in a 4’ by 4’ area. Melons prefer light, sandy, loamy oil that’s packed full of organic matter and nutrients. Cantaloupes and other melons require a pH of 6-7.5, but watermelons can take a pH as low as 5.5. A warm-weather crop, melons prefer soil temperatures of at least 70°F and ambient air temperatures of 50-55°F. If this sounds too warm for gardeners in cooler climates, don’t worry: There are other compact cool-season cultivars that will grow just fine.

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