One of the joys of summer is biting into fresh melon. It can taste better still when you grow the melon yourself. Patrick Murphy has some advice.
- Melons are members of the cucurbit family. They love warm soil, warm weather and lots of water.
- Watermelons want a fast draining soil. Other cucurbits like pumpkins aren't so fussy about the soil.
- If you're going to grow different types of melons in the same patch, keep them apart in different rows.
- Plant your seeds right in the soil once the threat of frost has past—mid-May around Zone 5.
- Prepare the soil with seasoned compost and well-rotted manure. Muskmelons grow best in soils with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.5.
- Plastic matting that covers the earth absorbs the sun's heat and gives the melons the warmth they want. It also helps retain moisture. Plastic fabric covers can protect seedlings and transplants from cool air temperatures and insect pests, like beetles.
- Water deeply and infrequently, 1-2 inches per week.
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