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All About Melons

CAN I GROW MELONS?


All melons are warm-season crops that prefer rich, warm soil in full sun. In most areas sow the seed directly in the garden after all danger of frost. In short-season areas start the seeds indoors 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost date.
Sow the seeds 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep and thin to stand 1 foot apart. Grow melons in rows spaced 3 to 4 feet apart or in "hills" with groups of 2 plants every 3 feet.
Water during dry periods.
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PLANT HISTORY


Melons, including cantaloupes, winter melons and watermelons - are popular garden crops that grow on vining plants, which can spread out over the garden or be trained up a trellis or other support.
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HARVEST TIPS


All melons should be allowed to ripen on the vine. Cantaloupes have a delicious aroma when they are mature. The fruit color changes from green to yellow or tan, and the fruit generally breaks away easily from the vine. The undersides of watermelons turn from white to yellow when they are ready to harvest, and the tendrils closest to the fruit turn brown and dry up. The skin becomes hard, and the fruit should make a dull "thudding" sound when tapped.
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RECIPES & STORAGE


Melons make delicious, refreshing snacks in the hot months of summer. Serve them as breakfast foods, as a side dish for lunch, or as a desert for dinner. Cut them into cubes or scoop them with a melon baller for fruit salads.
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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Trees and shrubs are the framework for creating spectacular gardens. They also provide a respite from the heat of summer, enliven the fall with exceptional foliage and add interest in the winter when most gardens are void of blooms. Plan now to add a flowering tree or two to your landscape this spring. If you wait to buy when the trees are in bloom, it may be too late to find a good selection.

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