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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

  • Several options are available to overwinter a favorite geranium. The first is to cut it back and pot it up as a houseplant for the winter to replant outside in the spring. The second is to pull it up, brush off any clinging soil, and hang it upside down in a cool, humid basement until replanting in spring. Or, you can cut 4-inch lengths of new stem and put them in water or damp vermiculite to root. Once rooted, transfer to individual pots and treat as houseplants.