Melon is a vegetable plant that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family and this plant has been cultivated among the ancient Egyptians since 2000 years BC and they are known for their sweet gourds.
Melons are native to Africa and southwestern parts of Asia and they are now popular in almost all parts of the world including Europe and America.
The melon plants come in various varieties and they usually differ in size, color, and sweetness of the fruit and they can be consumed raw or used as an addition for fruit salads and desserts.
Melons are andromonoecious i.e. the flowers can either be staminate (having only male reproductive organs) or perfect flowers (having both male and female reproductive organs) and they sometimes undergo self-pollination.
Melon plants have skin type which can either be smooth or touch and the skin does come in different colorations which could either be creamy, green, yellow, orange, or rough and this plant is known for their high water content (watermelon has about 92% water content).
Melons have been an important staple food in some parts of the world due to its sweet taste and every part of this plant including the leaves, fruits, seeds, and roots are very beneficial to human health.
Melons are annual plants that are very easy to grow and the highest producer of melons all over the world is China with a production of 8 million tons annually.
Melons are nutritious plants and it is rich in vitamins C, vitamins of the B group, and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium and they can help boost the immune system.
The melon plant has been an important part of the human culture and it has been considered to be of great significance and essence in different traditions around the world; this plant was considered a symbol of vitality, luxury, and fertility.
Growing melon plants is very easy and straightforward and with the right condition in place, you will definitely be able to grow this plant easily and conveniently.
Do you want to learn how to grow melon plants? Are you thinking of raising melons in your garden with ease? If the answer to any of those questions is yes then this is the right place for you to be.
In this article, we will give a step-by-step guide to planting melons so you should read further to learn more about this plant. Read further to learn how to conveniently grow melons!
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When is the right time to grow Melons?
Before going through the process of growing your melon plant, it is important that you know the right and appropriate time when planting melon plants should commence as this will affect the germination and overall productivity of the plant.
Melons are sun-loving plants that will thrive well in places that receive sunlight very well and they perform well in full sun.
The best time for planting melons is in summer or late spring; during this period the temperature is usually very high and it is usually very easy for the seeds to germinate because they cannot withstand frost or cold in any way.
Melons as plants cannot withstand frost at all and they need exposure to sunlight to germinate very well and the plant should be planted after the last spring frost has passed.
Also, the temperature of the soil at this point also determines the survival of the plant, and the ground temperature should be above 70 degrees Fahrenheit before planting commences.
NB: If the soil temperature is not close to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you can start the seeds indoors after the last spring frost has passed and you can then transplant as soon as the soil temperature is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Centigrade).
How to grow Melon
Growing melon is very easy and simple and with just a few tools and space available you can conveniently raise this plant to maturity with no hassle.
There are numerous varieties of the melon plant and each plant has the ability to thrive well in any suitable location where they are found.
In this article, we will take you through the steps to follow in growing melon plants so you should read through to learn more. Have a pleasurable time reading!
Choose a variety of melon to grow:
There are a number of popular varieties of melon that are easily accessible which include Cantaloupe, muskmelon, and honeydew.
The varieties differ in size, shape, and taste so you might want to learn more about them. Also, consider your environment while deciding on the variety to propagate – the variety must be able to thrive and produce well to enjoy it. Below are characteristics of some common varieties:
This variety is characterized by their smooth skin and the flesh can either be white, orange, or green. The flesh is naturally pale.
Cantaloupe and muskmelon:
This variety has netted skin with a strong aroma. The fruits are usually very moist and can be orange and sometimes green in color.
This is botanically known as Citrullus lanatus and they have orange flesh when ripe with smooth skin.
The planting spot should receive sunlight well during the day (full sun) and the soil should always be at least 21 degrees Centigrade with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8.
The soil should be well-draining and fertile to ensure the availability of nutrients to the plant at all times. If you want to grow in raised beds, place in a location that receives full sun during the day.
Prepare the soil:
The planting site for melons should be rid of clumps and the soil must be well broken down. The soil should be tested for its pH level and should be amended in case it deviates from the range of 6.0 and 6.8 – this ensures that enough calcium is available within the soil.
In case the soil at the location is poor, the soil should be improved with the use of compost or other natural fertilizers. Organic matter can also help improve the structure of the soil.
Consider starting the plant indoors:
If you live in a place with long winters and short summers and the frost period extends through spring, then starting the plant outdoor won’t be efficient.
The seedling can be started indoors by planting in a mix of peat moss and compost until the soil temperature is suitable for the plant’s growth.
This will prepare the plant ahead of the outdoor environment and increase its rate of germination. Plants started indoors tend to be healthier and they will definitely thrive well once transplanting is done. Do not transplant if it is still cold.
Plant the melons in spring:
If you reside in a place with longer summer and shorter winter then planting outdoor is okay. Once the last frost has passed the seed should be planted.
Make a mound of dirt, 1 foot high and 2-3 feet wide, at the planting region and the seed should be planted at a depth of 4 – 6 inches below the dirt mound surface.
The spacing of 1 -2 feet should be between plants and 4 feet between rows. This will ensure that the plant has access to enough space to grow and spread.
Water the plant:
Once planting has been completed, the plants should be watered well and 1 – 2 inches of water should be supplied to the plant base every 2 to 3 days per week.
If you live in a hot climate them water should be supplied to the plant frequently to prevent drying out – however, do not overwater. Less water should be made available to plant once ripening commences.
Protect your seeds:
In colder climates, your plant might need an additional supply of protection to perform well. You should cover the soil with black landscaping fabric to help preserve the soil temperature.
Row covers can be used to protect pests from having access to the plants and they will also help in heat preservation. Mulching the plant’s base will also help give your plant the essential warmth needed for proper growth and development.
Fertilize your plant regularly:
Ensuring a constant supply of nutrients to your plant is a top priority and you should supply your plant with fertilizer every 3 to 4 weeks to improve soil fertility.
Learn to grow your own melon plants at your home and you can be assured of a constant supply of this sweet fruit/vegetable. Melons are very beneficial and you can make it a constant supply in your diet to keep your loved ones healthy.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !