Who doesn’t love to eat juicy watermelon or delicious cantaloupe? Fresh, homegrown melons taste like heaven, and there’s no doubt you’ll want to find all kinds of ways to enhance your melon harvest.
Melons are large plants that produce prolific vines, which spread throughout your garden. But I struggled for years to produce fruit. Vines will grow, but I will never have an impressive crop of watermelons.
That was until I learned some of these tips for growing more melons.
It turns out that I missed a few important steps to get these plants to grow properly. Let’s take a look at some of these tips and what you need to know for success.
- 1 12 Tips to Increase the Crop of Melons
- 1.1 1. Amend the Soil Before Planting
- 1.2 2. Check Your Soil’s pH Range
- 1.3 3. Start Your Melon Plants Inside
- 1.4 4. Don’t Plant Too Early
- 1.5 5. Find the Hottest Garden Spot
- 1.6 6. Give Them Space
- 1.7 7. Give Melons Plenty of Water
- 1.8 8. Fertilize Your Melon Plants Regularly
- 1.9 9. Mulch Around Your Melon Plants
- 1.10 10. Watch for Insects and Diseases
- 1.11 11. Slow down watering during cooking
- 1.12 12. Know When to Harvest Your Melons
- 1.13 Was this article helpful?
- 1.14 We appreciate your helpful feedback!
12 Tips to Increase the Crop of Melons
Desi melons are the perfect thing on a hot evening in the middle of summer. Don’t let a small harvest ruin your meal plan; Use these tips to increase your melon harvest and get delicious fruit for weeks to come.
1. Amend the Soil Before Planting
Amending the soil in your garden is the first step to increasing your melon harvest and growing sweeter melons than ever before.
Begin by mixing four to six inches of compost into the garden beds before planting. You should add an organic fertilizer such as compost or manure to the soil every three to four weeks.
Their love for nutrients is one reason many gardeners choose to plant weeds in their compost piles. Not only does this provide your plants with lots of nutrients, but the compost pile generates a lot of heat, which melon plants also appreciate.
2. Check Your Soil’s pH Range
One mistake I made when growing melons in my garden was failing to check and amend my soil pH. Most melons prefer soil that is slightly acidic; The ideal range is between 6.0 and 6.5.
It’s easy to test the pH of your soil; Use the at-home test or send a sample to your state extension office. Keeping the pH in the right range is important because if the soil is too acidic, it will cause the plants to have yellow leaves and little or no fruit.
3. Start Your Melon Plants Inside
I’ve tried growing melon plants from seeds I sowed directly into the garden, but the harvest is never amazing. I have found an easy way to increase your melon crop is to start transplanting indoors.
You plant them outside at the same time you plant the melon seeds, but the shoots are larger and are already harvested. You also don’t have to worry about thinning the sprouts. I start the seeds within three to four weeks before I need to transplant them outside.
4. Don’t Plant Too Early
It’s easy to get excited and start planting too early in your garden, but it poses a major problem for your melon plants. Melons are a warm season crop that cannot survive frost. They prefer daily average temperatures between 70-80°F.
Planting your melons at the right time is an easy way to increase your melon harvest. Wait until the threat of frost has passed, amend the soil, and consider covering it with black plastic a few weeks before planting to warm the soil.
Seeds planted in warm soil usually germinate faster than seeds planted in cool soil, especially melon seeds.
5. Find the Hottest Garden Spot
You have microclimates in your garden – this means that some areas of your garden will receive more or less sunlight, heavier or more frequent wind, or more frequent frosts. All these elements change the climate and growing conditions in those small areas.
Since melons are heat-loving plants, look for locations in your garden that heat up early in the spring and stay warm throughout your growing season. The south side of a fence or wall is a great choice because the structure absorbs heat and light, reflecting it back to the watermelon plants.
Another option is to consider planting weeds near a sunny brick patio or another paved surface. These places absorb heat, creating the perfect microclimate for heat-loving plants.
6. Give Them Space
When growing melons, never overdo them. Most gardeners plant melons on a mound with three plants per mound. Melons have vines so mounds give the vines room to grow, and each mount needs to be spaced two feet apart with rows six feet apart.
Overcrowded melon plants cause a variety of problems because it creates an environment where fungal diseases like to thrive. More air circulation in a garden is always better. In addition, it causes cramped plants to compete for nutrients in the soil.
7. Give Melons Plenty of Water
When you bite into a piece of watermelon, you notice and feel the juice inside; Melons are juicy. This is part of their appeal, and one way to ensure you have sweet, succulent melons is to give the plants plenty of water.
Melons need at least an inch of water per week, but I suggest increasing the amount of water to two inches per week, especially when it’s hot outside. My plants do best when they get enough water.
Also, make sure your plants have adequate soil drainage. Like any other plant, melons need to be grown in well-drained soil.
8. Fertilize Your Melon Plants Regularly
Melon plants, similar to squash plants, are heavy feeders and need lots of fertilizer to grow. These plants need to be fertilized every two to three weeks to grow to optimum size.
Which is the best fertilizer for melon plants?
Use a phosphorus and potassium heavy fertilizer when composting melons. The best options are 5-10-15 or 10-15-20. Too much nitrogen will cause your plants to produce more leaves than fruits. You want to encourage growth, flowering and fruiting to increase your harvest.
9. Mulch Around Your Melon Plants
Once your melon plants have sprouted and started to grow, it’s time to mulch the soil. Covering the soil has many benefits.
First, you suppress weeds that compete for essential nutrients in the soil. Weeds compete for the nutrients you want your plants to grow your melon crop.
Second, mulch helps retain moisture in the soil. Remember, water is good, and mulch means you need less water.
Lastly, mulch keeps weeds off the soil. You do not want the fruit to fall directly on the soil; This is a surefire way to eliminate disease and pest problems. Speaking of…
10. Watch for Insects and Diseases
Melon plants are known to have pest and disease problems, so it’s important to be vigilant. Early spotting and treatment makes it easier to protect your plants from destruction.
Some common insects and diseases to pay attention to include:
11. Slow down watering during cooking
You know melon plants love water, but as the last weeks of ripening are near, too much water is a bad thing.
The extra water dilutes the sugar content of the fruit. You’ll end up with melons that aren’t as sweet as they should, and no one wants that.
As the fruits on the plants begin to reach their full size, reduce how often you water your plants. You should only provide enough water to prevent the plants from wilting.
12. Know When to Harvest Your Melons
No melon tastes delicious when picked unripe. You need to know the signs of ripening so that you can plan harvesting at the right time.
Some signs that your melons are ripe and ready to harvest include:
- a fruity scent
- rind softening
- A hollow signal when you knock on fruit
- detaches easily from the vine
If you try to remove a melon and the vine doesn’t break easily, chances are the melon is not ready to harvest. The sugar content is highest when the fruit separates from the vine on its own or when the vine shrivels and dries.
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