Melons are some of the best things about summer, deliciously cool and refreshing on hot days. Although the watermelon is the largest, its only one of a number of melons in the melon family, including cantaloupe, crenshaw and honeydew, all juicy and all loaded with Vitamin C. Growing requirements are the same, regardless of the type of melon. If you live in a warm climate with a long summer, plant melon seeds directly in your garden. If you live in a cool, damp climate, give them a head start by planting the seeds indoors.
Plant melon seeds indoors about a month before the last freeze of the season. Fill a few 4-inch plastic pots with potting soil and plant 3 or 4 seeds in each pot, about ½ inch deep. Water the seeds with room-temperature water. The soil should be kept evenly moist, but not soaked.
Put the pots in a sunny window where the temperature will be between 75 and 80 at all times. Once the seedlings have emerged, choose the largest, plumpest seedling and discard the rest. Keep the seedlings indoors until the soil is warm and there is no chance of frost. If you live in a warm climate, you can plant the seeds directly outdoors at this time.
Prepare a spot in your garden that gets full sunlight all day. Melons grow huge vines, so leave at least a square yard per plant. Hoe out any weeds and work several shovels full of rotted manure or compost into the top two inches of the soil.
Plant the melon seedlings about a foot apart. If you are planting the seeds directly into the soil, make small mounds about 2 inches in depth and circumference, and plant 2 seeds to each mound. Water the seeds and cover the area with 2 to 3 inches of mulch to keep them warm and moist, and to control weeds.
Keep the plants moist throughout the growing season. In order to be sweet and juicy, melons need plenty of water. However, they don't like wet feet, so never allow the soil to be drenched. Watering them deeply once or twice a week is usually enough. Feed the melon plants with a good all-purpose fertilizer about the first week of July.