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Last Update: 2009-02-04
Growing melons, such as honeydew, cantaloupe and muskmelon, requires a tropical climate, full, hot sun and a nice bed of composted soil. Grow a variety of melons, never allowing them to freeze, with helpful advice from a sustainable gardener in this free... View Video Transcript
Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment we're going to talk about how to grow melons. That's honeydew, cantaloupe, and muskmelons, and there's lot of different types of melons that you can grow in your garden, and they all have wonderful flavor and they're great fruits, and they're really easy to grow. Now most melons are from warmer climates, they're actually from southwest Asia, so they like really tropical warm climates. So when you're growing them in your garden, always make sure and never let them freeze. So start them at least two weeks to a month after the last frost, and melons need at least two and a half to four months of full hot sun, and warm temperatures over seventy degrees. So if you live in a colder climate, either start them indoors and put them out, or wait until it's really warm outside before you start them, because in many climates it might get to be seventy degrees by June, and it's still warm into October. So it's better to start them late than early. And they're a vine, just like a pumpkin or a cucumber, so you never want to grow your melons in the same beds as cucumbers and pumpkins, because they can actually cross-polinate. Outside of that, there's not a lot of rules. It's better just to let them lay on the ground in vine, because you can't hang a watermelon up from a string--it'll fall right down. So I just leave aside an area in your garden with good composted soil. They like the heat of compost a lot, they want aged compost, they don't want it burning, but at the same time they like good organic material to grow really well, and they want full hot sun. If you live in a desert climate or inland climate, you might give them a little bit of shade. But if you live on the coast, or any milder climates, give them full hot sun all day. And wait for them to grow, all summer long, and as soon as the fruit is large enough and the ends are a little bit soft and smell a little fruity, that's the best time to harvest them. So cut them right from the vine and eat them as they are. And many times, they'll keep growing, maybe even producing more fruit for you. And they're an annual, so as soon as the greenery starts dying back in the winter and the fall, chop them down and compost the greenery, and you can start them from seed every spring. But they're a rewarding addition to your fruit garden.