Maintaining Melons

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated August 20, 2014)

Melons such as watermelon, cantaloupe, muskmelon, or honeydews all add a wonderful variety to any garden that they are planted in. However, special care needs to be taken when maintaining melons. In large part this is because, despite the relative ease that melons show in growing, most melons are relatively delicate plants. Without the proper care being shown, any gardener that has planted a few melons in their garden shouldn't be surprised to go out one day and see that their crop has disappeared.

Don't be discouraged though, since maintaining melons can be a relatively easy thing to do, if you keep a few simple things in mind. Basically, it is all about the basics. If you focus on providing the proper amount of water, sunlight, and nutrition, and work to keep the pests and ailments away from melons, then you can't go wrong.

  • Watering. Melons require a lot of water to grow well, and this water should be provided regularly to avoid stressing the fruit. However, you will want avoid overwatering as well, since that can lead to stress on the plant due to a lack of oxygen. On average, you will water deeply regularly. You will know it is time to water again when the top 1 1/2 inches of soil around the melon vines is dry.
  • Sunlight. Let's face it; melons love the sun and heat. After all, it only makes sense in a weird way if you stop and think about it. You like to eat melons on a nice warm day, right? On average, melons will require about 6 hours of sunlight a day, and should be kept as warm as possible through the use of mulch.
  • Nutrition. Melons typically require a fertilizer with a high phosphorous content to help ensure proper development of the fruit. The larger the vines are, then the more sugar is produced and sent towards the fruit to help sweeten it. Phosphorous rich fertilizers help promote this type of growth, while keeping the vines from becoming week and spindly. On average, if you use a fertilizer that has a ratio of about one part nitrogen to four parts phosphorus when you plant your melons you will have gone a long way to helping promote the melon's growth. Every thirty days after planting (at least for the first two months) add a little more nitrogen to your soil.
  • Pests. For the most part, melons are not really bothered by very many pests. That being said though, the two most common types of pests that can trouble your melons are aphids and squash bugs. The best way to deal with the aphids is to introduce some ladybugs to your garden, and the squash bugs are usually found near wooden boards in a garden. Find the adults and eggs under these boards in the morning and get rid of the m.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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