December 6, 2021

Rayjin Teppanyaki

Beauty in design

ONE GARDENER TO ANOTHER: Growing melons in the home garden | Columns

ONE GARDENER TO ANOTHER: Growing melons in the home garden | Columns

A few months back, I was down in South Alabama at a friend’s farm. He was planting watermelon in a plot about the dimension of a soccer subject. Of course, becoming that he planted this kind of a big number of watermelons, they will be sold to local groceries and at farmer’s markets — and at minimum 1 will make it back to my property.

Watermelons — and other melons — are commonly available at just about any store that sells develop even so, nothing compares to homegrown, and growing them is pretty straightforward. Success is dependent on three vital components: humidity, daylight and warmth.

Melons have to have two to 3 months of warmth, one thing we have loads of in Alabama. They demand whole sunshine, receiving six or additional hrs of immediate daylight a day. They will need a great offer of h2o and desire a sandy loam soil with a pH of 6. to 6.5.

Because melons demand a large amount of heat, there are planting and servicing actions you can do to support this course of action. Soil temps can be elevated during spring by masking the increasing place with a black tarp or landscape cloth. This warms the soil, allowing for you to get seeds in the floor sooner.

Planting on black landscape cloth has other rewards. It allows suppress weeds, which are hard to eliminate in between the vines, as perfectly as enable to keep soil humidity. It also delivers a area for the fruit to type that is off of the floor, which assists stop fruit rot. Fruit, the moment formed, can also be put on cardboard or mulch right until it is ready to be harvested.

When planning the site for planting, you will require a fantastic offer of natural make any difference. A base of manure protected by a mixture of soil and compost will supply the plants with the nitrogen they crave, as effectively as organic heat, which is generated as the manure composts. Fertilize consistently through the developed year.

Water is the very last critical piece of the puzzle. Melons are notably sensitive to drought among the time you plant and when the flower and fruit commence to kind. Preserve the soil persistently moist but not soaked. Because moisture on leaves can lead to fungal illness, drip irrigation or watering at ground degree is the most popular system. If you should drinking water with a sprinkler, water early in the early morning so the foliage will have enough time to dry during the working day.

The time that melons have to have heat is directly connected to their harvest. Fruit is ready for harvest between 65 and 90 times, based on the dimension of the fruit. A solitary vine commonly provides two to four melons, though watermelons usually develop just just one for each vine.

You can figure out the ripeness of melons a several ways. Give the melon a thump. It must audio hollow. Cantaloupe will transform from green to tan and will have a crack in the stem exactly where it attaches to the fruit. If the fruit falls off the vine by alone, it is probably more than-ripe. Honeydew will eliminate its sleek skin and turn into rough and marginally sticky, which is how they received their name.

Honeydew and cantaloupe can be planted amongst April 15 and June 16, and yet again from Aug. 1–31. Watermelon is also planted for the duration of the exact same spring/summer dates. Fall planting is not advised.

Cantaloupe and other melons ought to be spaced 1 1/2 to 2 ft aside in rows with 2 to 4 feet in between rows, and watermelons ought to be spaced 3 to 4 feet apart in rows with 6 to 8 ft amongst rows.

Suggested versions

• Cantaloupe: Ambrosia, Athena, Eclipse, Odyssey, Superstar

• Honeydew: Honey Blend, Santa Fe

• Watermelon: AU Producer, Crimson Sweet, Jubilee II, Fiesta, Jubilation, Mardi Gras, Stars N’ Stripes, Gold Strike

Culinary uses

Though most individuals enjoy melon on its very own, they pair shockingly properly with some other elements.

Cantaloupe and other melons are a fantastic complement for prosciutto, figs, dates, fresh mozzarella, honey, basil and mint. Watermelon is delectable drizzled with balsamic vinegar, sprinkled with coarse salt or served with feta cheese. It also pairs perfectly with arugula, shrimp, blueberries, lime and cilantro. Barbecue fans are using the warmth of the grill to caramelize the sugar in watermelon, turning it from sweet to savory, creating it a delicious addition to salads or as a facet dish.

Until up coming 7 days, satisfied gardening.

— Irland, a member of the Limestone County Grasp Gardeners, can be arrived at at [email protected] Visit for far more facts on the Limestone County Grasp Gardeners.