Melons are not the easiest fruit in the UK but you can succeed in the greenhouse or in a sunny place
How to grow melons: month after month
The best melon variety
How we try melons
We have grown 12 melons from seeds including melon, Charentais, Galia and watermelon. We also grew five species of grafted plants, including one variety, ‘Esmerelda’, which we grew from both grafted and seedlings. At the end of April, our plants arrived and we saw our seeds at once We kept the units on a heated bench until they sprouted. We potted our plants when they were growing and put them in a 15 liter container in late May when they were about 6 inches high. and a In our multipurpose we grew three plants of each species, one of which hung over the sofa in the greenhouse and the rest with bamboo vigwams. We removed excess side shoots, fruits and flowers, leaving only four ripe fruits per plant. Spare plants were grown outdoors in bed through a layer of herbicide membrane. We watered them at least once a day and fed them weekly since the end of August when the feed for controlled release was running low. Despite regular watering and feeding, all plants suffered from mold. We picked the fruit from the end of August and inspected it daily to harvest and taste at the best time.
When to sow
Sow the seeds in units or small pots in mid or late April They must be between 18 ° C and 21 ° C to germinate. Then place them in a heated propagation or on a sunny windowsill. Keep the compost moist but not wet. Once the first two actual leaves have appeared, turn them on with the help of one
Take care of your plants
Melons are soft, so it is best to grow them in a greenhouse, in a corridor and under a bell. Plant it in a large pot it is mixed with one If you are looking to grow outdoors, we have found that growing melons through thick black plastic doubles the yield. Tighten before planting when all risk of frost has passed. Plant in the final position when the plants are about 6 inches tall.
Push out the main growth point after five leaves have formed. Choose the best four side shots that develop and remove others. When four fruits are the size of a gooseberry, all other fruits and flowers should be removed. Give them plenty of room to grow. They crawl like nets on pillars.
Watering and feeding
Aquatic plants at least once a day, more often in warm weather. Start weekly tomato feeding in mid-August when the controlled release feed added to the compost runs out.
How and when to harvest
Harvest in: August until October
Harvest as soon as the melons are ripe. Smell them regularly to see when they have developed their sugar. Ripe melon has a slightly soft end. Find and harvest them when they are soft enough.
Common growth problems
Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that thrives in high humidity and low airflow. Greenhouses and tunnels therefore offer perfect conditions for expansion. Melons are especially delicate. The first appearance is a pinch of white at the top of the leaves. This spreads quickly to cover the leaves and then beige spots where the leaves die off. It can affect any part of the plant, including stems and fruits. There are no fungicides for edible plants so you need to control them by lowering the humidity. Open the air vent and the door of the greenhouse and install the blinds. This lowers the temperature in the greenhouse and thus also the humidity.
Greenhouse spider mites soak up the leaves and leave mottled, pale spots covered with tissue. Management by biological comparison such as Phytoseiulus persimilis or Amblyseius.