Growing Melons In Your Garden

The Ellison Homestead

Melons make the perfect summer treat! It is even more rewarding when you can walk into your own backyard and pick a fresh one for your family. Here are some tips to grow the best melons!

We are growing Icebox watermelons, baby doll, moon & stars, cantaloupe, honey dew, and Kajari melons. Did we go a little overboard? Maybe! But we are so excited to taste our first one of the season!

Melon seeds need to be planted after the first frost, typically when the soil is consistently around 60 degrees or higher. They do not tolerate frost, so if you have a shorter growing season it is best to start them indoors. For a longer growing season, we started some indoors and then direct sowed to allow for a continuous harvest this summer! Plant your melons in fertile soil that gets a lot of sun.

As the melons start to get bigger, if they are planted on the ground you should put something under them so they do not rot on the ground. I have a photo added below of a Kajari melon sitting on a melon cradle as an example! This also allows you to better see the progress without digging through the vines. Melons can also grow up a strong trellis! Once they get a little bigger they do require support and you can purchase melon hammocks, use pantyhose, or an old t-shirt to help offer support. Just be sure they have room to continue growing.

When to pick?

Watermelons - When the bottom develops a yellow color, and the color of the watermelon loses its shine and becomes dull. Additionally, the tendril will begin to brown, this means that the plant is no longer providing energy and nutrients to your melon.

Cantaloupe - Once the cantaloupe is ripe it will not need to be cut or pulled from the vine, you should simply be able to pick it up. The rind will also begin to change from green to the tan/yellow color you see in stores.

Honey Dew - The skin will be smooth and a white/light yellow color

Kajari Melon - Color will change from green to orange and melon will slip off the vine

Hope these tips are helpful and that you are able to grow a delicious yield of melons this summer!
Kajari Melon on Melon CradleMyself

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