|Plant In||Sun/Shade||Planting Depth||Space Seeds||Days to Germinate||Days to Harvest|
|April-June||Full Sun||1 in.||Rows: 2 ft. apart Hills: 6 in. apart||7 - 10 days||Approx. 75 - 80|
Melons need full sun, rich soil and warm temperatures. Plant only when weather is warm and settled and temperatures stay above 50F (10C). In rows 4 ft. apart, sow groups of 2 to 3 seeds every 2 ft. after germination, thin to the strongest seedling per group, so you end up with one plant every 2 ft. Or make slightly mounded hills, 2 ft. in diameter and 5 ft. apart, sowing 5 or 6 seeds in each hill. Thin to 3 strongest plants.
Several weeks before the last frost date, sow seeds in individual pots of seed starting mix. Keep warm and moist, and provide a strong light source until weather turns warm enough to transplant outdoors.
Amend soil well with aged manure or compost. Where summers are short or cool, lay down black plastic to retain heat, and plant into holes made in plastic. Where insects are a problem, cover seedlings with floating row covers to exclude them, removing when plants blossom. Keep young vines well watered and fed, tapering off water as fruits ripen up.
Pick when melons are fully coloured, heavy and fragrant and "slip" or pull easily from the vines. The melons' sweet aromatic flesh is delicious sliced and wrapped with prosciutto as a traditional Italian appetizer or enjoy in fruit salads or simply eat for snacks or dessert.
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