[NAFEX] melons

Road's End Farm organic87 at frontiernet.net
Wed Jun 10 21:53:02 EDT 2009


On Jun 10, 2009, at 1:53 PM, Raby, Brian wrote:

> Here's my question to the melon growers.   I have had pretty good luck 
> myself growing the cantaloupe, watermelon, pumpkin, etc... What is 
> frustrating to me is keeping down the weeds. When the plants are small 
> and just starting off, you can go thru the garden with either hoe or 
> tiller.  Once the vines get to spreading, "game over, man".
>
> Mulching does no good for me cuz the weeds will grow right thru it.  
> Any suggestions?
>
> Brian
> Hortonville, IN
> Zone 5/6

Get them as clean as you can while they're tiny; then, just before they 
start to run, seed clover.

Then let the clover, the weeds, and the cucurbits fight it out. The 
clover gets a slow start, so it won't impede the cucurbits much at the 
beginning; the cucurbits will win the first round of the fight, as long 
as they got a good start; after the crop has produced, mow the field to 
knock back the weeds that did manage to grow. You'll be left with a 
lovely clover cover crop, busy fixing nitrogen for next year.

This works nicely for me with pumpkins even planted in bare ground, and 
pretty well for melons planted in 4' wide plastic, with wide strips 
between the plastic that gets the clover.

--Rivka
Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly
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