[NAFEX] Of melons and dreams...

Kieran &/or Donna holycow at frontiernet.net
Thu Jun 11 14:38:40 EDT 2009

One of the things I read about melons interested me greatly.  They have a 
reputation for preferring sandy soil.  Turns out that they need it to make 
strong cell walls for what is essentially a bag of sugar water.  If you 
don't already have sandy soil, I suggest you invest in a few bags of nice 
sand to pour around your plant's stems and roots.  Consider also that if we 
are talking about a plant that obviously came from some sandy place, it's 
also likely to need good drainage.  I am thinking of eggplants, they want 
sandy soil because they want BOTH plenty of moisture but NOT to have too 
much water around their stems and roots.
    How much experience do I have personally in growing melons?  Very 
little.  I know they grow wild in the Florida orange groves, and that when 
one came up from a stray seed in my parents backyard in Florida that it made 
some very nice melons.  I know that the plants will hardly grow in our clay 
soil here.  Considering all the other things that grow ok in our soil, I'd 
come back to sand as one important factor.  Also I met an old guy from over 
Lucky's way on the same red clay who told me that to grow watermelons the 
old folks would dig a "king posthole" and fill it with manure.  I assume 
this would be for a corner post and thus would need to be set fairly deep. 
These vine crops all seem the same in that regard, given them a hugely 
fertile spot, be generous with water and they will crop like crazy.  Half 
hearted inputs give half hearted returns.  And minimal inputs give plants 
that fizzle out and disappear.  Donna 

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