hangermayer at isp.com
Fri Jun 12 11:37:12 EDT 2009
A year ago or so (maybe more) this list had a very similar discussion on
growing melons. There seemed to be some agreement that sand was a key
element in growing good melons. A fella growing melons in TX clay testified
he couldn't grow a sweet melon. His neighbor claimed he could grow sweet
melons, but the poster claimed the neighbors melons were just as bland as
I've had difficulty growing sweet melons. Our soil is heavy, but very high
in organic matter (4.9% last soil test). I can grow tons of melons, but
they're bland and tasteless (no, I didn't pick them too early). I've tried
starving them of water, and watering the thunder out of 'em. It doesn't
seem to make a difference. I've also got a few spots that are well drained
on our soil. I've tried to grow melons there. Again they grow fine, but
they're bland. The very earliest melons to ripen, are OK, but the sweetness
falls off rapidly as the season progresses. I've heard a lot of folks say it
takes sand to grow melons. Maybe the key drainage, maybe it's something
else. Perhaps sandy soil heats up more rapidly than heavy soil? Maybe
there's better root penetration in sandy soil?
Some folks have good results with black plastic, but I don't know what type
of soil is underneath. If it's sand, the sand may have more to do with
success than the black plastic. Nevertheless, I plan to try the black
plastic in the future.
I've heard a lot of people with heavy soil complain about growing tasteless
melons, and a few people with heavy soil who claim success. Is there anyone
out there with sandy soil who has problems growing a tasty sweet melon?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Kelly" <>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2009 4:03 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] melons
> Of course most clays would have more available silicate than silica sand,
> depending on the pH, I guess. I'm thinking it has to be mostly the
> Bob Kelly
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] melons
> > cant see where sand plays a part in helping a melon build cell
> > walls.....most sand is pretty inert and plants are unable to pick up
> > anything from it.....last year when my did so well with melons they were
> > in soil with nearly no sand in it....they were in mostly clay with a
> > little bit of humus.....if there is some trace mineral in sand that the
> > melons are using it is likely not in universal amounts in the various
> > types of sand across the US or the world so it makes little seance to
> > recommend sand in that respect cause the sand i have access to may not
> > have the trace elements yours does......when ppl tell me melons like
> > soil i read into that to mean they like good drainage....so i planted
> > on the hill top....and they did fine in near pure clay....
> > had a discussion similar to this earlier this week about clay in respect
> > to growing Nepenthes, tropical pitcher plants, some growers in Singapore
> > were using a type of fired clay for growing neps...and the discussion
> > is that really helpful to the rest of us as there are 30 types of pure
> > clays and natural clays are made up of any combination of those 30 pure
> > types plus could contain other minerals such as iron oxide.....so when
> > discussing clay im likely talking about a very different soil than
> > say in Georgia or Singapore as far as the makeup of it...my clay might
> > high in a mineral such as zinc which is toxic to Nepenthes in much
> > quantity where the gal in Singapores clay may have none...
> > Sheridan S.
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