Latin Name – Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis
Sowing Instructions –
Sow two seeds 1.5cm (1/2in) deep from mid- to late April, in a propagator or on a sunny windowsill at 18-21ºC (64-70ºF). Remove the strongest seedling after germination.
Harden off (acclimatise to outdoor conditions) from late May to early June, once there is no danger of frost, and when they have three or four leaves.
Hints and Tips –
Melons are tender plants, so need a warm, sunny spot with high humidity. In the UK it is best to grow in a glasshouse, polytunnel or under a cloche or in a coldframe.
Melons need a rich, fertile, moisture retentive, deep and well-drained soil.
Three to four weeks before planting, prepare the ground by removing weeds and incorporating up to two bucketfuls of organic matter and a modest dressing of general purpose fertiliser. Water well and cover in clear polythene for a week before planting to warm the soil.
Pinch out the growing point at the fifth leaf to encourage side shoots, when they appear, retain the four strongest and remove the others.
In a coldframe, train the four shoots into an X shape. Under cloches, train one pair each way.
Seeds – 8