Melons love sunshine and well-draining soil. Melons prefer rich, sandy, loamy soil, with a pH between 5.8 and 7.0. You should test your soil to determine the varieties that will grow best in the soil you have, or if you need to amend your soil to grow a particular variety.
The keys to having happy melon plants are sunlight, well-drained soil, and warm temperatures. If you can provide those three things, you can grow melons just about anywhere.
Raised beds and open ground
A raised garden bed or planter is an excellent option for growing melons if you don’t have soil that’s ideal for melon plants (heavy clay soil, for example). Raised beds also help with drainage, which is essential for a healthy melon plant. You can even buy raised beds or build one yourself to fit your space.
Watering and weeding will be easier if you have your melon plant in a raised bed or planter. Since melons like to spread out, you should plan on installing some sort of trellis for the vines to climb on. Then you can train the vines to go up instead of out. Some gardeners make a trellis arch across their raised bed or container; it looks lovely and it keeps the melons in reach! A raised bed is a good alternative to growing in open land. And if you fill a raised bed with packaged garden soil, you’re providing a cleaner and healthier environment for your plants from the outset.
Packaged garden soil means less weeding than you’d have from digging a hole in the ground; and with a raised bed or container, there’s less bending down to do your weeding!
Melons are sprawlers, so if you have lots of open garden space, they’ll use it, and they’ll grow well in open ground—as long as they have plenty of sunshine, good drainage, and the right pH (5.8 to 7.0, depending on the variety). Of course, there’s nothing to say you can’t set up a trellis or trellis netting along your melon patch to keep your melons from taking over the garden.
How do you grow your melons—in open land, in raised beds, or in containers? Why do you prefer your method? Please tell us your tips and tricks for growing great melons!