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Melons

Cantaloupe melons, Cucumis melo are closely related to wild species in both Africa and Australia, however recent DNA work shows that like the cucumber, it most likely began domesticated life on the Indian sub-continent.

Growing

Sow melon seeds one or two to a small pot or large module between February and May, in a propagator, heated greenhouse or on a window sill. The seeds need a temperature of about 20C to germinate. When the seedlings have emerged put them in a bright place but keep pretty warm. Melons won’t grow much in the polytunnel until nights warm up in May or even June.

Dig bucket sized holes about 60cm apart where the plants will finally be planted out and fill them with well-rotted FYM, about half a bucket per plant. Then cover the FYM with soil and ground cover. Plant the plants through the ground cover, and water well. Protect from slugs. Melons need to have their flowers pollinated for the fruit to mature, usually insects do this for you but if you see the small fruit falling off, try hand pollinating them. Melons should ripen in September and October. They feel slightly soft at the blossom end when ready to eat.

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