How do you keep your Garden Grown Melons from Rotting, Getting Bug Infested and from Disease?
I live in Massachusetts and our growing season is relatively short as far as outdoor gardening goes. I Planted some melons this year and 97% of them were bug infested, rotted, and some got a white growth on the outside (either a disease and or fungus.) Most of the fruits did not even reach maturity. Any suggestions on how to prevent this next year? Please only reply if you have previous or professional experience. Thank you!
I am not a professional gardener but what other gardeners did that I saw is to put straws underneath the melon plants so that when it produces the melons, it won't touch the ground or soil. Another thing I saw is to put two trellis together on a V-shape position and train your melons to go up the trellis on both sides so they meet on the top like apex. So, when they start having fruits, they will just hang on the inside of the V-shape trellis and be safe from crawling insects and slugs or other creepy crawlies. Also when watering them, the fruits won't get soaked and therefore won't rot. Also when you water them, water the base not the leaves and fruits. Hope this helps.
+1 for straw. That's what folks around here use to keep their melons from laying in the dirt.
Since I asked this question here I asked some local gardeners what they do and they all said to put straw or mulch underneath them. I'll try the trellis too because it worked great for my cucumbers. I appreciate your answer so thanks!
The white growth was powdery mildew. That sometimes shows up if the melons get too wet. The key to watering vines is to water where it's growing out of the ground, and nowhere else.
Bugs need controlling. I've you're doing organic gardening, Google companion plants for melons, and find out which herbs will prevent bugs. You can also help by mulching with cedar mulch, or using cedar crystals.
Thank you lisavollrath. I suppose it was mildew and it did effect almost all of the fruits. They were planted in a low spot and water did sit for periods of time. I'll have to look to find some companion plants to keep out the bugs thank you!
Putting straw under the fruits is a good idea, and planting them in a bed with companion plants.
Also, some flowering plants also help keep bugs away: nasturtiums and marigolds are most often used.
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