Start with the Sweetest Varieties
This is the first on Tips for Growing The Sweet Melons. All other things being equal, certain melons have a genetic predisposition to being inherently sweeter than others. Some seed suppliers provide the average Brix rating for their melons, but for many popular kinds, that information may be easily found online. Brix ratings of 12 and 14 are regarded as moderately sweet, whereas 16 is extremely sweet.
Sow Seeds Early
This is the second tips on Tips for Growing The Sweet Melons. For the best level of ripeness and consequently sweetness, a long, hot growing season is necessary. To ensure that the seedlings are already well-established when warm weather arrives, start melon seeds indoors in 4-inch pots at least six weeks before the average date of last frost in your region. Wait a few weeks after the average date of the last frost to transplant the seedlings outdoors or until nighttime temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees before doing so. If you transplant the seedlings outdoors when the weather is cool, they will stop growing.
Find Your Warmest Microclimate
Melons benefit from heat, so plant them where it gets hot early in the spring and stays hot through the end of September. It is best to place a fence or wall on its south side so that it can reflect sunlight and heat back onto the melons. It also aids in creating a hot microclimate for these tropical plants to place the melons close to a bright brick patio or other paved surface. In warmer climates, melons require all the assistance they can get to ripen to their ideal state; however, these measures are not necessary in southern California, the desert Southwest, or the Deep South.
Accentuate the Sun’s Rays
You can’t do anything to change the climate where you live or the amount of sun your yard gets, but there are a couple tricks for making the most of the available heat in any location. Covering the soil in melon beds with garden-grade black plastic film, which traps heat much like an asphalt surface, is one time-honored trick. To make a little greenhouse, you may also erect clear plastic or see-through cloth “row coverings” over melon beds. To allow insects to pollinate the blooms, these must be removed in the early summer when the plants start to bloom. In order to ensure optimal ripening when the weather cools, cover the beds once more in late July.
Don’t Crowd Your Melons
Melons are planted on sprawling vines since they do not ripen well in confined spaces. The seedlings are normally sown in rows that are 6 feet apart on mounds with three seedlings per mound. Three melons should be spaced out along each vine to thin the fruit and increase the amount of sugars that are pushed into each melon. Build a strong trellis and train the melons up the south side of it if space is a constraint. This not only saves bed area but also improves the fruit’s exposure to the sun’s warming rays.
Sweetness Starts in the Soil
The more lush the leafy growth, the higher the Brix rating, as sugars are produced in the leaves through the process of photosynthesis and then pumped into the fruit. Blend 4 to 6 inches of composted manure into your melon beds before planting to promote robust growth. Then every three to four weeks, add a balanced organic fertilizer (like a product made from a mixture of blood meal and bone meal). Some gardeners choose to plant melons directly into their compost pile, which not only supplies a ton of nutrients but also adds a little extra heat.
Water Heavily – But not During Ripening
Irrigation is also necessary in large volumes to maintain the lushness of melon leaves. This works best when used with soaker hoses or a drip irrigation system because overhead irrigation promotes fungal disease, which undoubtedly reduces the flavor of melons. However, too much water during the last few weeks of ripening dilutes the fruit’s sugar content. Reduce irrigation as the fruit grows closer to its full size, using just enough water to prevent the leaves from completely wilting. At this point, it is typical for some of the more mature leaves to turn brown.
Pick at the Pinnacle of Ripeness
Lastly on Tips for Growing The Sweet Melons. No melons are sweet if picked when they are young, even if everything else is done correctly. A fruity aroma, a slight softening of the rind, and a hollow sound made when you strike the fruit with your knuckle are all indications that it is ripe. But the fruit’s ease of separation from the vine is a solid sign. It is ready to be harvested if you can gently tug on it and it releases. However, fruit that naturally separates from the vine has the highest sugar content. Of course, at this point, there is a risk that birds and other animals will begin eating the fruit before you do.
Sweet melon belong to the melon species. Its botanical name is Cucumis melo , the family is Cucurbitaceae. Sweet melon is available worldwide. The flesh is typically light green,while it’s skin has a white yellow tone. It’s shape and size are similar to that of it’s relative.
Though the most appealing feature is its flavor, sweet melon is very nutritious and has several health benefits. It can be eaten as it is or used in desserts,salads ,soup and can be taken as snack when eaten dried.
Read also: Things You Needed to Know About Sweet Potatoes
Here are the Benefits of Sweet Melon:
1)It is Rich in Nutrients
Numerous minerals and plant chemicals found in sweet melon have been linked to a number of potential health advantages. Beta-carotene (Pro-vitamin A), phytoene, quercetin, and caffeic acid are among the substances with strong antioxidant capacities present in the sweet melon fruit and seeds.
A 1- Cup(177-gram) Serving of sweetmelon provides:
Vit.C: 53%of the reference daily intake (RDI)
Vit.B6:8% of the RDI
Folate:8% of the RDI
Vit.K: 6% of the RDI
Potassium:12% of the RDI
Magnesium:4% of the RDI
2) It May Boost your Immune system
Vitamin C, which is recognized for aiding immune function, is abundant in sweet melon. According to research, consuming enough vitamin C through food may help treat and prevent a number of respiratory and systemic illnesses, including the common cold and pneumonia.
3) It May Help Reduce Blood Pressure
In general, diets heavy in fruits and vegetables tend to lower the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Additionally, it is widely known that eating a low-sodium diet and getting enough potassium might have a favorable impact on how your blood pressure is regulated. Low sodium and high potassium levels in sweet melon may assist to regulate blood pressure. A good source of potassium is sweet melon.
4) It is Rich in Electrolytes and Water
Electrolytes are also necessary for appropriate hydration of the body, which requires more than just water.
About 90% of the water in sweet melon is electrolytes like K, Mg, Na, and Ca.
Because of these components, sweet melon is excellent for rehydrating after exercise, staying hydrated while ill, or in general. Proper hydration benefits the skin in turn.
5) It contains Nutrients vital for Bone health
Sweet Melon contains several nutrients that are vital for repairing and maintaining strong bones including folate, vitamin K and Magnesium.
Folate is essential for ensuring homocysteine levels stay within the normal range,hence promoting healthy bones.
Vitamin K is involved in production of a major structural protein in bone known as Osteocalcin.
Magnesium is required by cells responsible for building and breaking down of bone tissue for proper functioning.
6) It Helps Vision & Eye Function
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two powerful antioxidants found in sweet melon. These substances are renowned for promoting eye health and halting the progression of age-related vision loss.
7) It Supports Digestion
Fiber, a nutrient known to support healthy digestion, is present in sweet melon. This avoids constipation. People with certain digestive disorders or those who are introducing fiber to their diet may find it easier to tolerate thanks to its moderate fiber content than high-fiber foods.
8) Because of its low-calorie content,it assists in weight loss.
9) Its Vitamin A content helps in healthy red blood cell production thus preventing anaemia.
10) The Potassium content also help release signals which help to stimulate and regulate the nerves and muscle contractions within the body.
11) Rehydrates The Body
The amount of water in sweet melon is sufficient to hydrate your body. Even before you feel thirsty, your body needs water. However, not everyone enjoys drinking water constantly, particularly when they are not thirsty. Your body would stay hydrated if you ate a honeydew melon. This fruit’s sweetness and high nutritional value are its positive attributes. Consequently, you may maintain your hydration while also giving your body other necessary nutrients.
Finally, there is no denying that fruits are essential for the body’s healthy operation. Aim to consume fruits