All You Need To Know About Growing Melons
You want to grow melons at home but still have open questions in this regard? Great!
This article is exactly for you since I will answer all questions about growing melons in the following chapters.
Time & Duration
Do melons grow year-round?
While you could grow melons year-round, you should note that your melons will only provide you with one harvest each year and that you have to remove your plants after the harvest.
Hence, if you want to grow melons year-round and want to get multiple yields, you will have to raise multiple batches of seedlings each year.
Moreover, growing melons in spring and summer will also be much easier than growing them during the winter season and if you also want to grow melons during those dark months of the year, you should expect lower yields and slower growth in general.
Hence, I advise you to only grow melons once a year and start growing them in early spring so that you get the best results.
Do melons grow fast?
Melons don’t grow as fast as many other plants. In fact, you have to be quite patient since it will usually take you between 4 and 6 months to grow melons from seed to harvest.
Thus, if you search for plants you can grow fast, you should rather go for plants like lettuce, spinach or carrots instead.
How long does it take to grow melons?
While it will take you 120 to 150 days to grow melons from seed to harvest on average, this also greatly depends on the climatic zone you live in and also on the overall growing conditions you provide for your plants.
An experienced gardener will also be able to grow melons much faster than a beginner.
If you want to reduce the time to grow melons, you can rely on seedlings from the store instead of raising melon seedlings yourself.
By doing so, you can save around one month and can get to harvest sooner.
Do melons grow back every year?
No, like most other garden vegetables, melons are grown as annuals and this means that you will only harvest them once a year and dispose of them afterward.
You can just remove the plant material and use it for composting purposes if you want to make your melon growing project as eco-friendly and efficient as possible.
How long do melon plants live?
If you don’t remove melon plants after the harvest, they will usually live until the first strong winter frost will arrive.
Hence, if you plant them in spring, your melon plants will have a lifespan of around 8 to 9 months, depending on the climatic zone you live in.
Can you grow melons in fall?
While it is possible to grow melons in fall, I would still not recommend it.
If you start your melon gardening project in fall, this means that you will have to grow your melons during the winter months and those months are typically not the best time to grow melons since they often don’t get enough sunlight and you will also have to grow your melon plants indoors to protect them against frost.
In turn, you will not be able to provide natural growing conditions and this will likely translate into significantly lower yields on average.
Thus, I advise you to wait until next spring to start growing melons if you want to get the best out of your gardening project.
Can you grow melons in winter?
Growing melons in winter will also not make that much sense. Similar to start growing them in fall, you will have to deal with the same issues that come along with growing melons indoors and you should therefore definitely wait a few more months until it gets warmer outdoors before you start your gardening project.
Location & Climate
Will melons grow in shade?
Since melons love the sun, it will not be the best idea to grow them in full shade.
While it might be possible in theory, you will still get lower yields and it will also take you much longer to grow melons from seed to harvest on average.
Hence, only grow melons in shade if you are really not able to provide a sunnier spot in your garden or on your balcony for your plants.
Will melons grow in partial shade?
Growing melons in partial shade is definitely possible.
While melons like sunny environments, they don’t need direct sun all day long.
Therefore, if you find a half-shady environment in your garden, you will be perfectly fine as long as you provide good soil conditions for your plants.
Do melons grow best in full sun?
Since melons love the sun, providing them with a sunny environment definitely makes a lot of sense.
The more sun they get, the better and faster they will grow and you will also get the best yields.
However, please note that you should still not expose small melon seedlings to full sun since they are often quite sensitive to the heat and to radiation.
Hence, for the first weeks, make sure that you provide a half-shady environment to your melon plants.
After that, you will be perfectly fine to choose a spot where they get full sun all day long.
Will melons tolerate frost?
Like many other garden plants, melons are quite sensitive to frost and don’t like it at all.
This is especially true for seedlings since those small plants are less resistant to all sorts of stress and you should therefore make sure that you only plant melons outdoors once you don’t expect spring frost anymore.
Do you have to protect melons from the sun?
While it is not necessary to protect melon plants that are already big and strong from the sun, you should still protect your small melon seedlings from excessive sun exposure.
You can do this by just growing your seedlings in a partially shady environment and transplant them to an environment with full sun later in the year.
How much space do you need to grow melons?
Melons grow quite big and you should therefore plan plenty of space for each plant.
I recommend you plan 10 – 12 square feet per plant so that your melon plants can grow in a decent manner without taking away nutrients or sunlight from each other.
Can you grow melons without a garden or balcony?
If you don’t have a balcony or a garden, you can also grow melons at home indoors.
However, please note that this is not ideal since you will never be able to provide natural growing conditions inside your home and you will also have to clean your home more often.
Hence, while you could grow melons indoors if you urgently want to do so, I personally would wait until you have the opportunity to grow them outdoors since it will just make your life much easier.
Can you grow melons in small flats?
Since melons grow quite big and need a lot of space, you should never grow them in small flats.
Otherwise, they will just take away too much space from you and you may be barely able to even move in your own flat once your plants get bigger.
Can you grow melons in an aquarium?
While this is a rather exotic idea, you may also be able to grow melons in aquariums.
Of course, this is only possible if you don’t fill your aquarium with water and fill it with potting soil instead.
By doing so, you can use your aquarium as kind of a pot and you may be able to grow melons in there in a decent manner.
However, there is still the problem that excess water will not be able to run off and waterlogging may become an issue sooner or later.
Hence, I still recommend you use conventional pots for growing melons or grow them in your garden instead of in your aquarium to avoid that the roots of your melon plants rot.
Can you grow melons in a terrarium?
Not only will you be able to grow melon plants in aquariums, but you can also grow them in terrariums. The reasoning is quite similar.
Yet, as mentioned earlier, conventional pots will usually do a much better job since you can make sure that excess water runs off while this will not be possible with most terrariums.
Can you grow melons in a bucket?
It is also possible to grow melons in a bucket. In fact, buckets get pretty close to pots and you can enjoy similar benefits when it comes to growing melons.
You just have to drill small holes into the bottom of your bucket so that water is able to run off.
After that, just fill your bucket with potting soil and you will have a self-made pot in which you can grow melons or other plants in a decent manner.
However, make sure that the buckets you use are big enough since melons need lots of space to grow in a decent manner.
Can you grow melons in bags?
You can also just grow melons in bags. Similar to growing melons in buckets, you need to make some small holes in your bags so that water can run off and you can just fill those bags will soil.
Now you can just transplant one melon seedling into each bag and you will be good to go.
Can you grow melons in hanging baskets?
Growing melons in hanging baskets is not ideal.
While it may be possible in theory, you will still have the issue that melon fruits will become quite heavy and that your plants will just not be able to hold them in hanging baskets.
In turn, you may lose most of your yield and you should therefore grow melons in pots instead of hanging baskets.
Can you grow melons in rainy climatic zones?
Since melons love the sun, you should try to provide them with as much sunlight as possible.
Hence, if you live in a rather rainy region, your melon plants will not grow that well and your yields will also be lower compared to growing them in sunny environments.
However, it is still possible to grow melons in rainy climatic zones, even though it will not be ideal.
Can you grow melons in tropical climatic zones?
Melons grow quite well in hot environments.
However, most melon varieties still don’t like tropical climates that much since the air is just too moist.
Hence, if you want to grow melons in the tropics, make sure to get a variety that had been designed for those extreme climatic conditions.
Can you grow melons in regions with permafrost?
Growing melons in regions with permafrost will not be possible outdoors.
Instead, you would have to grow them indoors or in a heated greenhouse which would add up to significant energy costs and will just not be worth it.
Thus, if you live in quite cold regions of our planet, you will just not be able to grow melons in a decent manner.
Will melons grow indoors?
While it is possible to grow melons indoors, you will still not be able to provide the same natural conditions as outdoors and you should therefore make sure to grow melons in your garden or on your balcony instead of inside your four walls if you want to get the best results.
Do melons grow on vines?
While melons need lots of space and cover many feet of your garden, they don’t grow on vines.
Instead, they just grow on normal plants with big leaves and large flowers.
Do melons grow underground?
No, melons don’t grow underground.
Instead, melons grow above the soil surface and you will also harvest melon fruits above the ground.
Do melons grow in the wild?
Some melon species also grow in the wild.
However, those melon varieties are often just not as tasty as the ones humans have cultured and you should therefore just grow melon varieties from your garden center to get the best results instead of relying on rather exotic varieties that will barely provide you with any yields.
What is the best orientation for growing melons?
Since melon plants like the sun, the best orientation to grow melons is usually south or west.
You can also grow melons in east orientation to provide your plants with a few hours of morning sun.
Just avoid planting them in north orientation since they would just not get enough sun to grow in an optimal manner.
Can melon plants grow with indirect sunlight?
While it is possible to grow melons with indirect sunlight in a greenhouse or indoors, full direct sunlight is still best for your melon plants and you should therefore make sure that you provide your plants with as much direct sunlight as possible to give them the best possible growth conditions.
When to grow melons from seed?
If you grow melons from seed, you should start in early spring. Just grow melon seedlings indoors before you transplant them outdoors later in the year to protect them against spring frost.
Where do melons grow best?
Melons grow best outdoors in a sunny spot in your garden or on your balcony.
Hence, make sure to choose a nice sunny spot around your home so that your plants can grow in an optimal manner and also provide you with decent yields.
Where to grow melons in pots?
If you want to grow melons in pots, you should still choose a sunny spot on your porch or on your balcony.
Also make sure that you use pots that are big enough since melons plants need lots of space and nutrients to grow well.
Where to grow melons indoors?
If you want to grow melons indoors, you should choose the sunniest spot possible you can find.
However, you should still not expect the same yields compared to growing melons outdoors since growing conditions inside your four walls will just not be as natural.
Hence, whenever you have the opportunity to do so, I highly recommend you just plant melons outdoors to get the best out of your gardening project.
Can you grow melons in water?
Growing melons in pure water is almost impossible.
While some people try growing melons without any soil, this will often fail and it is only for experts.
In such a case, you will also have to use excessive amounts of fertilizer and your yields will also be quite low.
Consequently, instead of relying on such exotic growing methods, I advise you to just use conventional potting soil since it will make your life just much easier.
Can you grow melons with LED lights?
If you grow melons indoors, you could also use LED lights to make them grow faster.
However, you should still make sure to grow melons in a bright spot inside your home so that your plants can grow in a decent manner.
LEDs will not be a magic pill and they will also increase your energy bill quite a lot if you use them 24/7.
Hence, instead of relying on LED lights, you should rather use natural lighting in my opinion.
Can you grow melons in dark rooms?
Since melons love the sun, it would also be a pretty bad idea to grow them in dark rooms.
Instead, you should provide as much light as possible to your melon plants and in an ideal world, you would just not grow them indoors in the first place but rather grow them outdoors where you can provide optimal growing conditions for your plants.
Can you reuse soil for growing melons the next year?
Yes, you can just dispose of the plant material after the melon harvest and reuse the soil for future growing projects.
However, please note that this soil will often be low in nutrients and you will therefore have to add some fertilizer to it to provide optimal growth conditions for your plants in future years if you want to reuse the soil multiple times.
You should also loosen the soil a little bit before using it for another growth project.
Do melons grow well in waterlogged soil?
No, melons don’t like waterlogged soil at all and you should therefore make sure that excess water can run off so that the roots of your melon plants will not start to rot sooner or later.
Do melons grow in acidic, neutral or alkaline soil?
Melons grow best in rather neutral soil with a pH between 6.7 and 7.
However, please note that most melon varieties are quite tolerant when it comes to the acidity level of the soil and as long as you use potting soil from the store, you will be perfectly fine in this regard.
Hence, don’t worry about those technical things too much.
Will melons grow in sandy soil?
You can also grow melons in sandy soil.
You can also mix conventional potting soil with sand to make your own soil mix and use it for your melon plants.
Will melons grow in clay soil?
While growing melons in conventional potting soil and sandy environments will be possible, you should not grow melons in clay soil since this sort of soil is often not loose enough and water will therefore not be able to run off properly.
In turn, the roots of your melon plants may rot and your plants may decay.
Will melons grow in compost?
Melons grow quite well on compost. Hence, if you use a composter in your garden, you can just make your own compost and plants your melons with it.
Since this compost will be rich in nutrients, your melons tend to grow very well in it.
Do melons need a lot of water?
Since melon plants get really big, they also need lots of water.
Hence, make sure to provide enough water to your plants.
Of course, how much you have to water your plants also depends on the region you live in.
For instance, if you live in a hot and dry region, you will have to water your melons quite a lot.
However, if you live in a rainy region, nature will do the job for you most of the time, at least if you grow your plants in your garden and the roots of your plants have access to the moist soil.
Do you have to water melons on a regular basis?
Having a regular watering schedule for your melon plants can make quite a lot of sense.
Thanks to this schedule, you will never forget to water your plants and this can be crucial, especially when your plants are still young and you cannot afford that they dry up.
Of course, you should also adjust your watering schedule once your plants get bigger since the bigger they get, the more water they will need.
When to stake melons?
There is usually no need to stake your melons at all.
If you have enough space in your garden, you can just let them grow and stay on the soil surface instead of staking them into the vertical.
What to tie melons with?
If you really want to stake and tie your melons for some reason, for example, if you don’t have much horizontal space, you can just use some cord and tie your melon plants to sticks you anchor next to each plant.
Also make sure that you use eco-friendly cord to avoid any adverse issues for our environment.
What to do when melon plants turn yellow?
If your melon plants turn yellow, this is usually due to a lack of nutrients in the soil.
In such as case, you should just add some fertilizer to the soil and see if the plant color switches back to green in the next weeks.
If not, it may also have to do with your watering behavior. In such a case, you should water your plants more and see if this solves your problem (most often it will ;).
How to protect melons against wind?
You can protect your melons plants against wind by simply just staking and tying them with cord to sticks.
However, in my opinion, there is just no need to protect mature melon plants against wind since they will be resistant enough to deal with those things on their own without any intervention from your side.
How to protect melons against heavy rain?
There is no need to protect melons against heavy rain.
Just wait with transplanting melon seedlings outdoors until they reach a size of at least 5 inches in height.
Once they reach this size, your melon plants will be resistant enough to deal with heavy rain in a proper manner and you will therefore not have to protect them at all.
How to protect melons against hail?
If you expect hail, you should move the pots where you grow melons in to a safe place on your porch or inside your home.
If you grow melons in your garden, you will just not have the opportunity to move them.
Instead, you can just try to cover them with foil or install an umbrella to protect your plants to a certain extent.
Should you pinch out melon plants?
You should not pinch out melon plants. While some gardeners claim that they have seen positive results from pinching out melon plants, I personally haven’t seen any effect from it at all and you can save yourself plenty of time by just letting your plants grow in a natural manner.
Where to pinch melon plants?
If you don’t want to listen to my advice and still want to pinch your melon plants, you should do it in your garden to avoid a mess inside your home.
You can also reuse the pinched plant material for composting purposes to make your gardening project as efficient and eco-friendly as possible.
Can you grow melons without fertilizer?
Melon plants need lots of nutrients to grow big and to provide decent yields.
Hence, it is crucial that you provide them with nutrient-rich soil.
Consequently, while it will be possible to grow melons without using additional fertilizer, you will just not get the same yields and I therefore recommend you just use some natural fertilizer to support the optimal growth of your plants.
Should you cover your melons to protect them against frost?
Covering your plants is most often a bad idea since you alter the lighting and therefore confuse your plants.
Instead of covering your melon plants to protect them against frost, I recommend you just grow melon seedlings indoors and only transplant them outdoors once you don’t expect spring frost anymore.
Pests & Diseases
Can you grow melons without using pesticides?
It is definitely possible to grow melons without the use of pesticides.
The better the growing conditions and the better you care for your melon plants in general, the more resistant they will get to pests.
Hence, by providing optimal growth conditions, you will often be able to avoid the use of any sort of pesticides for your gardening projects.
Should you use natural or chemical pesticides for growing melons?
If your plants really suffer from heavy pest infestation, you may have to use some sort of pesticide.
In such a case, you should definitely rely on natural instead of chemical pesticides to protect our planet as best as possible and also to get more organic crops.
What are the most common melon pests?
Beetle worms and aphids are quite common problems when it comes to growing melons.
However, there are also many other pests that could occur in your garden and you should therefore make sure to take measures to keep them at bay.
How to protect melons against pests?
I did a lot of work in this regard and can therefore exactly tell you how to get rid of various pests.
I gathered all this information in my article on how to control melon pests and diseases and also in my pest removal guide which you should definitely check out if you want to get rid of garden pests in a proper and simple manner.
Are melons good plants to grow for children?
Melons are one of those plants that I would not recommend you grow with children.
On the one hand, it is not that easy to grow melons and you need a little bit of experience to get good results.
On the other hand, it will also take quite a long time to grow melons from seed to harvest and children are often not patient enough to care for plants for such along time.
Instead, you should rather grow radishes or carrots with your kids since they will get to maturity much sooner.
Are melons good plants for a school project?
Since it takes quite a long time to grow melons, they are also not the best plants to grow for a school project.
Instead, you should choose plants that will grow fast and deliver results within a few weeks so that school kids don’t get bored with it.
Is growing melons difficult?
As mentioned earlier, you need some knowledge to grow melons in a decent manner and to get good yields.
Hence, if you are still a beginner, make sure to read all the information in this article so that you learn how to grow melons in a decent manner.
What color do ripe melons have?
Depending on the melon variety you grow, they can be green, yellow or even have more exotic colors once they ripen.
If you are not sure whether your melons are ripe yet, you can just google the color your melon variety should have on the internet before you finally harvest your crops.
Can you dry melon seeds?
Yes, you can just dry melon seeds and reuse them for growing projects in the future.
By doing so, you can save some money on melon seeds that you would have bought from the store otherwise.
Can melons get overripe?
Like most other crops, also melons can get overripe.
Hence, make sure to harvest them on time to avoid any loss in flavor or nutrients.
What parts of a melon plant can you eat?
Most people eat the crops of melon plants (which you know as melons) and just dispose of the plant material.
However, what many people don’t know is that you could also eat the leaves of your melon plants, even though they might just not be that tasty.
Are melon leaves edible?
While the leaves of most melon varieties are edible, they just taste rather exotic and many people just don’t like the flavor at all.
Hence, if you are one of those people, you should just eat melon crops and dispose of the plant material in the garbage or use it for composting purposes.
Are melon plants toxic for pets?
You should definitely make sure to protect your melon plants from your pets (and the other way round) to be sure that your pets don’t get intoxicated and also that your melon plants can grow in a decent manner without losing plant material to your hungry pets.
You can do so by just installing a fence around your melon plants and you will be good to go.
Is growing melons expensive?
No, growing melons is not expensive at all. In fact, you can grow melons at virtually no cost.
If you have a garden, you will not even need to spend money on pots or soil.
Instead, you can just get some melon seeds and you will be good to go.
Hence, even though you might be on a budget, growing melons at home will be indeed possible.
Is growing melons fun?
In my opinion, growing melons at home is really interesting and it also gives me the opportunity to relax after a hard workday.
In fact, growing melons and other plants can give you a feeling of peace and you can also spend more time in natural environments in your garden instead of just sitting in front of your computer all day long.
I also really enjoy the progress I can see every day and this gives me the motivation to carry on.
Do melons grow on trees?
No, melons grow on plants and not on trees.
In fact, there is no single melon variety out there that grows on trees ;).
Do melons grow from flowers?
Yes, melons grow from flowers and if you don’t see many flowers on your melon plants in summer, this can be a bad sign since without flowers, you will also not get any crops.
How many melon plants should you grow per pot?
If you grow melons in pots, you should not grow more than one melon plant per pot.
Otherwise, your melons would just not grow that well and they would also compete for sunlight and nutrients with each other.
Which animals eat melon plants?
It is well-known that squirrels and chipmunks eat melon plants.
Hence, if you live in a region where those animals are present, you should make sure to protect your plants with a fence so that those little friends will not be able to feed on your plants.
Will your pets eat your melons?
Also your pets may try to feed on your melons.
It is therefore crucial that you don’t give your pets access to your plants to avoid any damage to your plants or even to your pets.
Why melons grow small?
If melons grow small, it usually has to do with a lack of nutrients in the soil.
You may also have not provided your melon plants with sufficient space or sunlight.
Also take a look at your watering behavior and optimize it.
If you improve all those things, chances are that you will get much bigger melon yields the following year.
What to grow with melons?
If you want to know more about the best companion plants for melons, make sure to also check out my article where I show you what plants to grow with melons.
Can you grow melons from melons?
You do not even have to rely on melon seeds from the store.
Instead, you can also just put a whole melon into the ground and wait for a few months until you see the first melon seedlings reaching the soil surface.
While this might be a waste of food, it can still work and if you are curious, just try it ;).
Can you grow melons from melon slices?
You can also just use a melon slice and put it into the soil.
As long as there are some seeds on it, you will also be able to grow your own melon seedlings from those slices.
Can you grow melons without seeds?
Instead of growing melons from seed, you could also just get seedlings from your garden center and make some cuttings to get even more plants.
However, if you want to grow melons at home from the beginning to the end, you will need some seeds to start out with.
Do you have to pollinate melon plants?
It is definitely a good idea to pollinate your melon plants by hand.
Otherwise, you will just not get the same yields and many of your melon flowers will just decay without getting pollinated.
For pollinating your melons by hand, you can just use a cotton swab and put it into one flower after the other.
How to grow big melons?
To grow really big melons, you have to optimize the growth conditions.
This means that you have to provide enough space for your plants.
Your plants also need enough nutrients and fertilizing them can also make a lot of sense if you really want to maximize your yields.
Also make sure to choose the sunniest spot possible and that you also water your plants on a regular basis.
If you follow all this advice, chances are that you will be able to grow really big melons even as a beginner.
Can you grow melons commercially?
Growing melons commercially is pretty hard since you have to compete in an environment with a lot of price pressure and you will also have significant upfront costs.
Hence, I recommend you just grow melons as a hobby instead of starting a real business around it.
Can you grow melons from fresh seeds?
Yes, you can just get some fresh seeds out of melons from the store and you can just put those seeds into the soil.
After a few days or weeks, you will see the first melon seedlings.
In fact, I like growing melons from fresh seeds even more than from dried seeds from the garden center since the germination rate is usually better.
Can you grow melons from dried seeds?
You can also just dry melon seeds and use them for your next growing projects or get dried seeds from your local garden center or from an internet vendor.
Both fresh and dry seeds will do the job, even though I slightly prefer using fresh seeds since they usually germinate better.
Can you grow melons from rotten fruits?
You could also grow melons from rotten fruits.
While this may work, it is still rather unhygienic and I recommend you just dispose of your rotten melon instead of using it for growing purposes.
Can you grow melons from cuttings?
You can also grow melons from cuttings.
For that, you need at least one mature plant from which you can get those cuttings.
While it is possible to grow melons from cuttings, I still recommend you don’t do so if you are still a beginner since it is just much harder than just using seeds.
Should you use a melon growing kit to grow melons?
You can also use a melon growing kit for growing melons at home.
While this can make sense if you are still a beginner, it often doesn’t make any sense from a financial perspective if you are already more experienced since those growing kits can be quite costly and you may also not get what you had in mind.
Should you talk to your melons?
Some gardeners also claim that talking to melon plants improves their growth behavior.
I personally don’t believe in this stuff at all and I am sure you will be far better off using your time by improving other factors that are much more important for the growth of your plants.
Should you plant melons at half moon or full moon?
It doesn’t matter whether you plant your melons at half moon or full moon or anything between.
Just do what best fits your schedule and you will be perfectly fine in this regard.
I hope you enjoyed this article!
If you want to learn more about growing melons at home in general, make sure to also check out my melon grower’s guide where I show you how to grow melons from seed to harvest step-by-step.
Own experience in growing melons at home
About the Author
My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.
In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.