How to Grow Honeydew Melons from Seed to Harvest
You want to grow honeydew melons in your garden or on your balcony? Great!
Before you start, make sure to read my grower’s guide since I provide you with all the information you need to grow honeydew melons from seed to harvest step-by-step.
I also included some videos from other passionate gardeners so that you get even more secret tips on how to grow honeydew melons at home in an optimal manner.
Without further ado, let’s get started! 😉
Table of Contents
Honeydew Melon Plant Profile
|Size||1 to 2 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide.|
|Climate||Honeydew melons grow best in moderate to warm climatic zones with temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.|
|Sun Exposure||Honeydew melons grow best with full sun.|
|Soil Requirements||Honeydew melons grow best in slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.3 and 6.8.|
|Country of Origin||Algeria.|
|Perennial?||No, honeydew melons are harvested within the first growing year.|
|When should you start?||Between March and May, depending on the region you live in.|
|Expected Yield & Harvest||You can harvest 2 to 5 honeydew melons per plant.|
|Time from Seed to Harvest||Between 100 and 130 days to grow honeydew melons from seed to harvest.|
|What to do with it?||You can eat cantaloupe raw or use them for fruit salads.|
When should you start to grow Honeydew Melons?
The optimal time to start your honeydew melon growing project is between March and May. This also depends on your overall climatic conditions.
However, I recommend you to start as early as mid of March with your growing project since honeydew melons take plenty of time until they develop crops and until those crops will ripen.
Especially if you start out as a beginner, you may make some mistakes and it may take you longer to grow your honeydew melons from seed to harvest.
Long story short: Just start out pretty early on in the year to make sure that your honeydew melons will ripen in time.
How long does it take to grow Honeydew Melons from Seed to Harvest?
To grow your honeydew melons from seed to harvest, it will usually take you between 100 and 130 days.
Please note that this greatly depends on many different factors like the overall climatic conditions, the soil conditions and also your skill level.
Of course, experienced gardeners will not need as long as you will need to grow your melons from seed to harvest since you don’t have similar knowledge as they do.
However, you can still grow your honeydew melons in a reasonable amount of time if you follow all the steps in this article.
And to make things clear: Gardening is not about getting quick results, it is about loving the process.
Hence, even if it takes you a little bit longer to grow your honeydew melons, don’t be discouraged or disappointed. Just enjoy the process and go for it!
What is the best Climate to grow Honeydew Melons?
Honeydew melons grow best in moderate climatic zones which are neither too hot and humid nor too cold.
In fact, you will be just fine to grow honeydew melons as long as you don’t live in the tropics or in Antarctica 😉.
What Temperatures do Honeydew Melons like?
While honeydew melons grow best with day temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and night temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, seed companies did a great job in developing honeydew melon strains that are quite resistant to swings in temperature.
In fact, as long as you don’t live in too extreme climatic zones, chances are that you will just be fine with growing honeydew melons at home.
What do you need to grow Honeydew Melons?
There is some equipment you need to get to grow honeydew melons in the best possible manner. This includes
- Growing bed (to grow your seedlings)
- Flower pots (only necessary if you don’t have a garden to grow your honeydew melon)
- Honeydew melon seeds
- Fertilizer (you can make your own organic fertilizer for which I give you the instructions below)
- Potting soil
- Garden shovel
- Slug fence
- Watering can
- Passion for growing honeydew melons 😉
What Yield can you expect when you grow Honeydew Melons?
Honeydew melon plants can produce 2 to 5 honeydew melons.
However, what yield you will get at the end of the growing year greatly depends on how well you followed the steps in this article and also on how much you know about gardening in general.
While an experienced gardener will often be able to produce 5 honeydew melons per plant or even more, you may be happy to produce a single honey melon per plant if you have never grown honeydew melons before.
Hence, don’t be disappointed if your first yields are rather limited. In fact, you will get much better over time. Just be patient and enjoy the process.
Growing honeydew melons is not only about the yield, it is about loving the process to actually get to the harvesting period.
What Plants should you grow with Cantaloupe?
If you want to learn more about what to grow with honeydew melons, make sure to check out my article that shows you the best and worst cantaloupe companion plants.
Why should you grow your own Honeydew Melons?
Wouldn’t it be just easier to buy honeydew melons from the store instead of growing them at home? That’s what many people ask me.
And of course, it would be easier and probably even cheaper if you just buy your honeydew melons from the grocery store.
However, as I mentioned before, growing honeydew melons is not only about the yield, it is about the process and about the benefits that come along with it.
For instance, if you grow your own honeydew melons, it can just be quite a lot of fun.
I love gardening and seeing the progress my plants make each weak. Moreover, by growing your own honeydew melons, you can also reduce your stress level.
Especially if you work in a demanding office job for long hours, you may just need a break from time to time.
When you come home from the office, it can be great to just sit in your garden and enjoying the plants around you.
Additionally, if you grow your own honeydew melons, you can be sure that you grow your plants in a completely organic manner.
If you buy honeydew melons from the store, those melons are often contaminated with harmful substances from pesticides and herbicides.
Hence, if you eat those melons, chances are that this will not too beneficial for your health in the long run.
By growing your own honeydew melons at home, you can make sure that you don’t use any harmful substances and can do your health a huge favor.
Finally, if growing your own plants at home can reconnect you with nature.
In fact, our ancestors have grown their own vegetables and fruits for a quite long time and you can also pass on this knowledge to your kids.
Growing Honeydew Melons: Step-by-Step
1. Select a Site for your Honeydew Melons
After I hopefully convinced you that growing your own honeydew melons is indeed a good idea, you have to plan your growing project.
The first step to make your honeydew melon growing project a success is to choose the optimal site for planting your honeydew melons.
Do Honeydew Melons like Sun or Shade?
Honeydew melons like the sun and you should therefore provide them with a sunny spot in your garden or on your balcony.
Make sure that your honeydew melons get as much sun as possible. Of course, we are always talking about optimal conditions.
If you don’t have a garden where your melons can get sun all day long, don’t worry too much.
You will still be able to grow decent honeydew melon yields if you start out early on in the year as I recommended you to do earlier on in this article.
What are the Soil Requirements of Honeydew Melons?
Honeydew melons grow best in slightly acidic environments with soil pH of between 6.3 and 6.8.
Even though this might sound complicated to you at first, just get conventional potting soil from your garden center and you will be good to go.
You can also add some additional compost from your garden if you want to further optimize the growth conditions for your honeydew melons.
Also make sure that you loosen up the soil so that the roots of your honeydew melons can develop in an optimal manner.
Additionally, make sure that water can run off through the soil so that the roots of your honeydew melons will not rot.
How much Space do Honeydew Melon Plants need?
I would plant to provide each honeydew melon plant with at least 10 square feet in space. While honeydew melons don’t grow big into the vertical, they still need plenty of space in the horizontal.
Of course, the more space you give your honeydew melons to grow, the better they will develop.
Hence, if you have a big garden and more than enough space, feel free to give your plants even more space.
Should you plant Honeydew Melons in a Pot or in your Garden?
Both options are feasible in theory. However, I am not a big fan of growing honeydew melons in a pot since your plants will get quite big and you will also need a pretty big pot to grow your honeydew melons.
Moreover, also the overall conditions for your honeydew melons will not be as natural as if you just plant them into your garden.
Hence, if you have a garden, I would definitely recommend you to grow your honeydew melons in your garden instead of using a pot.
Sure, if you don’t have a garden and still want to grow honeydew melons, you will have no other choice than to grow them in a big pot on your balcony.
2. Plant Honeydew Melon Seeds
Now that you figured out the optimal site for your honeydew melons, it is time to start the actual growing process.
Should you buy Honeydew Melon Seeds or Seedlings?
First of all, you have to decide if you want to grow your honeydew melons from seedlings or straight from seed.
Although it will be easier to just grow them from seedlings, you will miss an important step in the overall growth process and especially if you have never grown honeydew melons before, I highly recommend you to grow your own honeydew melon seedlings instead of just getting them from your garden center.
Once you learned how to grow honeydew seedlings, you can use this knowledge to also grow various other plant seedlings and you will no longer have to rely on your local garden center, which can save you quite a lot of money in the long run.
And don’t be intimidated! Growing your own melon seedlings is not difficult at all. In fact, I show you all the steps you need to take to grow honeydew melon seedlings in the following chapters.
Should you buy Honeydew Melon Seeds or produce Seeds by yourself?
If you came to the conclusion that growing your own honeydew melon seedlings is indeed a good idea, you still have to decide whether you want to produce your own honeydew melon seeds or if you just want to get your seeds from your garden center or online.
While you could just order your seeds online, you can further make your growing experience even more interesting by extracting your own seeds.
For that, just go to your local grocery store and get a honeydew melon.
Cut it into half and extract the seeds from the inside. It’s that simple and once you got your seeds, you are now ready to actually start the growth process.
How to plant Honeydew Melon Seeds
First of all, you need to fill your growing bed with potting soil from your garden center.
Make sure that you don’t fill your growing bed completely, but that you leave a few inches of space in the vertical.
After you filled your growing bed, you can now place your honeydew seedlings right onto the soil.
I recommend that you leave at least 4 inches of space between each seed so that your seedlings can develop and grow in an optimal manner without having to compete for nutrients or sunlight in the first few weeks of their existence.
After you placed your seeds, make sure to cover them with one to two inches of additional soil.
Water your growing bed and put it in a bright spot in your home so that your seeds can germinate in an optimal manner.
Also make sure that you plant enough seeds. Beginner’s often make the mistake to expect one seedling from each honeydew melon seed. However, it doesn’t work like that.
Some honeydew seeds will simply not germinate and will just rot in the soil.
Hence, I recommend you to plant 3 seeds for each honeydew melon seedling you want to produce so that you can be sure that you reach your goal.
How long does it take to see the first Honeydew Melon Seedlings?
You should expect to see the first seedlings reaching the soil surface after 1-2 weeks.
However, this doesn’t mean that all of your seedlings will make it during this period of time.
In fact, it can take over one month until all seedlings will reach the soil surface.
If one month passed, you should no longer expect any honeydew seedlings to reach the soil surface and if you haven’t produced enough seedlings at this point in time, you should consider planting additional seeds.
How to protect your Honeydew Melon Seedlings
Since your honeydew melon seedlings will stay inside your four walls for the first few weeks, there is actually no need to worry about proper protection since most pests and animals will not reach your melon seedlings anyway.
Hence, if you don’t have pets, you will be just fine to leave your growing bed as it is.
If you have pets, make sure that your pets cannot touch your growing bed and you are good to go.
When should you transplant your Honeydew Melon Seedlings?
Before you can transplant your honeydew melon seedlings, you should make sure that the following conditions are met.
First of all, you should make sure that the outside conditions are suitable to actually transplant your honeydew melon seedlings outdoors.
Suitable means that the outside temperatures should no longer drop below the freezing mark.
In fact, your honeydew melon seedlings will be quite sensitive to the cold when they are still small and you should definitely make sure that there will be no freeze throughout the growing period anymore before you transplant your seedlings outdoors.
In addition to the temperature criterion, you should also make sure that your honeydew melon seedlings reach a certain height before you transplant them outdoors.
The smaller your seedlings are, the more vulnerable they are to outside conditions like pests or attacks from animals. Hence, if you transplant them too early, many of them will just die off.
I recommend you to wait with transplanting your honey melon plants outdoors until you they are at least 4 inches of size.
Of course, you can even wait longer if you want to further increase the chances that your seedlings will make it.
After those criteria are met, you first have to prepare your growing site before you can actually transplant your seedlings outdoors. Just dig one hole per seedlings into your garden.
Those holes should be at least 10 square feet in size and at least one foot deep.
After you dug your holes, prepare your seed mix with your potting soil from the garden center, the soil from your garden and with additional compost you might want to add.
After you mixed your soil, just refill your holes with the soil and transplant each honeydew melon seedlings onto each spot.
Alternatively, if you want to grow your honeydew melons in a pot instead, just fill your pots with potting soil and transplant your seedlings there. Finally, just water your seedlings and you are good to go.
What kind of Protection do Honeydew Melon Seedlings need outdoor?
Now that your honeydew melon seedlings are exposed to the harsh outside conditions, it is time to think about some further protection.
In fact, slugs and other animals may try to feed on your seedlings.
Hence, if you don’t want to wake up one day and wonder where all your seedlings have gone, you should use a slug fence to protect your honeydew seedlings.
Slug fences are great since they do not only keep away slugs, but they also deter other smaller animals.
They are also much eco-friendlier compared to chemical measures and I highly recommend you stay away from using chemical substances in order to protect our local flora and fauna as well as your health.
3. The Honeydew Melon Growth Process
After you have protected your honeydew melon seedlings properly, most of the manual work is actually done. If you made it to this point, congratulations!
However, even though plenty of work is already done, there are still some things you have to consider which I show you in the following.
Should you prune your Honeydew Melon Plants?
Pruning melon plants is a rather controversial topic. While some experts claim that it is crucial to prune your honeydew melons, I don’t agree with this at all.
In fact, I got my best results when I just left my plants alone and by not pruning them at all.
Pruning is not in line with natural processes since melons evolved over many years without any human intervention.
Hence, also from an evolutionary perspective, pruning does not make too much sense and I recommend you not to prune your honeydew melons.
Do you have to pollinate your Honeydew Melon Plants by Hand?
Yet, you should pollinate your honeydew melons by hand if you want to get decent yields.
Especially if you only grow a few honeydew melon plants, they will not pollinate each other too much and you have to help your plants out by hand.
Just grab a cotton swab and transfer the pollen from one plant to the other and you are good to go.
Also make sure that you do so as soon as you see a new melon flower opening since the timeframe honeydew melon flowers are open is quite short and if you miss the right time, you will no longer be able to pollinate them.
Should you stake your Honeydew Melons?
In my opinion, it is not necessary to stake your honeydew melon plants.
In fact, I just let them grow and give them enough space in the horizontal so that they can grow and expand on the ground rather than to tie them to sticks and let them grow in the vertical.
4. The Honeydew Melons Harvest
Now that you followed all the steps and used all the information regarding how to grow honeydew melons from seed to harvest properly, you can expect to get quite decent yields.
When should you harvest your Honeydew Melons?
Harvesting honeydew melons is pretty simple. You just have to wait until they look like in your grocery store and they are ready to harvest.
If you are not sure whether your honeydew melons are already ripe enough to harvest, just pick one melon and eat it.
You will soon notice whether it is ripe or if it still needs some time. According to your experience, you can harvest your other melons as well or just let them ripen a little bit longer.
How to store your Honeydew Melons?
If you want to store your honeydew melons, make sure that you store them in a dark, dry and cold place inside your home.
However, please also note that honeydew melons will continue to ripen even further after you harvested them.
Hence, if you plan to store your honeydew melons for a longer period of time, make sure that you harvest them quite early so that they don’t get bad.
I still recommend you use your honeydew melons right after the harvest since they will taste best and will also contain the most precious nutrients and vitamins at this point in time.
What should you do with your Honeydew Melons?
While you can just eat your honeydew melons as they are, you can also make fruit salads or make a refreshing honeydew sorbet.
You may also want to invent your own honeydew melon dish which you can share with your friends.
Honeydew Melon Plant Care Tips
After giving you detailed information on all the steps to grow your honeydew melons from seed to harvest, it is time to share some further general information with you so that you can further optimize your melon growing experience.
How often should you water Honeydew Melons?
You should irrigate your melon plants whenever they need it. While your honeydew melon plants will not need too much water at the beginning, they will soon become much bigger and will also need much more water due to that.
Moreover, the water demand of your honeydew melons also depends on outside temperatures.
For instance, on hot summer days, you will have to irrigate your honeydew melons on a daily basis.
If you are on vacation during this time, it is crucial that you find someone who takes care of your plants since they will likely die off otherwise.
If you are not experienced yet in gardening and don’t have proper intuition when it is time to irrigate your honeydew melons, you can just dig a small hole with your finger into the soil. Put your finger out again.
If soil sticks to your finger, this means that the soil is still wet enough and there is no need to water your plants.
If no soil sticks to your finger, this means it is dry and you should water your melons pretty soon.
At what Time of the Day should you water your Honeydew Melon Plants?
Depending on your individual preferences, you can water your melon plants throughout the day.
While some gardening gurus claim that the best time to water your honeydew melons is in the morning, I personally haven’t seen any difference and it is much more important just to provide water to your plants whenever they need it instead of having a fixed and rigid watering schedule.
How often should you fertilize your Honeydew Melon Plants?
If you followed the soil recipe I provided above, you have already provided your honeydew melons with plenty of nutrients and enough soil so that they should be able to develop in a healthy manner.
Of course, you can still optimize your growing project by further add additional fertilizer on a regular basis.
What kind of Fertilizer should you use for your Honeydew Melon Plants?
If you decide to use additional fertilizer, make sure to use natural fertilizer instead of chemical substances since those chemicals are pretty bad for our environment.
If you know my other articles, you also know that I am quite convinced about just making your own natural fertilizer from stinging nettles.
You just need to collect some stinging nettles, leave them in the water for a few days and remove the plant material after that. And here you go.
You just produced free, effective and completely natural fertilizer which you can use on a regular basis for fertilizing a variety of different plants in your garden or on your balcony.
Should you use Pesticides or Herbicides for Growing Honeydew Melons?
While there are some chemical herbicides and pesticides out there, I highly recommend you rely on natural alternatives instead.
In fact, you can make your life pretty simple. Just use the stinging nettle liquid and spray it onto your plants.
You will soon realize that most pests will vanish since they simply don’t like the taste of stinging nettle liquid at all.
You also don’t need to use any herbicides since you can just remove weeds by hand instead.
If you want to learn even more about pest control, you should also check out how to get rid of melon plant diseases and pests.
What’s left to say?
Thanks for reading my honeydew melon grower’s guide to the end. I know my grower’s guides are quite extensive, but I had to make them that long in order to provide you with all the information you need to grow honeydew melons from seed to harvest.
If you like my article, make sure to share them. Also feel free to check out my other grower’s guides! See you! 😉
You want to learn more about growing melons in general? Make sure to also check out my grower’s guide on how to grow melons.
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 own plants grow and always try new things.
In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants, even if you are still a beginner right now.