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[scientific name]

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Quick Reference

Optimum Soil Temperature
Days to Germination
Days to Harvest
Direct Sow or Transplant
Distance Apart
Soil pH
Annual/Biennial /Perennial 





all are Cucumis melo

originated Africa

watermelon – Citrullus lanatus also from africa

like plenty of heat

full sun

long warm growing seaon

90-100 days

plant in november

love aged manure and fertiliser

mulching with black plastic will ensure the heat is concentrated


layer of manure not too thick then black plastic.

you can peg runners down if it is too windy to stop the plants being tossed around

when runners at 2m long pinch off the laterals to concentrate gropwth into developing fruit

watering is important in melons until the fruit is fully developed

Avoid wetting leaves as they are susceptible to mildew

spray with baking soda (2 teaspoons per two litres of water) for mildrew – early morning and late evening.  Repeat weekly

Harvest when stems withered – tapping fruit should sound hollow.  Test one before harvesting the rest


Storing harvested [name]:Seed Saving:



Fun Facts


Botrytis, grey mould – fLowers and fruit rot.  Usually strikes in humid conditions

Downy mildew – leaves become blotched and yellow, sometimes mould will appear on undersides. Can be worse in cool, moist conditions.

Wilting of leaves – large leaves loose moisture in warm weather. Mulch and water frequently.

Excessive leaf growth – excess Nitrogen

Fruit yellow and bitter – over-maturity

Anthracnose – Brow-black spots on leaves. Crop rotation (four years)Leaf spot – water soaked spots on leaves, leaves crack. Immature fruit may fall. Crop rotation. Destroy diseased leaves and parts of plant.

Shortage of fruit – Poor pollination. Lack of bees or weather too cold. Hand pollination may be possible

Predominance of male flowers. – stress conditions, poor nutrition, low light, low temperature, low water. Ensure plants have food and water.

Damaged skin with pale discoloured patches – Fruit exposed to wet, damp soil. Place a tile or hay under the fruit.

Lack of flavour – not ripe enough.  Rock melon is ripe when the stalk comes away from the fruit.


Whitefly – undersides of leaves covered with white insects that fly when disturbed. Control may be difficult once a population has build up so best dealt with early on.

Mites – leaves yellow (stippled or mottled), dehydration, fine webbing on underside of leaves. More severe in warm weather.

Companion Planting