The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Fruit => Topic started by: Jakebob on May 25, 2014, 10:09:15 pm

Title: Melons
Post by: Jakebob on May 25, 2014, 10:09:15 pm
Has anyone grown melons before? I am for the first time this year, just wondering if anyone has any advice. Thank you in advance.
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on May 25, 2014, 10:17:47 pm
I tried once in my unheated greenhouse. I did get a couple but they were tiny so I'm probably not the best person to advise you. Good luck with them.
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: HesterF on May 25, 2014, 11:46:41 pm
I've never had any luck either but they've always been a bit neglected by me! My mum has had some luck in a cold frame.
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: pgkevet on May 26, 2014, 05:37:47 am
I've tried about three times with no success. This year I have three varieties in my largest greenhouse but the cues and cornichon pants are already way, way bigger so not hopeful even though plants look quite healthy - but that's after replacing 2 plants with spares.
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: Somewhere_by_the_river on May 27, 2014, 06:17:42 pm
Very interested in this, I've always fancied trying some when (eventually) we get our polytunnel. pgkevet - what varieties have you tried, Jakebob - what are you trying? I wondered if the ones promoted as for outdoor even in the UK (I'm sceptical on that) would do well and/or if it would be a good idea to grow them in an indoor hot bed?
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: pgkevet on May 27, 2014, 08:02:31 pm
.. pgkevet - what varieties have you tried, ..

a) Ogden b) a watermelon type marketed for the UK and c) cantaloupe just using seeds from one I bought.

I could see soil warming helping if growing along the ground but I grow mine up canes. If decent heating was cheap enough it'd be pineapples and bananas I'd grow again!
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: MAK on May 27, 2014, 09:02:30 pm
We grow them. Last year I had them growing up an old wire fence that I moved into the veg patch - prolific but then I did water them almost every day and grew them in a trench of manure. The plants clung to the fence and was a mass of yellow flowers with a high fertilisation rate. Much better than when I grew them on last years compost heap.
My neighbours just chuck them at the end of a ridge of potatoes and are too old to water them - they get a few fruits.
We grow Charantais.
Worth a try but it depends of course on where you live and if the sun shines  :sunshine:
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: Somewhere_by_the_river on May 28, 2014, 02:28:47 pm
...It was a manure bed that I was thinking personally, for the heat, then trailing them up around the polytunnel frame... I love the idea of the old pineapple pits (which relied on heat, rather than sun), so that was my take on them in a more practical sense (plus I'd rather have fresh fruit than chocolate any day of the week). Not sure where abouts you are pgkevet, but I'll be very interested to know how you get on.
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: Greenerlife on May 28, 2014, 04:20:27 pm
I grew a charentais type last year in my greenhouse hydroponics unit next to the tomatoes.  The plant itself looked a bit pathetic but it did give me some smallish sized melons the taste of which were divine.  Am trying two varieties this year and have planted one outside to see how it gets on.  Having watched the allotment competition on bbc2 - shows how difficult they can be!
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: pgkevet on May 28, 2014, 07:56:01 pm
...It was a manure bed that I was thinking personally, for the heat, then trailing them up around the polytunnel frame... I love the idea of the old pineapple pits (which relied on heat, rather than sun), so that was my take on them in a more practical sense (plus I'd rather have fresh fruit than chocolate any day of the week). Not sure where abouts you are pgkevet, but I'll be very interested to know how you get on.

Llanfyllin.

So you should have it easy that far south!  ;D
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: Somewhere_by_the_river on May 28, 2014, 08:02:46 pm
 :roflanim: I wish! You've not seen my patch pgkevet, bit of a work in progress at the mo...  :innocent:
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: Coeur de Chene on June 02, 2014, 09:16:06 pm
Having grown charentais in France a few years previously, I tried them in the north west of UK when we were there for a while. They were very successful in a back yard against a south facing wall. In a raised bed with lots of well rotted manure mixed with the top soil. I don't remember watering much, they were normal sized and delicious, not complicated at all. Certainly worth an experiment as even if small they taste great.
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: Bramblecot on June 06, 2014, 01:37:07 pm
Have grown them in a greenhouse , on a diet of neglect :innocent: .  Charentais type, small fruits but tasted delicious.  I have a couple growing in pots that I'm going to try in the polytunnel this year , in a raised bed :fc: .  The  :chook: :chook: have eaten the outdoor ones on the compost heap ::) .
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: pgkevet on July 30, 2014, 09:46:33 am
I think I'm going to rip out my melons <sigh>... got trails 8 foot long rambling all over the greenhose border, covered in masses of flowers and not a single female flower.  It's got so they're messing up ventilation to everything else.

Similarly going to rip out my neatly tied up cornichon.. on the grounds that they're over 12 foot now and there's on;y so many pickled gherkins I need. That'll leave my two cucumbers keeping me supplied on the squash front and get more light and air to the toms, aubergines and peppers.
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: Bramblecot on July 30, 2014, 02:35:44 pm
Try pinching out all the trailing stems, they do like to scramble about ;D .  The courgettes and squash in the polytunnel have turned into triffids so no space for the melons now, I'm going to pot them on and keep them in the greenhouse. :fc:
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on July 30, 2014, 05:24:41 pm
I've got triffids like that in my garden. I think it's all one plant, which is a buffy ball squash and is a mass of squashes. There are other varieties in the same bed but I can't tell where the buffy ends and the others begin.


I quite fancy having a go at watermelons but I don't have a polytunnel only a smallish greenhouse and no room for a cold frame anywhere.
Title: Re: Melons
Post by: pgkevet on July 30, 2014, 06:07:34 pm
Alreadu ripped out! They really were compromising ventilation to the aubergines. Much easier to work in there now.

I migth try again next year neaty up poles.. 'cos i won't bother with cornichon again - well at least not 4 plants. Once they got going it was gherkins every day that grew huge very very fast and i have enough pickled for a looong time...