I live on a sand dune, basically. Fine sand, lava, and caliche. But lots
of piled red sand in Southern Utah. Just like beach sand, only red.
I want to grow melons. Watermelons, cantaloupe, and any other melon that
I have two acres, and my irrigation water is expensive at $8 per month for
When planting melon hills on such terrain, what should I do? Should I take
a couple bags of garden soil they sell at the nurseries and mix it in where
I plant the seeds? Maybe a little fertilizer? I will be doing this
repeatedly over the years I last, so will making the soil better each year
help the yield, or is this a crop that needs to be alternated or rested?
Or planted in a new place each year? The nutrients in the soil are very
poor, and plant matter would be 2% on the high guess. I would like to get
some good melons the first year, and after that if the beds are prepared
Can anyone give me some good advice?
Amend soil to 20% - 30% clay. Mix with organic material (compost is best
or any thing easily broken down like leaves, alfalfa, or alfalfa
pellets) and a couple of cups full of manure. Fish emulsion every two
weeks until flowers and then stop. Don't let soil dry out but don't make
it soggy (water every three days or so). It would be better if you can
set up drip rather than trying to irrigate. Good news is that it sound
like you have the heat for melons (sine qua non).
Watermelons love sandbars. Certainly mix as much organic matter as you
can lay your hands on into the soil. Add a small dose of fertilizer at
planting, a second dose when they get thier first leaves, and a third
dose as they began running. !0-10- 10 or the equivalent works fine or
you can use manure. I would forget the clay. Cantaloupes and thier kin
are not as choosy and will tolerate clay, but will grow fine in sand
amended with organic matter and fertilised as for watermelons. They
will need a bit more water than the desert born watermelons. If you
use 10-10-10, 300 - 400 lbs per acre is sufficient.
The reason for the clay is to help hold nutrients and to slow down water
loss your soil will still be 60% - 70% sand). Organic fertilizers will
help build soil (microorganisms), chemical fertilizers will not. 4
bushels (1.25 cu. ft./bushel) of fresh cow manure or 1 bushel of chicken
manure per 100 square feet will provide adequate nitrogen.
What is the nature of your caliche, small pieces or hardpan? See:
What is the nature of your lava,small pieces or a continuous layer?
Basalt? In small pieces, it should be good for the soil.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.