A neighbor gave me a bunch of honeydew melon seeds and despite
everything I do to fail at starting seeds, it looks like I'm going to
end up with 3 healthy seedlings by our frost free date.
My problem is that I'm not sure I want to dedicate three large (greater
than 20 gal) containers for these melons. Can these melons be grown in
5 gallon bucket sized containers successfully?
Not really. The melons grow high up on the vine. The support system will
topple the pots, unless you let the vines trail onto the ground. And, unless
you're home all day to water, or find an automatic watering system, the pots
will dry out too quickly. Can't you grow them in the ground?
In article email@example.com says...
I don't have any ground to plant. My entire veggie garden is on a
rooftop so I'm stuck with containers. Plus space is at a premium up
there. I will have horizontal trellises for these (and the cukes) to
climb over and stay above the surface.
I do have a container that's a little more than 10 gallons and I'm
trying out a new container soil mixture that includes a healthy dose of
sphagnum peat moss that should help retain water. Right now I'm
thinking of putting one in a big pot, one in the 10 gal pot, and give
the other away.
If you have only one big pot, plant two of your seedlings in it and let
the other one go.
I *have* grown melons in containers, but it took LARGE containers, lots
and lots of trellising, lots of training and pruning and babying the
vines up the trellis, and drip irrigation and the yield was so small it
wasn't worth it. If I try to grown melons again, into the ground they
I'm concerned that you are doing this with seeds given you by a
neighbor. Are these seed company seeds guaranteed true, or are they from
you neighbor's last year's crop that was unfortunately planted near the
cucumbers and squashes? I'm leery of planting harvested seeds simply
because of cross-pollination that may bring forth some very wonky
Here are some container gardening tips for you:
Try using the largest container you have. A saucer under the pot helps
stop drips and saves water. Peat moss will help retain moisture. So
will Soil Polymers. They can absorb up to 10 times their weight in
water. And don't forget to mulch.
You'll have to tie the vines up on stakes, or a trellis of some sort.
When the melons start getting big, you can slip them into the foot of a
pair of panyhose. Tie the stocking to the trellis. It will expand with
the melon and keeps pests away too.
For other plants to try up there, look for bush varieties. They have
bush versions of tomatoes, watermelons and cantelopes. Peppers are
bushy anyway and would be happy in a 10 gallon container - use lots of
Good luck, Laura
In article firstname.lastname@example.org says...
My neighbor is rather elderly and kind of, shall we say, frugal. I
think it's that trait I notice people have who lived through the
Depression and they still think they need to save everything. Well I
just found out that the Honeydew seeds he gave me he got from a Honeydew
melon bought at a fruit stand. I would think that commercially grown
Honeydew melons should have had good controls over pollination. But I'm
not taking a chance. I decided to grow one seedling in a big pot as an
experiment to see what happens and give the others away to people who
actually have yards with room to spare to take chances on growing
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