For best results start seed indoors, 4 weeks prior to the last frost. Sow 2-3 seeds 1⁄2 inches deep in 21⁄4 inches Jiffy strips. Provide a warm soil temperature (24-27 degrees C) and even moisture. Leave the 2 best seedlings in each pot. Transplant outdoors after all risk of frost in rows 4-6 feet apart with 36 inches(melons) - 48 inches(watermelon) between jiffy pots.
For direct seeding, wait until all risk of frost has passed and soil has warmed. Sow seed in rows and space properly or sow into mounded 1 foot x 2 foot hills, leaving 2 plants per hill, with hills spaced at 4-6 feet.
Melons require a bright, warm growing season of about 3 months duration. Row covers or black mulch are highly recommended for extending growing season, to ensure maturity and to increase yield.
Full sun and sheltered location with soil pH of 6.0-7.0. Melons are moderate feeders which require plenty of compost added to the soil. Regular feedings during the season with a well balanced fertilizer or compost tea are highly beneficial.
Muskmelons-when the melon easily slips off the stem. Watermelon-when the curly tendril that intersects the main stem with the stem on the fruit has completely dried and turned brown and the underside of the melon, where it sits on the ground, is yellow.
Monitor for Cucumber beetles; use Rotenone to control beetles. Leaf spots and mildew can be controlled using a sulfur or copper fungicide.