Try Melons in a Five Star Polytunnel

At Five Star Polytunnels we are trying to grow melons in our Polytunnel for the first time. We are trying  ‘Sugar Baby’ . This is a new and very early watermelon with sweet red flesh that was bred for smaller fruit, to allow a harvest in shorter summers. The skin gets quite dark as its ripens, helping absorb more heat from the sun. We bought organic seed and had a good germination rate and now have 12 plants successfully growing in the polytunnel.

We are using the RHS advice on how to grow the melons in your polytunnel. We need to select 4 strong trailing shoots and be prepared to shorten these, by pinching out the growing tip after 7 to 9 leaves have appeared down the length.

I have been told they can be very difficult to pollinate, and we might need to hand pollination but we have no end of pollinators on our 3 acre organic patch at Five Star Polytunnels and they seem to be doing their work.

We are learning as we go, we are intending to grow the melon plants up strings supported by the crop bars, but we may have left it too late because the bees have already been very busy and we have our first fruit setting, in fact our first melon is already the size of an apple.

Regular watering is going to be a key factor to stop the melons from growing suddenly and splitting. Hopefully the irrigation system we have in place in our polytunnel will help with this.

We still need to work out how to support the melons, I have been told that old tights can be very useful for this. Watch this space!

Melon in a Five Star Polytunnel

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