NZ Gardener - - 2018 Gardener Of The Year -

• Sow­ing mel­ons? Don’t open your seed pack­ets be­fore Labour Week­end, warns Ger­ard Martin from Kings Seeds. Sow in trays in­doors with heat (at 25°C, watermelons germinate in 7-10 days, whereas at 15°C they may never sprout).

• Warm up the soil with black plas­tic or trans­plant seedlings un­der a cloche to lessen trans­plant shock brought on by the dra­matic dif­fer­ence in in­door ver­sus out­door tem­per­a­tures. It’s not cool days but cold nights that check their growth.

• Be care­ful when weed­ing as melon vines are easy to ac­ci­den­tally up­root.

• Mel­ons need wa­ter, but not too much at once, es­pe­cially after the skins have hard­ened, or this can cause them to split apart be­fore fully ripe (pic­tured).

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