The Q&A Archives: Melons smell wonderful, taste bland

Question: I am an experienced, biointensive-organic gardener, successfully grow all kinds of things; I have highly-improved sandy clay soil that gets full sun, and use drip irrigation. I am in Northern CA, Sunset Western Gardens Book zone 7; temperatures range from 115 daytime to 50's at night in summer. My ripe cantaloupes smell wonderful, but taste bland, and my watermelons are a failure-icebox types get the size of large baseballs, and when I tried the 30# types, they got a little bit bigger; this year I am trying the 200# monsters out of desperation. I interplant melons, cukes, and beans with corn, and mulch HEAVILY. No disease problems that I am aware of, and everything but the melons grow/taste great. No one has been able to help figure out what the problem is.

Answer: The two most critical factors that influence taste in a melon (besides the variety's genetics) are temperature and water. Melons grow best when the soil temp is 70 to 75 degrees and when the air temp is 70 to 80 degrees during the day and 60 to 70 degrees at night. Soil or air temps much above that hardens the melons a little too early and temperatures below that stalls the sugar production resulting in bland melons. Melons like plenty of water in their beginning days but considerably less after fruits begin to form. Constant watering (such as that from a drip system) also results in bland ( diluted ) fruits.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Char and is called "'Diamond Head' Sunrise"