The Q&A Archives: Ph On Melon

Question: Last year my garden did well except for my different varieties of melons. They were large but they were not sweet at all. I know there is a rule of thumb on the ph when you are planting your veg. Veg. that grow in the ground like a certain type of soil, veg. that grow on a bush like another certain type of ph in the soil . Do you have a chart that shows what type of ph certain plants like so that they grow?

Answer: Most vegetables will grow within a fairly wide pH range of say between 5.5 and 7.5 but 6.5 is just about ideal. Having said that, and knowing the pH tends to drift over time, good vegetable soil is usually somewhere between 6.0 and 7.0. Melons do best between 6.0 and 6.8.

Melon sweetness can be diluted by too much water applied too close to harvest that particular year; since your melons were large this is what I suspect may have happened. However, if your melons are never sweet, it is possibly due to a shortage of boron and magnesium. To remedy this, use a mixture of 3.5 tablespoons of Epsom salts plus 1.5 tablespoons of a 20 percent boron material (look for this in the laundry section of the supermarket) per gallon of water. Measure carefully because you do not want to use too much boron! Apply this mixture when the vines begin to run and again when the fruit is about two inches across.

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