Mulching Watermelons - Knowledgebase Question

Lillian, AL
Avatar for michey
Question by michey
April 24, 1998
I planted watermelons and cantaloupe for the first time. I am wondering if I can mulch it like I do my flower beds? It is hard for me keep everything watered and I like to conserve what water I can. What is the best choice for mulch? I use cypress mulch on my flowers but normally have hay around also.

Answer from NGA
April 24, 1998
Mulch is a great idea for melons. Mulch helps to keep the ground moist and the fruits clean and thereby less prone to pests and disease. Black plastic is a good choice (though not so attractive) because it helps the soil to warm up in the spring and keeps it warm. Of course, you need to remember to poke some holes in it for water to get through. If you don't like the black plastic, straw or salt hay is also fine.

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