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Growing Melons in Zone 3a (is it even possible)

Posted by hmacdona Zone 3a Calgary (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 28, 09 at 13:49

This is probably a silly question, but has anyone been able to grow melons of any sort in Calgary, or a similar zone? (without needing a greenhouse)

I've always stayed away from growing them because I assumed they'd need a longer season, but I'm starting to get the itch :)

If anyone's had any success, I'd love to hear what varities work for you.

Thanks in advance.....Heather

P.S. Can they be grown in large container?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Growing Melons in Zone 3a (is it even possible)

I've never had much luck here in 2b, but my Dad grows melons 30 miles from me, and a few hundred feet lower in elevation. Dad ususally gets a few canteloupes, and once in a while he'll have luck with watermelons. He doesn't grow any particular type, just what he finds on the seed racks in town - probably Mackenzie or Bowseed. Dad starts them right out in the garden, with a two liter pop bottle on top. He cuts the side out of the pop bottle and lays it down like a mini greenhouse - the green ones seem to work well. I've tried the pop bottle method, but the dog steals the pop bottles.


RE: Growing Melons in Zone 3a (is it even possible)

I have been growing watermelons for the last 8 years. Went from outside to the Greenhouse because i would only get about a softball size melon. But 3 years ago I had the use of the neighbors garden. Had a wet Spring (which they don't like ) & hot hot summer. Ended up with about a doz. 5 to 7 lb melons (like the minis you buy in the store). Had to give them lots of water, some nitrogen fertilizer (vining)& bone meal(fruiting)
Types I've grown are Tiger baby, Early harvest, Early canada, Graybelle & Sugar baby. These are small icebox type except the Graybelle.

So if you think you are going to have a hot summer than give it a shot. Start indoors 4 weeks early, plant in mounds,treat like transplanting cucs. & cover for the first couple weeks after transplanting ( tomato cage plastic bag ) wait till vines start to die before picking.
These types are seeded( lots of seeds) but they taste so good especially because you grew them your self.

Wish you luck...Bruce

RE: Growing Melons in Zone 3a (is it even possible)

Heather Several years ago I bought 2 tiny plants from a small shop and planted them ,next to a southfacing rock wall in the veggie garden. This garden is beside the lake and we also water from it . The garden gets about 5 tons of well rotted manure every 2 years or so. We had several 1-2 lb fruit The next spring when looking in the garden I was pulling up the vines and found 3 more that had growen into the rock wall were misshaped+++++ but tasted wonderfully sweet Go figure! have not grown them again as we moved and are starting all over again . Good luck .....Lois

RE: Growing Melons in Zone 3a (is it even possible)

We have had some canteloupe come up in the garden from seeds that were just thrown out. My kids love them so I usually buy them at the store and every year they start on their own. They don't do a lot and don't seem to have a long enough season this way but if were started in the house early would likely do better and mature earlier.
Cheap way to try it would be to buy some from the store and then start the seeds from them inside.

RE: Growing Melons in Zone 3a (is it even possible)

I grew both in Zone 3 - but the racoons get them. I start the seed indoors 4-5 weeks. Protect with row covers. If the summer is cool, clear plastic helps retain heat.
Lois (celtic-07), if you read this one, how do you get water from the lake? I just posted a request for info. on gettting water from our river.

RE: Growing Melons in Zone 3a (is it even possible)

Your stories are very encouraging everyone. I may just give it a try. Thanks for sharing....Heather

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