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Correct soil ph for melons?

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  • Correct soil ph for melons?

    What is the correct soil pH for melons? I recently read a book specifically on the subject of melons. The author, an expert, having grown them for years, gives an alkaline soil pH of between 7 and 8 for muskmelons and cantaloupes. Every other source I've checked, and there have been many, disagrees with this and gives the optimum pH level at between 6-6.5, slightly acidic. I'm confused.

  • #2
    PH

    I have grown them for a long time, have had years where I needed a wheelbarrow even in a not so big patch, and NEVER had soil between 7 and 8. Never.

    On the other hand, when my garden was way smaller than now, in my slightly acidic soil, NOTHING gave me a better harvest than foliar feeding with maxicrop powdered seaweed extract every 2-3 days.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the feedback Mike. Where do you get your maxicrop? This is my second year growing melons. Both years I just dug a hole and used Miracle Grow Garden Soil, and put 3 plants in each hole. I tested the Miracle Grow soil with a home test kit and came up with a ph of about 7. Both years they grew well. This year we've had tons of rain and some melon patches, including mine, are dying, wilting, etc. I began applying Daconil to try and save the patch, but I started too late. Did save about 1/3 of the patch. I'm still getting some melons though. Next year I'm thinking about mixing the Miracle Grow soil with some peat moss to lower the ph a little to 6.5, and only put 2 plants per hill.

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      • #4
        I use a 2 cf bag of cheap peat moss mixed with 3 cups dolomite lime, 2 cups white ash from the corn burner (wood ash would probably do the same thing), 1 cup bone meal, 1 cup blood meal, about 1 gallon of worm castings, and 1 gallon full of perlite. Mix it up and just dump it on the ground, and cover with black plastic. This mix costs less than 5 dollars. When blossoms set, I foliar spray/water with a Miracle-gro garden hose feeder, but I use comfrey leaf tea (sludge really) and milk... the black comfrey tea makes them really green up and take off, and the milk keeps powdery mildew away as well as putting the minerals and "other goodies" in the garden and don't tell anyone, but taking a "whizz" in a gallon jug, filling it up with rain water, and flipping it upside-down to soak into the dirt in the hill makes big sweet melons....at least that's what I heard...

        The pH goes all over the map until it settles out about 6-6.2 mid-summer. I doubt the pH actually changes like that, and the readings are from the testers and small samples taken before the mix is well stabilized.

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        • #5
          For melon PH 6-7, that's what I saw on the internet. My PH was 5.6 last year, and I still got lots of very delicious melons. This year I'll add some wood ash and garden lime.
          7-8 doesn't sound right. Few herbs want around PH 7.

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