_Sowing date:_ As soon as they'll germinate outdoors: at Elkton, May
15 to June 1. Thin to a single plant per hill when there are about
three true leaves and the vines are beginning to run.
_Spacing:_ Most varieties will grow a vine
reaching about 8 feet in diameter. Space the hills 8 feet apart in all directions. _Irrigation:_ Fertigation every two to three weeks will increase the yield by two or three times and may make the melons sweeter. Release the water/fertilizer mix close to the center of the vine, where the taproot can use it. _Varieties:_ Adaptation to our cool climate is critical with melons; use varieties sold by our regional seed companies. Yellow Doll watermelons (TSC) are very early and seem the most productive under the most droughty conditions. I've had reasonable results from most otherwise regionally adapted cantaloupes and muskmelons. Last year a new hybrid variety, Passport (TSC), proved several weeks earlier than I'd ever experienced and was extraordinarily prolific and tasty.
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