Growing your own melons in your home garden is a fun activity with delicious rewards. But squirrels, rodents, birds and other animals will be eager to feast on your melons when they're young and under ripe. If you want to save all of those melons for yourself, you'll need to give them extra protection during their developmental stages.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic milk crates
- Croquet wickets
- Ripening melons
Watch over your garden daily to make sure you catch your growing melons at the earliest stage of development. When budding melons are approximately the size of a golf ball or slightly larger, they're ready to be protected from animals.
Place a plastic milk crate upside-down over each small, ripening melon. If necessary, adjust the crate so that the melon inside will still get lots of sunlight through the holes.
Push a croquet wicket into the ground with one wicket leg inside of a plastic milk crate and the other leg outside of the crate. This will pin the crate to the ground. Use two wickets per crate, and put the wickets on opposite sides of each crate.
Keep watch over your melons to ensure that the milk crates are allowing adequate sunlight through. When a melon has grown to approximately 75% of its expected adult size, remove the milk crate entirely. Animals are less likely to eat mature or nearly mature melons.
Tips & Warnings
- If you do not have croquet wickets, you can use just about any type of wire hook that you can drive into the soil. You can also make your own fasteners out of scrap metal wire that is heavy but bendable.
- You can also keep the crates in place by placing a brick or heavy rock on top of each one, but the downside of this approach is that you will block out some of the sun.
- Some of the more ambitious animals may be able to burrow under the sides of your crates to get at your ripening melons.
What Is Eating My Vegetable Garden?
If your plants are missing their leaves or fruit, or being chewed to ground level almost overnight, it's likely your garden is...
How to Protect Fruit Trees from Squirrels, Raccoons and Birds
The best way to protect fruit trees from squirrels, raccoons and birds is to use a combination of repellents, scare tactics and...
How to Make Essential Oil With Cantaloupe
Making your own essential oils at home gives you the opportunity to use them in your own botanical bath and body creations....
How to Grow Melons (Honeydew, Cantaloupe and Muskmelon)
Prized for their sugary, refreshing flesh, melons (Cucumis melo) such as honeydews and cantaloupes, or muskmelons, are a staple crop in many...