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Melon - Windbreaks

Windy conditions, particularly in early spring can slow early plant growth, reduce plant stands and increase the days to harvest. Windbreaks are very effective way to reduce wind exposure and protect plants from blowing soil or stem twisting. Commonly used windbreaks are fall-planted small grains (wheat, triticale). Spring planted (oats, barley) windbreaks are less effective as they do not grow to sufficient height to protect plants. Utah growers using windbreaks often plant 3-6 rows of melons between windbreak strips. Others plant the drive rows for harvest with the windbreak. Windbreaks can be killed mechanically (mowed, disked), treated with an appropriate herbicide, or left in place.