We also planted some melons but we didn't have any luck there, either. In the fall, we planted a greens patch and it didn't even do well enough to pick. We thought that perhaps it would help to condition the soil when we plowed it under.
Here is the plan. First we tilled the soil really well. We will plant corn there, but also some things like zucchini, which we have grown successfully in the upper garden. We also will have some peas and lima beans -- maybe even some green beans.
We want to raise the rows a bit by piling up the soil and raising the planting area. I think that will help the corn. We will condition the soil with manure and make sure we fertilize enough.
Netting will be used over the corn rows to help protect them from the crows until the corn is high enough not to be "crow food."
We must have a fence around the garden to protect it from deer. This has to be done. We really don't have a choice.
I hope it works. Maybe we will have a great lower garden, too. It won't be because we didn't try.