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GROWING INSTRUCTIONS FOR MELONS
Binomial Name: Cucumis Melo
Varieties: Banana Melon, Crenshaw, Hales Best, Honey Rock, Orange Flesh, Osage Muskmelon, Plum Granny, Rocky Ford, Tam Dew
Start: Seed or seedling
Germination: 3 - 5 days, 15°C to 35°C
Seed Life (viability): 4 years
Soil: High fertility
Sunlight: Full sun
Sow Seeds: 30cm apart
Transplant/Thin to: 120 - 180cm apart
Ave. Days to Harvest: 65 - 86
Good Companions: Petunia, radish, corn, yarrow
Bad Companions: -
Sowing & Planting: Prefers warm, well-drained soil, high in organic matter with a pH 6.5 to 7.5. Consistent and plentiful moisture is needed until fruit is about the size of a tennis ball. Soil temperatures below 10°C inhibit growth.
If you have a long, hot growing season then direct-seed into the garden. To ensure ripening in areas with shorter growing seasons and cooler weather, choose fast-maturing varieties, start plants inside, use black plastic mulch to warm the soil and use fabric row covers to protect plants.
Direct-seed 1 to 2 weeks after average last frost when soil is 20°C or warmer. Plant 1cm deep, 6 seeds per hill, hills 120 - 180cm apart; or 30cm apart in rows 150cm apart. Can plant at closer spacings if trellised. Thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill.
For transplanting, sow seeds indoors 5mm deep in pots (5cm square or bigger), 2 to 4 weeks before setting out. Plants should have one or two true leaves when transplanted. Transplant at same spacings as direct-seeded crops. Transplants are delicate and roots are sensitive to disturbance. If you need to thin, use scissors so as not to disturb the roots of remaining plants. Keep the soil intact around the plant when transplanting.
Growing: Mulch plants after soil has warmed to help maintain consistent moisture and suppress weeds. If using fabric row covers, remove them at flowering to allow pollination by bees. Good pollination is critical to fruit set.
Plants require consistent moisture until pollination. Once fruits are about the size of a tennis ball, only water if the soil is dry and leaves show signs of wilting. To prevent insect damage to developing fruits, place melons on pots or pieces of wood up off the soil.
If growing melons on a trellis, support fruit with slings made from netting, fabric, or pantyhose. Trellising improves air circulation around plants and can help reduce foliar disease problems. Choose small-fruited varieties and reduce plant spacing.
To reduce insect and disease problems, avoid planting cucumber family crops (melons, squash, pumpkins) in the same spot two years in a row.
Harvesting: Harvest muskmelon or cantaloupe when the stem pulls easily and cleanly from the fruit. If the stem has to be removed forcibly from the melon it is not fully mature. In addition, mature muskmelons have a distinct, musky aroma and the end opposite the stem should be slightly soft. Honeydew will not slip from the stem when ripe. Harvest honeydew melons when the end opposite the stem softens and the skin takes on a creamy yellow color.
Hales Best Jumbo Melon is one of the finest all-around cantaloupes available today. A classic heirloom muskmelon which produces large, consistently sweet melons with fragrant, salmony-orange flesh and a small seed cavity. (10 Seeds)
An old 1800's heirloom with sweet, juicy white flesh and an orange tinged inner layer. A rare white muskmelon with very sweet fruit of around 2-2.5 kgs. Prolific producer but must be watched as fruits tend to split when overripe. (10...
An early heirloom melon, 1.3-1.8 kgs, with thick, sweet, firm, deep-salmon coloured flesh. Small, fast with good yields of quality fruit. An AAS winner for 1933. Good size for an early melon. 80 days. (10 Seeds)
Banana-shaped fruit with a smooth yellow skin and a sweet, spicy, salmon coloured flesh. Melons are 40-60cm long and weigh around 2-3.5kgs. This is one of our all time favourites, being very sweet and great for specialty markets. 90...
Dense 1kg fruit have orange flesh that is superbly sweet, lush, juicy and aromatic. This variety is early and well adapted to cool climates. This fine French variety is of the best quality and is the favourite melon of the French...
Our favourite watermelon! The 5-12 kg melons have hard light-green rinds that make them perfect for shipping and storage; the light colour makes them resistant to sun burning. The flavour is superb, being very sweet and luscious; and...
One of the earliest watermelons we know of, superb for cooler climates, but it also grows well in heat and drought. The flesh is red and deliciously sweet. A vigorous vine, the fruit has a dark rind and weigh 3-5 kgs each. One of the...
An extra sweet variety produces large oblong melons with juicy bright red flesh and few small seeds. Disease resistant, long keeping qualities. Adaptable to most good garden soils but prefers a humus rich soil with generous amount of...
Very popular and most reliable small/medium size watermelon. Crisp and sweet, juicy medium-red flesh, mild flavour. A good producing type that does well in both overly dry or overly wet conditions and also tolerates high daytime temps...
Small round, dark skinned fruit, weighing approximately 3-5kg. Reap the rewards in the height of summer with a mouth-watering treat of sweet, bright red juicy flesh. Suitable only for warm climate areas. (10 Seeds)
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