Melons 2006

bill_southerncal(10 So.Cal)August 1, 2006

There is another melon thread with 75 or so messages from 2004, so I thought I'd start another one. So how are your melons this year?

The heat wave that lasted for several weeks really helped one of my melons: Haogen. Several co-workers got a taste of this year's crop, and a common dscription was "a taste to die for..". The warm weather really helped the sugar content and aroma. Even gardener friends said it was the best melon they ever had, including the $4.00 Dulcineas they bought. LOL, I had 12 melons from 3 plants, all of them were about 1-2 lbs each with that dark green and orangey golden color and heavenly aroma. It was very firm but very juicy. It was much better than last year when the temperatures were 10=15 degrees cooler at ripening than last year.

The 4 Galia melon plants and 12 melons were excellent as well. The were also sweeter than last year, but not as sweet as the Haogen, though their distinctive flavor did not disappoint. The plant responded very well to the side dressing of manure and because the fruit and leaves were bigger than normal.

The hybrid Ambrosias were excellent as usual, but they fell victim to the cucumber mosaic virus. The leaves and consequent fruit were smaller than usual. The only other hybrid I grew, Butterscotch Sweetie, was larger than ever and sugar and aroma was higher than usual. What a great melon, though I am looking for heirloom sources for this hybrid melon I bought from Burpee. It actually riped in 68 days as opposed to the 74 listed on the packet.

The Eden Gem was large, juicy, and good, but not anywhere as good as the Haogen. I have four Montreal Melons planted, but one has already been hit with Cucumber Mosaic Virus. I hope I can get one to produce. It's the only melon I've tried haven't been able to grow.

The charentais melons were good, but the flesh color and aroma weren't as pronounced as last year, and from my memory even tasted better last year. My friends said the same thing. It seems the French melons actually did better for me when the highs were 80-90 rather than the 95-100 deg. F. we've been experiencing.

I will definitely grow the following for an early August planting. We can harvest melons in October and even into very early November if the weather is right: Haogen, Charentais, Galia, and Butterscotch.

How was your melon crop?

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I only grew Evan's Sweet, from the Seed Savers Exchange: green fleshed, salmon seed cavity, 4 lb. fruit. I've made three plantings and only harvested, so far, from the first. We've got HEAT here in OK! and the family's verdict is that this is the melon they would like to grow every year! It's very very good. I haven't tried to grow Haogen since the early 80's, and for some reason it didn't grow for me then. So, I can't compare the two. It's tempting to start growing out more kinds. But I do like the idea of growing and saving just one kind for eating and seed, and not messing with the hand pollinations. We'll see if I resist temptation into the growing season of 2007 ;)

We're also growing Moon & Stars (white seeded) watermelon. I've had this seed, and renewed it several times since about 1985. But this is the first time I've grown it under favorable conditions. It looks much better than I've ever seen it. But no ripe melons yet!

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 1:59PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Anyone interested in heirloom melons might want to attend the Appalachian Heirloom Seed Conservancy's annul Fall Conference, Oct 6-8.

Among other speakers will be Merlyn Neidens, giving a presentation on heirloom melon growing and seed saving. Merlyn, who is the originator of the Golden Jenny, is a professional seed grower, and supplies Baker Creek and SESE among others.

For information about the conference, contact AHSC at

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 10:09AM
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reign(z5 NY)

So far the melons are doing well. Rain caused about a 3 week delay in planting. Three weeks sounds minor but can be near tragic when growing in such a tight season. For the sake of some of the watermelons, I hope we make it up on the back end. I did change some of what I'm growing due to the late start. But not many. I won't bore you with everything I'm growing this year. But a few notes until I start harvesting.

Bill, based on your feedback on Ambrosia I am growing it this year. They're looking good. So far they are prolific beautiful vines. I noticed today that several are getting their netting.

Charentais and Petit Gris De Rennes are constants in my garden. Charentais are looking near perfect. I noticed new fruits on one Petit Gris De Rennes vine drying and dying after they get a little size. A lot of wilt on that vine. I injected the vine with BT.

I also planted Sucrin de Tours and Montreal Melon from our conversations last year. I've been watching and cheering the Montreal Melons. Sucrin has decent fruit set but gets less attention and no encouragement. If there was a bas_tard child of that patch, Surin would be it. But with the delay in planting I feel Montreal needs my love more. There are several good sized fruits but they won't be 15 pound melons. Hale's Best gave up the ghost. It looked like it had burn commonly seen when not hardened correctly. But it was direct sowed. I pulled it and didn't look back. Any other year and I would have replanted.

Boule d'Or Melon and Delice de Table are new to the party. I don't have an opinion on them yet. Bit O' Honey is also new. I have several vines in isolation for seed and some in the main garden. So far I like the culture of this one. The fruit that is set is bigger than I expected but still small. The vines imo seem compact. This one sets fruit fast and often. Some of the melons will be single serving size. Some will be snack size.

In one patch there is a sick vine segment. But that patch is so out of control that I can't visually follow the vine. Today I gave up on trying to follow it and took pictures of the area. The other computers are analyzing the pictures and plotting vines as lines.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 1:12AM
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I bought some muskmelon Burpee Hybrid plants in May and planted them. They took off and over a month ago set its first melon. I have been waiting patiently for the netting to form and yesterday it turned from green to brownish yellow and slipped from the vine. It was relatively small for a muskmelon and there was very little netting. It did taste sweeter than I expected and was very juicy with little rind. The flesh was a pale peach color and the rind was yellowish. Did it just not the get the right nutrients/water to get the tell-tale netting or were the plants mismarked from the beginning?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 10:01AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

My Orangeglo watermelons are slow this year...only one melon sizing up real good so far. AU Sweet Scarlet is not an heirloom, but a very good op watermelon with bright red color and good flavor. I have harvested a 28 pounder so far.

Burpee Hyb. Crenshaw taste has been awesome this year....also those Sugar Queens taste just about like the crenshaw and get raves. Rocky Sweet cantaloupes have been delicious and the St. Nicks are excellent again.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 10:17PM
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