Report on your heirloom melons

girlbug2(z9/10, Sunset zone 24)August 6, 2013

It's a shame that melons do not have a folder of their own but here let's post observations on heirloom melons that we are growing! It is the time of year when most of us have been able to harvest a few, if not all -- let everybody know how they grew for you, what they tasted like, etc.

The weather in my area was dry and alternated between sunny and overcast, averaged in the high 70s. I watered all my garden by hand.

I only tried growing two muskmelons this year, the Minnesota Midget (photo) and Hearts of Gold. Minnesota Midget was slightly earlier, average size about softball-size, weighed perhaps one pound each. the vines sprawled at about 5 feet. I got 8 per vine. The seed packet said they were ready for harvest in 45-60 days, but they actually came in at about 70 days. They did not slip from the vine, but I could tell when they were ready by the sweet smell.Flavor: about average for what you'd buy at the grocery store. I planted more in July so that I could fit in a second harvest, but I probably wouldn't bother with them again next year.

Hearts of Gold was much better overall. They came in at about 24 oz average, I got 9 per vine. The vines were 7-8 feet long. Harvest at 90 days. These do slip when ready. Very sweet! My mom thought they were "too" sweet. I think she is just used to the grocery store muskmelons that are comparatively bland, but in my opinion, that they were just right for a home grown melon.

conclusion: I will save the Hearts Of Gold seeds for next year. Minnesota Midget might be better for container/limited-space planting, but since I have a decent amount of space, I don't need to plant them.

Tell me about your melons -- are there any you would recommend? Not recommend? Give us details!

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valree3(Nv zone 4)

I planted Minnesota midget melons this year and I will grow them next year. My growing season is so short (65-80 days without a frost) they did very well. Its been a very hot and dry year where I live and I also have about 6-8 melons on each plant. I have room to grow larger vines but its the frost free days that decide what I grow. This is the first year that there hasn't been at least 1 frost in Aug. and going into Sept. so I hope the other melons have a chance to ripen. I also love the flavor of them over store bought melons! With them being a heirloom seed, can you save the seeds for next year? I really love the flavor of Hearts of gold melons. Fallon, NV has a hearts of gold festival each year. Not sure when but I remember family members bringing back a bunch of melons to share when they visited in the fall. My growing conditions are very limited when it comes to growing different melons. My husband grows giant max pumpkins and they grow to about 45-60 lbs. then we get a freeze. Its challenging growing warm season veggies in my area but we have cement blankets that come out of storage in the fall to help protect the garden. The great thing about veggie gardening is there is always next year!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 10:11AM
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christacharlene(6)

I grew Jenny Lind (an early 1800's heirloom) and it has done excellent this year. I have had huge yields. They are beautiful and delicious with green flesh. The only thing that I did different from other years is this year I laid down black landscape fabric. I used the pins that you can buy to hold the fabric down on the ground. I didn't use any kind of straw or mulch. I am guess that the soil was extra warm because of the fabric, so from here on out I will always use landscape fabric for my melons.

This is one of my smaller melons but most of my melons were pretty good sized.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 12:57PM
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christacharlene(6)

Valree3, As long as you didn't grow another melon variety then you should be able to save your seeds. I have read that melons can cross pollinate pretty easily when you plant more than one variety.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 1:03PM
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valree3(Nv zone 4)

Christacharlene, Thanks for the info. I have seeds for next spring!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 6:49PM
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girlbug2(z9/10, Sunset zone 24)

Christacharlene, thanks for your pics of Jenny Lind. I have always been curious about those. I may try them this spring!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:42AM
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christacharlene(6)

Your'e welcome. I am planting them again this year and I am also planting Golden Jenny Lind. Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 12:28AM
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girlbug2(z9/10, Sunset zone 24)

Can't believe melon planting time is so fast approaching again! Just wanted to check in here to see if anybody had any further melon recommendations before I place my catalog orders.

I have decided to try my hand on a few watermelons, not sure if there will be room for more than one muskmelon or not. I will be posting pics in a few months.

Happy gardening :).

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:04PM
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