Netted Gem- What a pleasant surprise

StanInCalif(Glenn County)August 10, 2005

I personally think that America needs to be re- introduced to the green muskmelon, but between the time I ordered the seeds and now, I had forgotten that this melon was one of those.

I picked my first one today, and it was clearly superior to the Charentais and Petit Gris de Renne that I grew (my opinion, of course), and is threatening Ambrosia for the title of Queen of My Garden.

In all fairness to the others, I really pushed the "withhold water" thing on this one- three weeks and three days between last irrigation and harvest. That, no doubt helped; nonetheless this one's a winner.

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bill_southerncal(10 So.Cal)

Stan,

Great you find an heirloom melon you love. Netted Gem is a great tasting green fleshed melon. I had a few good ones but some of the plants were overcome by cucumber mosaic virus, as were some of the Ambrosias. Nonetheless, they were good and early. Other green ones to try are: Jenny Lind, Galia (heirloom and various hybrids such as Vanilla Ice and Passport), its close relative Haogen with softer flesh and banana-pineapple aftertaste, Rocky Ford, and Butterscotch which I could only find in the hybrid "Sweetie" which is both green and orange flesh. They've all done well here in coastal So. CAL. They're all favorites of mine taste-wise as well. The one I haven't been able to grow is Montreal Melon, the recently rediscovered large green heirloom.

Charentais, when it's happy, is just as sweet and delicious IMO as anyone of the above. But it's personal preference. I found a vendor at the Farmer's Market locally, and their Charentais isn't as good as the ones I've grown. I think they overwater because the taste is good but not great.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 6:54PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Baker's Creek says that Edens Gem and Rocky Ford are the same melon. I've also read that Edens Gem is descended from Netted Gem. How do they compare in size, flavor and texture?

Incidentally, my Emerald Gem (green skin, orange flesh) does not look like the picture on the Baker's Creek website. Mine is not ridged and is more elongated. Maybe it's something else. I have a few more on the vine still ripening. What ever it is, it is a great little melon.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 3:42PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Another thing, Stan,

What kind of weather were you having when you withheld water for three weeks and three days before harvest?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 4:36PM
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Raymondo(Armidale, NSW)

I'm planning on growing Netted Gem this coming season. Is it considered early, mid or late season?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 6:38AM
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StanInCalif(Glenn County)

Bill-
Thanks for the info. I will be trying most of those you mentioned over the next couple years. I think Charentais just isn't happy here, although one of my customers said mine taste just like they do in France (maybe like supermarket melons in France). It might be that it's just a little too warm here.
Carolyn-
It was very hot during that time. Also, Amy [Goldman] shows Emerald Gem as having very faint ridges and slightly elongated.
Ray-
I would describe it as midseason.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 11:24AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Stan -
Thanks for the information. Sounds like I probably did get Emerald Gem.

Glad to know about a green-fleshed muskmelon that does well in high heat, too. I won't be as timid about withholding water for ripening melons next year. Hope I can keep other people from becoming alarmed and watering for me.

Ha Ogen has been my most successful green type this year. The latest melons ripening on the fence have a different appearance - exterior colors are much more muddy - but it still tastes good. I think the plants are struggling a little with white flies and spider mites. I'm glad it's been a forced slip melon, or it would be hard to tell when the latest ones are ripe (they soften up some, too).

    Bookmark   August 20, 2005 at 12:48AM
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Raymondo(Armidale, NSW)

Thanks Stan. That's good as my growing season is on the short side where I live now. I've moved from warm temperate (no winter frost) to cold temperate (daily winter frost).

    Bookmark   August 20, 2005 at 12:57AM
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bill_southerncal(10 So.Cal)

Carolyn- Green fleshed Rocky Ford does well in the dry, warm summers of Rocky Ford and Denver, Colorado where high temps in July, Aug. and Sept are in the high 80s and lows in the 60's. I don't know how they'd do with your temps which average 10 degrees hotter than that. I do know that the very large green fleshed Montreal Melon thrives in a much more humid climate with Aug temps in the 80's/90s - like Montreal in the summer. Generally all the earlier, smaller green melons are easy for us to grow. And congrats that your Haogen did so well. I find that if I hold back water the last two weeks, the flesh is firmer and the aroma is stronger.

Stan: It sounds like your Charentais do pretty well if someone said they're just like in France! They're very picky with their food, including melons.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 3:00AM
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