Hand-pollinating Heirloom Melons

carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)August 12, 2005

What is your favorite method of pollinating heirloom melons in order to save seed of a known variety, if you are growing more than one variety?

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reign(z5 NY)

Carolyn - I guesss no one has a favorite method.:)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 2:46PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

I seem to have a hard time getting melon pollen on a brush. Guess I'll stick to the "direct approach" - male blossom to female blossom.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 8:43PM
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reign(z5 NY)

That is how I do it. It is the only method I know/tried for melons. Hence why I didn't post a favorite method. :)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 9:07PM
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bill_southerncal(10 So.Cal)

CarolynCl - I would go for the direct method, too. But I honestly always buy seeds and seedlings because I am too lazy to save my own. Also, I am always afraid I've got cross pollination with the cukes. I do admire your efforts, though and hope you have a good crop next year.

My Butterscotch Sweeties and Ambrosia are done. Lots of smaller fruit than last year. Overall, it's about 6 degrees cooler - both the high and low temps, than last year. I do have some Galias left. They have been outstanding.

I have also planted new seeds of Butterscotch, Haogen, and Charentais. It's real tricky to do a fall crop because the morning dew and cooler nights cause a lot more disease than they do now.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 1:54AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Bill,

I'm just playing around with pollinating a few melons. Most of my plants next year will be from professionally grown seeds. You can get some melons which aren't at all good by planting saved seed.

I've tried to isolate the blossoms I am pollinating myself, though I don't know if I have been completely successful with the male blossoms. I don't worry about cross-pollination with cukes, as they have such a hard time getting any cuke to cross with any melon professionally (to my knowledge, it's been done with one wild melon species). Except for the Armenian cucumbers, which are actually melons. But random cross-pollination between good melons often does not yield an improved product.

My crop planted in late April is about done here, except for the Small Persians and a few late fruits of Marygold, Sugarnut, Ha Ogen, Banana, one unidentified melon and Petit Gris de Rennes. One or two plants of Early Sugarshaw from May will be coming out, having given their all to some really big melons. The other May melons are starting to ripen.

Good luck with your fall crop. I'll be very lucky if I get fruits here from seeds planted in June and July, too, as the nights cool off.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 11:55AM
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