Organic Melon Seeds::Cantaloupe & Muskmelon::Organic Hale’s Best Muskmelon
Organic Cantaloupe & Muskmelon Comparisons
Disease Resistance Key:
|Item Code ||Variety Name ||Heirloom ||Disease Resistance ||DTM ||Size ||Flesh Color ||Standout Characteristics |
|2630 ||PMR Delicious 51 || ||FW (race 1), PM ||75 ||2-3 lbs ||orange ||sweet, juicy, early, heavy yielding, top quality melons, netted, slightly ribbed, moderately thin skin, holds well |
|2632 ||Magnifienza F1 || ||FW (race 1,2) ||78 ||3 lbs ||orange ||delicious, juicy, attractive, consistent has brix of 13-15, slightly oval, green ribbing turns yellow when ripe |
|2666 ||Caribbean Gold F1 || ||FW (races 0,1,2), PM ||80 ||4-6 lbs ||orange ||sweet, good flavor and fruit quality, all plants are female, uniform, dense netting, small seed cavity, highly resistant to cracking, good for northern climates |
|2665 ||Rocky Ford ||● ||R ||80 ||1-2 lbs ||green ||sugary, delicious, juicy, heavy yielding, heavy netting, slightly ribbed, good keeper |
|2638 ||Hale's Best || || ||86 ||2-3 lbs ||orange ||juicy, old-fashion melon flavor, high yielding, thin skin, oval shaped, heavily netted, slightly ribbed, doesn't hold to for shipping, drought resistant |
PM Powdery Mildew
FW Fusarium Wilt (races indicated if known)
Organic Melons - Growing and Seed Saving Info
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| Melons |
| Melons (Cucumis melo) are warm season tender annuals in the Cucurbitiacea family, which includes cucumbers, summer squash and winter squash, and gourds. Types include: |
- Honeydew and Casaba (inodorous group)
- Muskmelon (reticulates group)- Netted fruit slips from vine
- European Cantaloupe (cantalupensis group)- Fruit is not netted and does not slip when ripe.
| Soil and Nutrient Requirements |
| Melons will thrive in warm, well drained soil high in organic matter with pH between 6.5-7.5. Sandy loam is best. Melons are heavy feeders. Give 80-120 lbs of N per acre. Calcium deficiency can lead to blossom end rot, especially when adequate moisture is not available. Use dolomitic limestone. Manganese in excess can cause black spot. When Boron is deficient, fruit may crack. |
| Position |
| Full Sun |
| Seeding Depth |
| ˝” |
| Seeding Rate |
| 4,840 plants/acre (~1/4lb); transplanting singles at 18” plant spacing on 6’ center beds |
| Plant Spacing |
| 12-18” |
| Row Spacing |
| 6' centers |
| When to Sow |
| Days to maturity are from transplants; add 10-14 days if direct seeding. Direct seed 1-2 weeks following last frost date. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 75-85°F. Sow seed indoors 4 weeks before planting date. Air temperature for healthy seedling growth is 75°F. It is common to plant either single plant transplants or double plant transplants at larger plant spacing. Harden off plants by reducing temperatures and water. Plant outdoors when all danger of frost has passed. |
| Other Considerations |
| Plastic mulch and floating row cover are used to increase soil and air temperatures as well as ward off insects, especially cucumber beetles. |
| Frost Tolerant |
| No |
| Drought Tolerant |
| Melons need plentiful moisture until fruit is tennis ball sized. |
| Heat Tolerant |
| Yes |
| Seed Specs |
| 16-20M seeds/lb (18M avg). M=1,000 |
| Harvest |
| Harvesting melons at perfect maturity can be tricky, each type is a little different. In general: cantaloupes slip from vine when ripe; charantais types can be cut when they have a thick netted skin (they are a bit over-ripe if they slip); galia types slip from the vine and are ready when skin turns bright yellow; honeydews can be cut from the vine when skin turns color. Other indicators of ripeness are when the leaf closest to fruit becomes dried and shriveled and when the stem becomes corky. |
| Storage |
| Ripe melons usually keep up to 4 weeks in a cold storage. |
| Pest Info |
- Striped cucumber beetles cause feeding damage to the leaves, and often transmit bacterial wilt. Larvae feed on the plant roots. Row covers can provide effective protection, but must be removed during flowering to allow pollination. Practice crop rotation and good sanitation to eliminate overwintering habitat. Frequent application of kaolin clay and/or pyrethrum have shown some effective control.
- Squash vine borer will cause plants to look wilted even when moisture is plentiful. Slice open stem and remove and destroy.
- Squash bugs can be controlled by handpicking. Bury or compost plant residues at the end of the season.
| Disease Info |
- Powdery mildew can be checked by providing good air circulation. Give plants wide spacing and eliminate weeds, especially milkweed, marshcress and yellowrocket. Choose resistant varieties.
- Fruit rots such as anthracnose, scab, and fusarium fruit rot are common under wet conditions. Space plants apart, avoid wetting foliage and water early in the day so that leaves can dry.
- Fusarium Wilt is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Melonis (Fom), and can be seed and/or soil borne.
- Bacterial Wilt and Cucumber mosaic virus should be controlled by removing and destroying infected plants.
| Seed Saving Instructions |
| Insect pollinated annual. Unless hand pollinating, isolate different varieties by 1/4 mile to prevent cross pollination. Tree lines, woods or buildings separating fields can allow for shorter distances. Harvest the melons when ripe for eating. Remove the seeds and pulp and rinse under water until seeds are clean. A light fermentation with a little water can sometimes help in the cleaning process. Simply add 1 cup of water for every cup of seeds and pulp and let sit in a warm place for 2-3 days, stirring daily. Then rinse under water and allow seeds to dry on a plate, cloth or similar clean surface. After rinsed use a 1/2" or 1/4" screen to help with cleaning. Melon seed will remain viable for 4-6 years under cool and dry storage conditions. |