Here is an assortment of about a dozen different kinds of melons selected for our region. Mostly the standard netted and furrowed muskmelon varieties that are favored on our local farmsteads such as Delicious and Iroquois but also included are green fleshed kinds such as Galia and some heirloom such as Charentais and Golden Gopher. Select your best performing melons and best flavored to save seed of if you are an adventurous gardener. You won’t get the same thing you saved the seed of since there are many varieties that it could have csrossed with but you will get some of the same characteristic and some one of a kind melons that have never been seen.
70- 90 days.
Packet plants 10 ft row (30 seeds)
Cantaloupe and muskmelon seed can be planted in fertile soil when the soil is warm in mid May. For an earlier start you can germinate seedlings indoors in a pot of soil in a sunny window two or three weeks before the time to carefully transplant them into the garden. Always water the seedlings after transplanting.
Make a furrow an inch deep and plant the seeds two or three per foot and cover with soil. Since they will sprawl along the ground plant them at least 3-4 feet from other crops. Planting crops such as mustard greens or radishes in adjacent rows next to melons allows those early crops to be harvested before being inundated by the melon vines. Nutrient rich soil and irrigation when the ground is dry keeps melons producing from mid to late summer.
Vine ripened melons are a gastronomic delight. Signs of ripening are the color of the fruit changing from green to gold or tan (not always) and the stem parting from the fruit with a gentle tug (not always) or the perceptible fragrance of a ripe fruit. Not all varieties of melons ripen the same.
If you want pure seed you need to know that melons are pollinated by bees and other insects. Only grow one kind of melon or research the techniques of isolation. Scoop the seeds out of the center of a ripe melon as you do to prepare it for eating. The seeds are simply washed and spread out on newspaper or a screen to dry for a few days until the seeds are brittle (snap when you bend them). Melons make an easy seed saving project. Save the seed of your best for next year.