Rocky Ford (Edens Gem)

rocky ford cantaloupe.png
rocky ford cantaloupe.png

Rocky Ford (Edens Gem)


Netted and moderately ribbed heirloom melon which put Rocky Ford, Colorado on the map.  Each is about 2-3 lbs, about the size of a grapefruit. with deep, lime green flesh, sometimes with a bit of pale salmon in the core.  Fragrant and very sweet.  Let them ripen on the vine so the green turns all tan.  They will keep a bit in the field and on the shelf.   
82 days.  

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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.