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Cucumis melo

Melon is a plant which belongs to the Cucumis genus.

Related to cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins, they are an orange or green fleshed vining fruit.

There are many varieties of C. melo including the North American Cantaloupe (a netted skin fruit with sweet orange flesh, also known as a muskmelon) to the Armenian Cucumber (a fruit more like a cucumber then other melons), the true cantaloupe, and honeydew among others.

Cantaloupe is a smooth skinned orange fruited melon. In North America it can apply to any melon with orange fruit, and in the USA is commonly used to refer only to netted orange fruited melons.

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   Canary yellow and   Unmellow Yellow and   Mellow yellow. When mature, blooms are roughly 2.0 cm (that's 0.78 inches in imperial) in diameter. The mature flowers take a single form, with an approximate petal count of 5. When ripe, fruit appear in these approximate colours:   Buff and   Yellow. Leaves appear approximately as a   Bright green and   Grade 1 Paint Green

Melon grows as an annual and is a flowering edible fruit / vegetable. Being an annual plant, it tends to grow best over the course of a single year.

Melon is known for its vine habit and growing to a height of approximately 30.0 cm (11.7 inches). This plant tends to bloom in early summer, followed by first harvests in late summer.

Try planting Melon if you'd like to attract bees to your garden.

Popular varieties of Melon with home gardeners are Heart of Gold, Minnesota Midget, Hale's Best 45, Tigger and Ambrosia Hybrid.

Be aware that Melon typically needs a fair amount of maintenance and care in order to grow successfully. Ensure that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant and keep an eye out for pests. Pay attention to weeding, feed and pruning schedules to ensure your plant remains in peak condition.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Melon have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Melon

  • Full Sun

  • High

Cantaloupe is a heat loving tropical plant. Starting seeds indoors and choosing a variety that has a short season can help if you live in a colder climate.3 Water well until fruit is set.3

They may be grown along the ground or up a support. If grown along the ground placing the fruit on a board or pot will help keep insects from damaging it. If grown up a support a sling can be tied around the fruit and attached to the support.

In cooler climates pinch out the growing tip after five leaves, and then each side shoot after five leaves. More flower buds form on side shoots. In cooler climates, restrict the number of maturing fruit so that the plant does not waste energy on fruit that will not ripen before it is too cold

Plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water often. Ensure your soil is potting mix and loamy and has a ph of between 6.1 and 7.5 as Melon is a weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil loving plant. Keep in mind when planting that Melon is thought of as tender, so remember to wait until your soil is warm and the night time temperature is well above freezing before moving outside.

See our list of companion Plants for Melon to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Melon from seed

Maybe started indoors or outdoors in warmer climates.
In a shorter season climate, start the seeds early in good light
Plant one seed in a 7cm pot using ordinary potting compost

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 1.89 feet (58.0 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.5 inches (1.27 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 21°C / 70°F to ensure good germination.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Melon about 14 days before your last frost date .

Transplanting Melon

If starting indoors start 2-4 weeks before setting out. Start in a 2" pot and transplant when they have 1-2 true leaves.
In cooler climates melons are best grown under protection of a cold frame, glass house or plastic greenhouse. At least, they should have the protection of a warm wall in the sunniest part of the garden.

Ensure that temperatures are mild (minimum night temperatures should be around 15°C / 59°F) and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Melon is a tender plant.

By our calculations*, you should look at planting out Melon about 14 days after your last frost date.

Harvesting Melon

Unripe, uncut, cantaloupe may be stored on the counter at room temperature. Once it reaches peak ripeness it should be stored in the refrigerator. Cut cantaloupe may be stored in the fridge for 6-9 days.2

How long does Melon take to grow?

These estimates for how long Melon takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Days to Germination How long does it take Melon to germinate?
8 days

Average 8 days | Min 1 days | Max 25 days (261)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Melon?
+ 24 days

Average 24 days | Min 4 days | Max 79 days (39)

Days to Maturity How long until Melon is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 89 days

Average 89 days | Min 66 days | Max 112 days (21)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Melon?
= 121 days

When should I plant Melon?

Our when to plant Melon estimates are relative to your last frost date.

Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!

When to sow The number of days to sow Melon before or after your last frost date.
14 days before Last Frost Date
When to plant out The number of days to plant out Melon before or after your last frost date.
14 days after Last Frost Date

Melon Etymology

Melo, means melon. Reticulatus means netted referring to the netting of the skin.

Cantalupo is the Italian word for cantaloupe, named for a place near Rome where it is said to have first been grown.

Melon Folklore & Trivia

The genome of C. melo was sequenced in 2012.1

Other names for Melon

Cantaloupe, Melon cucumber, Carosello cucumber

Cucumis melo L.

Misspellings: Canteloupe Melon, Rock Melon, Cantelope, cantalope

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