This page is an open source resource guide for melons. It is for growing and maintaining the most bio-diverse, delicious, and broadly applicable melon selection possible. It contains cultural considerations, planting guidelines, descriptions, and the best places we’ve found for purchasing the species we’ve listed. As part of the One Community Highest Good food component of global transformation, this page will continue to evolve indefinitely to contain maintenance and care tips, accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model, and even recipe’s, preparations, and preservation methods used on the property.
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Melons (Cucumis melo) & Watermelons (Citrullus lanatus)
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Melons are a vining crop with fruits similar to squash, but juicier and sweeter. They are generally eaten fresh when ripe as a dessert; while some forms are pickled or canned. Most varieties need a long warm season for maximum sweetness to develop. They are good candidates to start early in hoop houses and an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients.
- Melons must be planted in warm soil
- They prefer well drained soils of high fertility
- Melons can be direct seeded in warm climates
- In cooler climates, dark mulches/hot caps help
- If seedlings are chilled, fruit production is reduced
- PLANTING GUIDELINES
Start seeds indoors in most northern climates and transplant out only after soil temperatures reach 75F or above. Soil should be amended with compost or well aged manure. Once plants have flowered and set fruit frequent light applications of an organic liquid fertilizer are beneficial, but avoid excess nitrogen. Harvest melons as they ripen, as quality deteriorates quickly in overmature fruit.
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Wikipedia – Melons :: Wikipedia – Watermelons
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GM#1 :: Bidwell Casaba Melon
The aromatic Bidwell Casaba melon hails from Chico, California and was grown by John Bidwell, a Civil War General/U.S. Senator who received this stock seed from the USDA in 1869. The creamy flesh is sugary and is said to have a taste similar to orange sherbet. These football-shaped fruits have yellow, deeply-grooved skin, and can grow up to 10 by 14 inches and reach up to 16 pounds. Bidwell Casaba matures in ninety to ninety-five days.
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GM#2 :: Boule d’Or Melon
Boule d’Or or “Golden Perfection” is a hardy French heirloom melon listed by Vilmorin in 1885. This sweet, smooth, winter melon has a hard rind and pale green flesh. It is a yellow, loosely-netted, mildew-resistant, rare fruit that will keep several weeks if kept cool and dry. This honey-sweet variety is commonly used as a substitute for honeydew melons. Boule d’Or matures in ninety-five to one hundred ten days.
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GM#3 :: Charentais Melon
Charentais is a true French cantaloupe that originated from the Poitou-Charentes region around 1920. It is sweet and juicy, with a heavenly fragrance, and orange flesh. This smooth round fruit is typically similar in size to a grapefruit and weighs in around 2 pound- just enough for two people. It is delicious by itself or mixed with other fruits. Charentais will turn a yellowish color when it matures in seventy to ninety days. It is recommended to remove this cantaloupe from the vine before it drops.
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GM#4 :: Noir de Carmes Melon
Noir de Carmes is a true aromatic French cantaloupe preserved by the Carmelite monks who tended it. It is one of the easiest to grow, with heights up to 6 pounds. This variety ranges from an almost rich-black skin before it ripens to an orange skin mottled with green. Its orange flesh is sweet with a complex flavor that deeply satisfies. It is also attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. Noir de Carmes is very productive but tends to split when fully ripened. It matures in approximately seventy-five to eighty days.
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GM#5 :: Petit Gris de Rennes Melon
Petit Gris de Rennes or “little grey” is the best of the French cantaloupes and is rare in the United States. It was first noted in the garden of the Bishop of Rennes almost four hundred years ago. This variety has dense orange flesh with a taste almost like brown sugar; its rind is mustard and olive-speckled and weighs up to 3 pounds. Petit Gris de Rennes matures in eighty to eighty-five days.
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GM#6 :: Chelsea Watermelon
Chelea, Iowa, was famous in the early 1900s for its melons that were grown in the sandy hills north of town. Farmers would fill their horse-drawn “triple box” wagons in the field, haul them to town, and sell the melons right from the wagons. Chelsea melon has a green rind, sweet, pink flesh with white seeds, and can weigh up to twenty pounds. It will keep for several weeks after picking and matures in ninety to one hundred days.
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GM#7 :: Chris Cross Watermelon
Chris Cross is a family heirloom melon from Montrose Iowa that was once thought to be lost. It is the result of a cross between Hawksbury and Dixie Queen made by Chris Christensen in 1950. This variety is nearly round with pale green fruit and jagged dark green stripes. It has moderately sweet, crisp, red flesh, with reliable yields of up to twenty pounds. Criss Cross matures in ninety days.
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GM#8 :: Cream of Saskatchewan Watermelon
Cream of Saskatchewan melon was brought to Saskatchewan by Russian immigrants. It has sweet white flesh, pale green skin with dark stripes, and is a round fruit of up to ten inches in diameter, weighing 4 to 10 pounds. The rind is very thin and the fruit should be handled with care; it is highly recommended to take it from the garden straight to the table. Cream of Saskatchewan matures in eighty to eighty five days.
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GM#9 :: Golden Midget Watermelon
Golden Midget is an American stabilized cross (open-pollinated) melon bred by Elwyn Meader and Albert Yaeger of University of New Hampshire in 1959. It is a cross between New Hampshire Midget and Pumpkin Rind. This variety has green-yellow leaves, a golden-yellow rind when ripe, salmon-pink flesh, black seeds and a pleasantly sweet taste. Golden Midget is a very early variety that matures in just seventy days.
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GM#10 :: Mountain Sweet Yellow Watermelon
Mountain Sweet Yellow melon was popular in the 1840s in markets of the Northeast, especially in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. It is an oblong, twenty to thirty-five pound fruit, with dark and light green stripes, extra firm deep yellow flesh, and black seeds. This variety is very productive and has a high sugar content with honey overtones. It matures in ninety to one hundred days.
We will also be growing the following additional melons:
Melons (Cucumis melo) :: GM#11 -GM#20
11. Ananas 12. Benders Surprise 13. Blenheim Orange 14. Crane 15. Escondido Gold 16. Evan’s Sweet 17. Hero of Lockinge 18. Karabezeh 19. Kazachka 20. Uzbek Sweetness
Watermelons (Citrullus lanatus) :: GM#21 -G#28
21. Ali Baba 22. Crane 23. Desert King 24. Dunaj 25. Garrison 26. Hermiston 27. Kholodok 28. Kleckley Sweet
Melon Plant Material/Seed Providers:
Melon Purchase Details
|REF # ||VEGETABLES ||VARIETY ||SOURCE ||QUANTITY ||UNIT COST ||TOTAL COST |
|GM#1 ||Melon ||Bidwell Casaba ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#2 ||Melon ||Boule d’Or ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#3 ||Melon ||Charentais ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#4 ||Melon ||Noir de Carmes ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#5 ||Melon ||Petit Gris de Rennes ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#6 ||Watermelon ||Chelsea ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#7 ||Watermelon ||Chris Cross ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#8 ||Watermelon ||Cream of Saskatchewan ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#9 ||Watermelon ||Golden Midget ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#10 ||Watermelon ||Mountain Sweet Yellow ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#11 ||Melon ||Ananas ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#12 ||Melon ||Bender’s Surprise ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#13 ||Melon ||Blenheim Orange ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#14 ||Melon ||Crane ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#15 ||Melon ||Escondido Gold ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#16 ||Melon ||Evan’s Sweet ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#17 ||Melon ||Hero of Lockinge ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#18 ||Melon ||Karabezeh ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#19 ||Melon ||Kazachka ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#20 ||Melon ||Uzbek Sweetness ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#21 ||Watermelon ||Ali Baba ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#22 ||Watermelon ||Crane ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#23 ||Watermelon ||Desert King ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#24 ||Watermelon ||Dunaj ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#25 ||Watermelon ||Garrison ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#26 ||Watermelon ||Hermiston ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#27 ||Watermelon ||Kholodok ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
|GM#28 ||Watermelon ||Kleckley Sweet ||SSE ||3pkt. ||$4 ||$12 |
OTHER MELON RESOURCES
We are seeking awesome melon resources. If you know of one, please click here to share it with us so we can make this page better.
MELONS AS PART OF THE BOTANICAL GARDEN MODEL
This section will evolve to include accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model.
MELON PREPARATION, PRESERVATION, AND RECIPES
This section will evolve to include testimonials, recipe’s, preparations, and preservation methods used on the property first, and then later with additional information from other Highest Good collaborators and teacher/demonstration hubs.
Watermelon Kiwi Smoothie
Recipe courtesy of: Babble
|Total Time: 15 min |
Prep: 15 min
|Yield: 4 Cups |
- 2 cups seedless watermelon chunks
- 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
- 2 cups vanilla yogurt or vegan yogurt (leave out entirely for low-fat version)
- 1 cup ice
- Sprigs of fresh mint for garnish (optional)
- Place ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour into 2 glasses and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Rainbow Melon Salad
Recipe courtesy of: Soup Addict
|Total Time: 10 min |
Prep: 10 min
|Yield: 4 Servings |
- 1 of each melon in different colors (try red watermelon, canteloupe, honeydew, and yellow watermelon)
- 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
- Use a melon scoop or small cookie dough scoop to scoop out balls from each melon.
- Arrange in a bowl.
- Whisk the remaining ingredients together and drizzle over the melon balls.
- Refrigerate until very cold before serving.
LINKS TO OTHER EDIBLE PLANT PAGES