Here is the Golden Honeydew melon, Cucumis melo. This melon fruit grows best in semiarid climates and is harvested based on maturity, not size. Maturity can be hard to judge, but it is based upon the ground color ranging from greenish white (immature) to creamy yellow (mature). Quality is also determined by the honeydew having a nearly spherical shape with a surface free of scars or defects. A honeydew should also feel heavy for its size and have a waxy rather than a fuzzy surface. These melons get to 8 inches round and have a bright yellow color. Vines can get to 15 feet long and tend to be powdery mildew resistant. They have a nice sweet but smooth taste and have a soft but chewy flesh. We find them great for smoothies and eating fresh! Open pollinated 70 to 90 days from transplant.
Golden Honeydew Melon
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Most winters our soils freeze deeply and can be slow to warm up, and melons must have truly warm soil to thrive. Once summer comes, our long, bright, hot days are good for developing the vines, flowers and fruits.
Melon quality—flavor, aroma, texture, and sweetness—is best when the sugar content of the fruit is high. Sweet melons need lots of sunlight, warm temperatures, enough water, and freedom from diseases and insects.
Plant stress, whether from insects, leaf diseases, weeds, poor nutrition, too much or too little water, or cold or cloudy conditions, will prevent the fruits from creating enough sugar.
- Sow seed indoors at the end of April, about 2 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost date.
- Use peat pots or other biodegradable containers that you can place directly into garden soils.
- Use larger pots than you would for other vegetables.
- Large peat pots with a diameter of 4 inches will allow the root system to develop.
- Bottom heat is essential. Use a heat mat.
- Harden off seedlings before planting them in the garden.
- Transplants should have 2 or 3 true leaves when you move them into the garden.
- Transplant when soil temperatures reach at least 65°F.
- If you do not use plastic mulch, be sure to remove the first growth of weeds before setting the plants in the garden. This removal will reduce weed growth later in the season.
- Plant the potted seedlings about two feet apart, in rows five feet apart.