Thinking of melons!

nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)February 22, 2014

Hmmmm, maybe not the best subject! LOL. Anyway, I've been thinking of Crane (local) or cantelope, but.....do they all get ripe at the same time?
There are just the 2 of us (or 7 if I include all of the neighbors) Also, how many melons do you get per plant?
I'm in No CA with warm days and cool nights.
Nancy

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ltilton

Check the days-to-maturity on the melons you like, looking for early and late varieties so you don't get so many ripe all at once.

Cantaloupes can set a dozen or more fruits on a single vine, honeydews and larger melons not so many.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:57AM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Thanks. I might just try one plant for this year. Nancy

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 11:51AM
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woohooman

Not a wise choice during a drought Nancy. So, I've read.

Just a thought.

Kevin

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 1:30PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Good thinking Kevin! I think I'll put them on the back burner for this year.......OR since I have a well, maybe it will be worth my while to grow some since they'll be SO expensive at the store! Hmmmmm something to think about! I'll talk to the neighbors! Nancy

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 8:40PM
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woohooman

Unlimited supply of free water?!?! I'd be all over it!

Kevin

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 10:13PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

A really healthy vine may produce as many as 17 fruits...but don't count on that many. Typically, they make about 6 to 10 fruits.

Am I the only one who tends to have wilts and mature vine decline syndromes? It seems to get in the soil after 2 or 3 years here.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:15AM
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ltilton

It's always a race to get some fruits before the wilts kill the vines.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:24AM
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centexan254 zone 8 Temple, Tx

Honey Dew are great to grow provided nights do not get too cool. (Below 40 degrees They can survive a few hours of into the upper mid 30's) They need lots of sunshine, and soaker hoses are the ticket, unless you go with drip irrigation. (It is great, and takes the least amount of water, and puts it where it is needed most. Though it takes money, and time to set it up.)

Tips are to keep the leaves as dry as you can, as they are prone to fungus if not. If hose watering do it in the early morning so the daytime winds can help dry the leaves. Mounding with well drained, rich soil tends to work best. Feedings help give healthy plants, and lots of fruit. Also for the sweetest of fruit when the bottom button gets a yellow ring around it cut down on watering. When the bottom turns to a light yellowish color skip watering for one week, then harvest them. I have some friends in Paradise that were getting an average of 8 melons per vine. If you do not want to harvest large numbers all at once stagger planing with 2 weeks between planting.

Space the vines of any melons at least 4 feet apart to keep them from choking the other out.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:26PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

I think I'm going to go for it! I have a watering system set up that we used for giant pumpkins a couple of years ago that probably would do the job!
Wayne and Itilton, you're back east where you get that hot humid weather? I'm in CA where w get our hot weather usually Aug through Oct. Sunny warm days and foggy nights. Mediteranian as some call it! Nancy

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 9:09PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

If you're close enough to the coast to get fog at night in summer, consider varieties which are noted for doing well in cool summers, and which perhaps have some mildew resistance. Many melons do best in really hot weather. Interestingly, some of the honeydews are recommended for cooler summers, though we have honeydew fields near us in our hot, hot summer climate. Check through some of the seed catalogs from the Northeast and Pacific Northwest. - Johnnys, Fedco, Nichols, Territorial, etc. "Sensation" is one melon which is supposed to be tasty if picked when it slips from the vine OR before. I'm trying it this year.

Crane melon is a pleasant melon, but don't expect 12 fruits per plant as with a commercial muskmelon. A novice may have difficulty telling when it's ripe because it doesn't slip from the vine. Smaller "Sweet Freckles" is similar, and there are a few others in the same crenshaw-like family.

Many melons set better fruit if you plant several plants to improve pollination. They are heavy feeders, prefer a sandy loam and need to be watered well when getting established (keep water below the leaves by planting slightly above grade). As the melons ripen, they will taste better if you restrict water as much as you dare. A hill or row of melons takes a considerable amount of space, though you can grow them vertically if you support the melons when they get large.

Have fun. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:29PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Also, if you are worried about being inundated with melons, think about planting an early variety and a later variety. Some types store better than others.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 6:45PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Thanks all! Great advise! Nancy

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 9:19PM
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