(Cucumis melo) Melons are believed to have originated in Central Asia and the Middle East, which is not surprising given the thousands of melon varieties cultivated there today. We offer heirloom varieties that can mature in any climate, delivering the sweet and juicy flavor experience unique to melons. In a fruit family as diverse as melons, the climatic growing requirements vary greatly. However, all melons are known for the love of sandy loam soil. Melons are very frost sensitive, so do not plant until the soil has warmed and nighttime low temperatures are above 50 degrees F. Melons grow best when direct seeded, but for those with very short growing seasons, it’s advisable to start the plants indoors. Just be careful not to leave the plants in pots longer than three weeks; cucurbits hate becoming rootbound! Seeds germinate in 5-14 days and ideal germination temperature is 80-90F. Plant seeds 1/2 inch deep. Thin seedlings to two feet apart, in rows six feet apart, because these vines love to spread out! Avoid overwatering, especially as fruit is coming to maturity.
A tiny and wondrous melon from the Soviet Union. Vibrant in color, intense sweet aroma and juicy, honeydew-like flesh make this a favorite edible ornamental. Allow the vines to climb a trellis or a fence, and you will be rewarded with luminous, striped fruit about the size of a tennis ball. Its whimsical eye appeal and intoxicating scent will transform landscape and garden designs into a fairy land, but the fruit isn't just photogenic; it's also deliciously sweet and juicy in texture! The vines produce a large yield, early in the season.
A mouth-watering delicacy from ancient times, its superior taste and texture make this a top melon in our tasting trials. Each fruit weighs about 5 pounds with netted skin and thick, orange flesh dripping with honey sweet flavor. This Persian heirloom is thought to be the progenitor of the modern-day cantaloupe, and it has been a popular choice for centuries. One of Jere Gettle’s favorite melons to eat as a child, this heirloom has held a special place in many gardeners’ hearts as the granddaddy of all American-style cantaloupes! The Persian melon was a standard in early American gardens, and remained popular throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, but recently this melon has all but disappeared from the seed trade and is becoming quite rare. We are determined to save this supremely good variety that was a choice fruit of the great Persian empire.