Growing Tiny Melons

Grow some cantaloupes

This page provides written and visual information for growing tiny melons (Cucumis melo). The variety we will be using is the Savor F1.

The Savor is the sweetest French melon.

Unsurpassed eating quality. The small, 2 lb. melons are of the classic Charentais type: faintly ribbed, with a smooth gray-green rind and dark green sutures. Sweet and aromatic, deep orange flesh. Resistant to fusarium races 0, 1, & 2, and powdery mildew. CULTURE: The Savor tiny melons like southern exposure and sweet, light, well-drained soil is ideal. Good soil moisture is important in early stages of growth and during pollination when fruits are setting. After this point do not water unless the soil is very dry and leaves begin to show signs of wilting in midday.

TRANSPLANTING: Sow indoors in 2-3" pots or cell-type containers in late April or one month (no sooner!) before transplanting outdoors when the weather is frost-free, warm, and settled. Plant 3 seeds per cell, about 1/4" deep. Keep temperature 80-90°F (27-32°C) until germination.

Handle young plants carefully and never let the soil dry out. Grow seedlings at 75°F (24°C). Reduce water and temperature for a week to harden seedlings.

After frost, transplant tiny melons seedlings, 2-3' apart in rows 6' apart or thin to 1 plant/pot or cell with scissors and transplant 18" apart. Even hardened melon seedlings are tender! Do not disturb roots when transplanting, and water thoroughly.

DIRECT SEEDING: Sow 1-2 weeks after last frost when soil is warm, above 70°F (21°C), 3 seeds every 18", 1/2" deep, thinning to 1 plant/spot.

ROW COVERS: Since melons like consistently warm conditions, plastic mulch and row covers (refer to Index) will make for earlier crops and better yields, especially in the North. Remove covers when plants have female flowers (tiny fruit at base of blossom).

DISEASES: Choose varieties resistant to diseases in your area. "Sudden wilt" is a complex disease and cold weather stress syndrome in late summer when plants have a heavy set of ripening melons, can cause plants to wilt almost overnight. Keep plants healthy with good fertility and irrigation.

INSECT PESTS: Control cucumber beetles by using fabric row covers or with the botanical insecticides rotenone and/or pyrethrin.

RIPENESS: Each melon variety is a little different and must be learned! Most melon varieties are ready when the gray-green color begins to change to buff-yellow and when a light tug separates the fruit from the vine.

Some melon types, like honeydew, charentais, canary, Spanish, and crenshaw are overripe by the time the stem can be tugged from the fruit. These must be cut from the vine.

STORAGE: Store ripe netted melons at near freezing; store other melons at 45-50°F (7-10°C) and 80% humidity 2-4 weeks.

January

We will add more information as we get further into the Spring 2011 Season. Keep checking back for updates.

When do I start my tiny melons seeds?

First of all you need to figure out what is your last frost free date--what is the last date a freeze is expected in your area.

My father and his parents always said it was safe to plant after Easter. Over the years, I have noticed that this works well for the South Texas area.

For the Savor Melon I will start my seeds inside around the 8th of April. They can also be direct sown which we may also do just so we can compare the two.

To help get my seeds started correctly, I will be using 4 Inch CowPots , 2 Grow Lights and a Heating Mat.

Using these items will help me get my seeds off to a great start.

July

I had a bad growing season this year. Right during the crucial growing period I became ill and was not able to move about for four weeks.

The moving I was able to do was used to get our seed orders from our garden store.

So I got started late and then we had no rain. No fall rain. No winter rain. No spring rain. And so far, no summer rain.

I watered but then we got water restrictions and I could no longer afford to water.

And it has been hot here. Hot and dry. So I have let most of the garden die and will plow it under and get ready for fall. Hopefully we will have better luck in the fall.

We did get to harvest a few of these melons. Below is a picture of one. It had a good sweet taste to it. Some of the melons we harvested did not taste well. I believe it has to do with how much water they get and at what time they get the water.This concludes our page on tiny melons. We will try again later with this section.

Our prize cantaloupe

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