Melon, Crenshaw (Cucumis melo) - 20 Seeds
•American grown seeds
•USDA Zone 3-9
The Crenshaw melon is a hybrid cross between the cantaloupe and casaba melons. The Crenshaw melon is sweet in flavor and has a yellow-green appearance. This melon is softer than many other types, and weighs around six pounds. 6 to 10 pound fruit ripens to yellow outside with thick, salmon colored flesh. An excellent source of Vitamin C. Crenshaws are deliciously sweet and have a wonderful, smooth, silky texture. This heavy-yielding plant prefers warm regions and does best in the heat.
As they require a long growing season, melons are best started indoors approximately 3 weeks prior to the last frost of the season. Sow seeds ½" deep in flats or small pots, sowing 3 seeds per pot. Keep medium moist while awaiting germination. Additionally, melon seeds will show better germination rates with heat. Keep the soil between 80-90 degrees, using a heat mat if necessary. Once seeds start to germinate, lower soil temp slightly to the mid 70s, for 1-2 weeks, also decreasing water. Thin to one plant per cell or pot. Once the first set of true leaves has developed, reduce watering once more, but do not allow plant to become desiccated. Harden plant by gradually exposing to outdoor conditions. Transplant to permanent site in late spring after the last frost has passed. If possible, transplant on an overcast day to minimize wilting and create a more amenable environment for your young plant.
If you have long, hot growing seasons, melons can direct-seed into garden. To ensure ripening in areas with shorter growing seasons and cooler weather, choose fast-maturing varieties, start plants inside, use black or IRT plastic mulch to warm soil and use fabric row covers to protect plants. Direct-seed 1 to 2 weeks after average last frost when soil is 70 F or warmer. Plant ½ inch deep, 6 seeds per hill, hills 4 to 6 feet apart; or 1 foot apart in rows 5 feet apart. Can plant at closer spacings if trellised. Thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill. Prefers warm, well-drained, soil, high in organic matter with pH 6.5 to 7.5. Consistent, plentiful moisture needed until fruit is about the size of a tennis ball. Soil temperatures below 50 F slow growth. Consider using black plastic and fabric row covers to speed soil warming. Sandy or light-textured soils that warm quickly in spring are best.
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