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RE: Melon Recommendations? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: anney on 06.23.2009 at 02:26 am in Vegetable Gardening Forum

Jimster

Great info. in the thread you started! (Thanks, Rodger!)

I must add one more to your list. Burpee's Early Crenshaw Hybrid.

For many years I ate and grew different varieties of muskmelons, always looking for the "perfect" taste. I certainly like muskmelons and am growing eight plants of Ambrosia this year. But I'm also growing seven plants of the Early Crenshaws. It is tops in my book, weighing in at 10-14 pounds, sweet, large, smooth-skinned, turns yellow when ripe, and the fragrance perfumes the entire garden as it ripens. I much prefer it to the Ambrosia muskmelons, being a bit sweeter and juicier, though it's close to muskmelons in taste, color, and fragrance. You have to keep slugs away from the fruits though -- the smooth rinds don't deter these buggers.

I use Burpee as a vendor only for the Early Crenshaws and Brandy Boy tomatoes, since both were developed by Burpee and are apparently sold by few if any other vendors.

In my quest to wean myself altogether from Burpee seeds, I'm setting my list of future seed purchases to include other Crenshaws and OP tomatoes. I nearly bought Lily Crenshaw seeds, a smaller Crenshaw than Burpee's offered by Johnny's this year but decided to use up the various melon seeds I already have first.

Anyway, long story short, if you have room, you might also try at least one Crenshaw. In a blindfold taste test, I'd bet it beats out every single muskmelon on the table!

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clipped on: 06.23.2009 at 07:23 pm    last updated on: 06.23.2009 at 07:24 pm

RE: Melon Recommendations? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: rodger on 06.22.2009 at 09:17 pm in Vegetable Gardening Forum

First thing Jim did you send me some steeles black whipporwill. I can't remember and I can't seem to find them.
The difference between a cantelope and a muskmelon is a cantelope is a true melon meaning it does not slip when ripe. To determine ripeness must use the dry tendril method like a watermelon. Muskmelons turn yellow when ripe and the stem slips or detaches from the vine. Making muskmelons very easy to determine ripeness. True cantelopes also don't ripen after picking just like other melons such as watermelons or cucumbers. Whereas a muskmelon is picked slightly green and will continue to ripen similar to a tomato. In the store or market in this country what we call cantelopes are actually muskmelons. Muskmelons derive their name from the strong melon smell when ripe. True cantelopes or european melons do not have a strong scent. Do not slip from the vine and may not turn color when ripe. True cantelopes can have smooth rinds warty rinds but I can not think of any that have netted rinds like muskmelons do. Also for the most part cantelopes are smaller ie single serving size small but in my opinion much sweeter almost sikening sweet if eat too much. Cantelopes do fine as an early crop or late crop for me but do not produce well in the heat and humidity of our southern summers were as muskmelons excell. Jim for you true cantelopes I would think would do just fine in the summer.

A recommendation for anyone who has not grown melons before is to grow muskmelons. They do well in the heat or cool, they are easy to determine ripeness and are prolific producers.

Muskmelons have their roots in the Americas. Spanish explores brough various melons from the middle east to america in the 15th and early 16th centuries. They weathered better than the finiky "French"cantelopes of Europe.
By the time the English began colonizing North America the Native Indians were growing Muskmelons as far north as Canada and until the 20th century it was believed that muskmelons were native to the Americas but researchers have determined otherise.

We began calling muskmelons cantelopes due to an advertizing campaign in the early 1900s in New York I believe. A grower or a vender had a variety of Muskmelon that he claimed was so sweet it rivaled the french cantelopes of Europe and he called the muskmelon variety "cantelope" . since then most people associate any netted fragrant muskmelons as cantelopes on the east coast. I have found many people still call them muskmelons in the midwest and in the south the older varieties and larger muskmelons are called muskmelons. But I believe anywhere in the grocery or market the sign will say cantelope vice muskmelon when refering to muskmelons. It is like would you buy a chinese goose berry or a kiwi. They are both the same. The chinese goose berry, due to an advertizing campaign in this country which capitalized on the New Zealand Chinese goose berry crop that local people commonly called Kiwifruit because the native Kiwi bird ravaged the fruit.
My personal preference in a muskmelon is the small to midsize types. Real large muskmelons lack taste to me and are too much to consume in one sitting by me and the wife and unless they are in a seal contanier they will empart their fragrance on everything in the fridge.
Of the ones you have listed and that I have grown I like the
Mo. Gold
Old Time Tenn. This is large but very good
Hales best and Edisto are two old standard comercial melons from the 50-60s around here. I sell these as plants each spring
Not on your list but Highly recommended and I will gladly share seed with you is
Amish melon
ambrosia
I would also stagger planting like you would corn to have a continous crop. Most muskmelons ripen within a two period. So for two weeks you will have more than can be eaten. So I plant a hill every month starting in April with the last planting in Mid July.

Rodger

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clipped on: 06.23.2009 at 07:21 pm    last updated on: 06.23.2009 at 07:22 pm

Sharing a tip about bush beans I learned long ago

posted by: momamamo on 07.01.2008 at 11:58 am in Beans, Peas & Other Legumes Forum

This tip may be well known, but I want to share it at this time of year because now's the time folks are wondering about new plantings, succession plantings, etc.

I read this in some book - can't remember which one, though - so I can't give the originator credit. I can at least say that I've used this technique and was quite pleased with the results.

Once you harvest bush beans, cut the plants back so that there are just a few inches of growth and a few growth nodes. Then fertilize them and watch them grow! In the year that I did this, I thought it would be a fun experiment and didn't know what to expect. I ended up with very good yields and had enough time to cut the plants back once more. So I got 3 periods of growth and a lot of green beans! I was shocked at the end of the season to see how thick the stems had become.

There's probably plenty of time for some of you to start new seeds, but for others this may be worth a try. Happy gardening! Maureen

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clipped on: 06.19.2009 at 03:26 pm    last updated on: 06.19.2009 at 03:26 pm