Saturday, March 3, 2012
Plant Profile: Hale's Best Jumbo Cantaloupe
Name: Hale's Best Jumbo Cantaloupe
Botanical Name: Cucumis melo
Zone: 3 to 9
When to Plant: 2 to 3 weeks after last frost date
Sun: Full Sun
Sow: direct sow or transplants
Planting Depth: 1/2 inch
Spacing: 4 feet between each plant
Germination: 5 to 10 days
Maturity: 80 days
Height: 15 to 18 inches
Spread: 3 to 6 feet
pH Range: 6.0 to 8.0
Yield: 5 to 7 per vine
Description: This melon has a firm but thin rind (skin) that is slightly ridged. It is mostly flesh with a small seed cavity. The flesh itself is salmon colored that is fine textured. It is very sweet with a nice tasty flavor. The vines are compact and can be trained if needed.
Harvest: Grow to 4 pounds or more. Ready to harvest when the rind (skin) has a sweet smell.
Seed Saving: Allow the melon to fully ripen. Scoop out the seeds and remove any pulp. Rinse the seeds and remove any floating seeds. Turn the water on high in the sink and rinse the seeds in a colander forcefully to remove any thing that may still be on the seeds. Place the seeds on a paper towel and allow them to fully dry. Once completely dry place in a clean glass jar or zip lock bag.
Growing Tips: Take great care if planning on pre-starting since it will not transplant well if roots are disturbed. This plant does exceptionally well with high potassium and nitrogen.
Problems: Cucumber beetle, mildew
Author's Notes: If there was one reason why I love this plant is that it's Drought Tolerant! Not that many fruit and vegetable plants can say that! The first time I grew this plant I didn't take great care of it and didn't add anything to the soil until the vines started spreading; but like the trooper it is, it marched on and produced the tastiest melons I have ever eaten. This one is defiantly worth a try and is very easy to grow. This is a must have for new gardeners.
While often called a cantaloupe it is actually a muskmelon.
If you can resist eating it right away after picking; wait until the next day. Letting it sit on your counter will actually make it a little sweeter. The first time I tried it I was skeptical but it actually seems to be true.
Measurements for above recipe @ http://divascancook.blogspot.com/2011/06/vodka-drunken-melon-balls.html
Very simple recipe @ 3:48
1 Cantaloupe, 1/2 tsp Curry powder, 1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg, 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Garam or Cholle Masala
Burpee.com: Hale's Best Jumbo
Gardens Alive: Organic Hale's Best Jumbo Melon
Washington State University, Skagit County Extension: Seed Saving (pdf file)
University of Arizona, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences: Saving Melon Seeds
University of Illinois Extension: Muskmelon