Cucumis melo; Cucumis citrullu

Botanical Name: Cucumis melo; Cucumis citrullu

Common Name(s): Melons

Categories:

Description:

There are two types of melon: the summer varieties, collectively known as muskmelons or netted melons after the appearance of their skin, and popularly called sweetmelon, spanspek, rock melon and cantaloupe; and the smooth-skinned winter melons, which include honeydew and watermelon. Botanically, melons fall into the same family as cucumbers and require similar treatment in cultivation.

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Botanical Pronunciation: KOO-koo-mis MEL-oh

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Deciduous
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Frost Hardy
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Non Indigenous
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Full Sun
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Moderate Watering
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Pruning Required

Common Pests and Diseases

Aphids, pumpkin flies (to control the latter, make a bait solution of Malathion plus 100g sugar per liter of water; spray onto the leaf surfaces when the first flowers appear, repeating as necessary). Mildew.

Flowers

Foliage

Fruit

Muskmelon

Harvest

Melons should be really ripe when picked, as they do not improve after picking.Ripe muskmelons develop a slightly yellower color and feel soft at the blossom end when pressed.The netting on the skin becomes more pronounced, the color changes from dark green to grey-green and finally to yellowish-green and the fruit smells delicious.

Interesting Info

Botanically, melons fall into the same family as cucumbers and require similar treatment in cultivation.Recommended varieties: ‘Hales Best’, an orange fleshed sweet melon; green-fleshed ‘Honeydew’.(Watermelons are not really suitable for home gardens as they occupy too much space for very little return.)Most melons grow on vines along the ground, but some small-fruited varieties, such as ‘Jenny Lind’, will grow on trellises, This is a handy space-saver in a smaller garden.

Maintenance

Keep the basins free of weeds, and water the plants well in dry weather.Feed every two weeks with liquid fertilizer once the flowers appear.

Origin

Sub tropical Africa

Planting Instructions

Prepare basins of well-manured soil, 300mm in diameter and 1.5m apart.Plant five to six seeds per basin, about 15mm deep. Thin out to three plants when 100mm tall.

Yield

Five plants should yield enough sweet- or winter melons for a family of four.

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