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Cucumis melo; Cucumis citrullu
Botanical Name: Cucumis melo; Cucumis citrullu
Common Name(s): Melons
Categories: Fruits and Vegetables
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.
Botanical Pronunciation: KOO-koo-mis MEL-oh
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.
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.
Botanically, melons fall into the same family as cucumbers and require similar treatment in cultivation.Recommended varieties: â€˜Hales Bestâ€™, an orange fleshed sweet melon; green-fleshed â€˜Honeydewâ€™.(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 â€˜Jenny Lindâ€™, will grow on trellises, This is a handy space-saver in a smaller garden.
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.
Sub tropical Africa
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.
Five plants should yield enough sweet- or winter melons for a family of four.