Author Topic: Which Melon?  (Read 5952 times)

Jayb

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Which Melon?
« on: May 14, 2010, 11:14:47 »
Looking for inspiration, as Iím being really indecisive with which melons to grow, I would really appreciate a bit of help choosing. Choices are;

Collective Farm Woman,
Minnesota Midget,
Petit Gris de Rennes,
Plum Granny,
Tigger,
Valencia winter

Iíll be growing them inside a polytunnel and probably room for 5-6 plants, although 1 space will be taken by an Outdoor Wonder, which last year was not a wonder outdoors!
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Which Melon?
« on: May 14, 2010, 11:14:47 »

Baccy Man

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Re: Which Melon?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2010, 11:23:23 »
I grow Collective Farm Woman & Minnesota Midget along with a couple of others not on your list (Charentais, Jenny Lind, & Prescott Fond Blanc) outdoors in mid Wales they are all pretty reliable.

Jayb

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Re: Which Melon?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2010, 12:03:54 »
Good to know you have good results in mid Wales. I gave up trying outside a while back, perhaps I'll have another go, although it doesn't look a promising year at the mo.
Baccy, when would you usually aim to plant them out? 
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Old bird

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Re: Which Melon?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 12:11:48 »
Where do you buy the seed for these then?

I have never heard of any of the ones you two are talking about?  I had a disaster in my polytunnel last year with I think it was charantais but I thought that I would have a go again this year and see what happened.  Are any of these simply wonderful and I should try them?  Or is it pot luck on taste and performance?  I would be grateful for some tips if possible.

Last year I was told that they didn't like it too wet and built a bank for them to sit on and out of the damp and still they died and I had a small 2" size melon set and everything.

Would appreciate some tips!

Cheers

Old Bird

Baccy Man

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Re: Which Melon?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 12:52:37 »
I plant them out in early June (last frost date here is about the 6th of June).

My seeds came from Realseeds (Collective Farm Woman, Minnesota Midget, Prescott Fond Blanc), Baker Creek (Jenny Lind), & Lidl's 19p range (charentais).

To get fruit in the UK even in a greenhouse or polytunnel you do need short season varieties & ideally a bit of sun. All squash, melons courgettes etc... will rot if they are too wet, the stems don't like being too wet or being buried.
Collective Farm Woman & Minnesota Midget are fairly safe bets even in a bad year although the melons are not exactly huge they do taste nice. Prescott Fond Blanc is probably my favourite out of the varieties I grow.


SMP1704

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Re: Which Melon?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2010, 20:52:32 »
I have done well outside (Middlesex) with Petit Gris albeit under a cloche but the fruits were never bigger than a slighlty larger than normal tennis ball.....

Last I grew Emir in the polytunnel and got a fruit per plant but usual melon size.  Same again this year but I started them earlier, in the polytunnel last week and now on life support thanks to the night frosts :'(

Jayb

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Re: Which Melon?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2010, 07:45:18 »
Right I think I'm going to try Collective Farm Woman, Minnesota Midget, Petit Gris de Rennes outside and Plum Granny, Tigger and Valencia winter in the poly. Fingers crossed I don't change my mind again  ;D

Last I grew Emir in the polytunnel and got a fruit per plant but usual melon size.  Same again this year but I started them earlier, in the polytunnel last week and now on life support thanks to the night frosts :'(
Hope they make it  :)
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Old bird

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Re: Which Melon?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2010, 12:27:10 »
Thanks for the information all!  Will probably grow the Collective Farm Woman and try the Minnesota Midget!   Due entirely to their lovely names.

I will give them a go!

Thanks again

Ann

amphibian

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Re: Which Melon?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2010, 12:33:22 »
My success with melons is with Prescott Fond Blanc, which gave me excellent results last year, and Hero of Lockinge, which was actually bred in Britain.

For watermelons there is just Black Tail Mountain, out in a class of its own, what a plant.

I grow all mine outdoors with fleece cover. Black tail Mountain does best for me if I let it climb, the others I let sprawl.

Jeannine

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Re: Which Melon?
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2010, 12:47:29 »
The UK weather doesn't seem to be helpful  this year I think, hopefully it will pick up quickly.For a melon to suceed after transplanting at about 5 weeks it needs 8-10 weeks of good hot growing weather from the middle of June to the end of August.In that time it has to grow 5-9 leaves before starting to flower,then it should set 4 or  more male flowers before making it's first female flower,then it has to ripen it's first set of melons before the cool damp weather and the mildew sets in.

Hero of Lockinge is one of my faves but it is not one of the earliest.

XX Jeannine
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 12:50:09 by Jeannine »
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amphibian

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Re: Which Melon?
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2010, 12:51:52 »
The UK weather doesn't seem to be helpful  this year I think, hopefully it will pick up quickly.For a melon to suceed after transplanting at about 5 weeks it needs 8-10 weeks of good hot growing weather from the middle of June to the end of August.In that time it has to grow 5-9 leaves before starting to flower,then it should set 4 or  more male flowers before making it's first female flower,then it has to ripen it's first set of melons before the cool damp weather and the mildew sets in.

Hero of Lockinge is one of my faves but it is not one of the earliest.

XX Jeannine

Which early varities do you recommend?

Jeannine

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Re: Which Melon?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2010, 13:57:55 »
Blacktail Mountain for a watermelon at 75 days from transplant has always been a good bet but there are a few more early ones  Little Baby Flower is one I am going for this year, about a week earlier ,smaller but with more fruit and there is a cutsie little yellow one called Diana that is about the same maturity as Blacktail but has better disease resistance.Cream of Saskatchewan takes 10 days longer the Blacktail but does exceptionally well in colder climates. I grew this one in the UK, flesh is sweet but white.

There is an old OP one called Sweet Granite which was designed for northern coastal areas here, very reliable I have grown it many times but the more modern ones are sweeter, Earlichamp is an early which has a good flavour. This one has taken over from Earligold which I always grew as the disease resistance is better.There are shorter season ones but they are very tiny fruits.

I tend not to be a purist when it comes to melons so I often  go for the F1 types for earliness and reliability so tend to check out what is new and also what is good for Northern areas and coastal. I found in the UK this worked for me there too as BC is very similar weather, although this year and last we have had a very early hot season.  I had very little success in the UK with Collective Farm Women as it is a late unless I kept heat in the greenhouse but it did keep very well when it made it.

Prescott Ford Blanc is a late one,Prescott Early Frame is considered an early though .Minnesota Midget is very early but small. Hero of Lockinge  is considered a late..used to be grown in glasshouses on hot beds,Jenny Lind is a good bet and is an early, Fordhook Gem is an early,Honey Gold is an early,Moon and Stars which is available over there , I have seen it, funnily enough is a late watermelon

That's about as far as my own records can take me

Another one I am trying  this year which I am told is excellent  is an Asian one which is oblong, only 68 days from transplanting and produces several fruits which are very sweet.Name is Sun Jewel.

XX Jeannine

I should add, you will get some of the lates to fruit but their size will be very small compared to what they should be.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 14:02:52 by Jeannine »
When God blesses you with a multitude of seeds double  the blessing by sharing your  seeds with other folks.