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Melon 'Sweet Ananas'

Pineapple Melon, Sharlyn Melon (Heritage France 1824)

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Melon 'Sweet Ananas'

Pineapple Melon, Sharlyn Melon (Heritage France 1824)

Availability: In stock

Average Seed Count:25 Seeds


Melon 'Sweet Ananas' is one of the sweetest melons you could possibly get your hands on. Not commercially available, today they are grown for specialty markets in Europe and America so are somewhat of a rarity to find. Extremely juicy with a fantastic sweet smell, wonderful but rarely available - this variety is well worth growing at home.
Producing large oval shaped, slightly netted fruits with beige rind and apricot pink to ivory-yellow interior when mature. Underneath the thin rind, the flesh is has a soft but dense consistency, encasing a small cavity of light brown seeds.
Often referred to as ‘Pineapple melons’ in France and Italy, when ripe, the melons have a notable, perfumed aroma similar to the scent of pineapples. The tropical, sweet and floral flavours are followed by a faint, caramel-like aftertaste.

This is a mid-early variety that produces vigorous and productive plants with oblong fruits of good dimensions, averaging 7 to 12 (3 to 5in) in diameter and weighing 2.0 to 2.5 kg. The disease resistant vines produce a heavy crop of extremely sweet, juicy and very aromatic fruits with compact cavities with no air space.
Sow from February to May and grow in a full sun position to allow it to reach its full size. Harvest from July to September.

Famously mentioned in Vilmorin's 'The Vegetable Garden' in 1885, Ananas Melons are named for their pineapple fragrance and actually date back to around 1824.
They are described by Vilmorin Seeds today as being suitable for 'eating as an appetiser with a glass of wine, or as a dessert' , there is no denying the temptation of its highly fragrant flesh.

Growing Melons:
In general, melons are lovers of warmth, which makes them short season crops for the temperate areas, whereas in warm countries they are grown in succession for export to temperate zones. They typically grow best under glass, but can be grown outdoors in warmer regions. They can be grown in grow bags in a glasshouse or in a poly tunnel. They can be outdoors in well prepared ground with lots of organic matter in the soil. (Composted grass clippings and straw are ideal.). Plants can be trained vertically or, if space is not a problem, can be left to sprawl along the ground.

Melons prefer is diffuse light rather than bright light. The soil should be rich and well drained, and like the atmosphere around them, kept continually moist.
They need higher temperatures than tomatoes and high humidity but will grow well with cucumbers which require similar conditions. Contrary to popular belief, you can grow melons alongside cucumbers; they are similar, but will not cross-pollinate each other

Sowing: Sow from March to the end of May
Melon seeds are sown from late winter to spring in hotter countries, but in our temperate zone sow indoors from March to the end of May. Sow 1cm (½in) deep directly into 8 to 10cm (3 to 4in) pots using standard free draining potting compost. Keep moist at all time. Seeds will germinate at temperatures above 21°C (68°F). Germination usually takes 6 to 10 days at 24°C (75°F).
Transplant when large enough to handle into 13cm (5in) pots. Grow on in good light at around 15 to 18°C (59 to 64) before planting 75 to 100cm (30 to 39in) apart when all risk of frost has passed. Planting into an unheated glasshouse or polytunnel must not take place until the compost or soil is sufficiently warm (18°C / 64°F ) and the air temperature likewise. Set the plants out firmly but do not compact the soil.
The planting area must be adjacent to suitable support if the melons are to be trained in conventional fashion. When planting, you may wish to inserting a 7cm (3in) pipe into the soil so you can water directly to the roots with a watering can.
Top dress with good compost when white roots are seen. If the basal leaves begin to yellow feed with a liquid tomato fertiliser. Feed weekly once the fruits begin to form.

Melons can be trained up a simple single line of string tied to the supports in the glasshouse roof and secured in the ground with a peg next to the base of the melon or use a fan trellis which is simple and reusable next season.
As the melon starts to grow, tie the strongest shoot to the support and pinch out the side shoots which grow from the main stem. As the plants grow pinch out each stem a couple of leaves beyond the female flowers.
Once the stem has reached the top of the support pinch out the leading shoot. This will make the plant concentrate on the formation of fruits. Sprawling plants are simply left to develop and restricted to avoid growth congestion as required.

Watering holds the key to successful melon growing. Regular watering is essential, try to keep the compost constantly moist but not wet. You need to water so that the plant never gets wet, avoid sogginess around the plant stem as this can cause stem rot. Over watering can cause the fruit to split. Possibly the best way to water is with a drip irrigation system.
Glasshouse conditions in high summer need to be kept humid on the hottest days by watering the path early in the morning or by standing a bucket of water in the glasshouse.
Melons need sufficient moisture while growing and fruiting, but prior to harvest, the best, sweetest flavour will occur if the plant is grown on the "dry" side. Cut back on watering the plant when you approach harvest, about three weeks prior to the main crop harvest.

Once the flowers have formed, you will need to pollinate the flowers. This is best carried out mid day when the humidity is high. Females have a swollen part at the base of the bloom. Either remove a male flower and place it inside a female bloom, or take a small paintbrush and lightly brush each flower in turn to. After 2 or 3 days remove the male flowers from the plants.

As soon as the fruits reach the size of tennis balls you need to use string nets or other means to support them. For sprawling plants, a layer of straw should be put down to prevent fruit damage. As the summer progresses and the fruits reach full size remove a few leaves to allow the fruit to ripen.

Harvest: Mid early. 90 to 95 days. July to September
The skin of the Ananas melon will be a good shade of yellow and will give off a good melon fragrance from the stem end. Check the melon is a good size and weight for its size, and if you\'re really lucky, the melon will easily come off the stem, another sign that it\'s ripe and ready for eating.
Melons will ripen when taken off the plant (provided they are mature enough when picked), and can be ripened in a fruit bowl with bananas.

The history of Ananas melons is mostly unknown, with some experts connecting it to older melon varieties found in regions of Northern Africa and the Middle East. The sweet melon variety became popular in the United States and was first documented in the 19th century, where it was featured in multiple American seed cataloges in 1824.
Ananas melons were also famously noted in M.M. Vilmorin-Andrieux’s book 'The Vegetable Garden' in 1885. Today Ananas melons are somewhat rare to find and are grown for specialty markets, especially in Europe. This specialty melon is also favourite of growers up and down the west coast of America.

Melon is from Medieval Latin melonem, from Latin melopeponem meaning 'a type of pumpkin'.
Ananas melons, botanically classified as Cucumis melo, are sweet fruits belonging to the reticulatus group, which encompasses melons with rinds covered in a rough netting.
Ananas in French and Italian translates to mean 'pineapple', and the melon received its tropical name from its sweet, floral taste and aroma. Ananas melons have also acquired many other names over time, including Sharlyn melons, Pineapple melons, Khoob melons, Israeli or Middle Eastern melons, and Ananas D’Amerique a Chair Verte in France.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Average Seed Count 25 Seeds
Common Name Pineapple Melon, Sharlyn Melon (Heritage France 1824)
Other Common Names Ananas D'Amerique
Other Language Names IT & FR: Melone Ananas (Ananas means pineapple in both French and Italian)
Family Cucurbitaceae
Genus Cucumis
Species melo reticulatus group (which encompasses melons with rinds covered in a rough netting.)
Cultivar Sweet Ananas
Synonym Ananas D’Amerique, Khoob melon.
Hardiness Annual
Spacing 75 to 100cm (30 to 39in) apart
Position Full Sun
Soil Well-drained/light, Moist
Time to Sow March to the end of May
Germination 6 to 10 days at 24°C (75°F).
Harvest 90 to 95 days to maturity
Time to Harvest July to September

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