Melon F1 'Jade Lady' is a honeydew type of melon that produces fruit that is almost perfectly round in shape. The creamy-white rind is smooth and the flesh is tender, light green in colour. Weighing approximately 1.5 to 2.5 kg (3 to 5lbs), high sugar content gives the flesh a sweet taste.
This hybrid melon is known for its high disease tolerance, it has rather stable quality and is easy to cultivate. it is resistant to Fusarium wilt. The fruit usually ripens about 45 to 55 days after flowering and do not slip off easily. It is good for storage and shipping.
Honeydews are second only to cantaloupes in popularity, but these little gems bear no resemblance to the bland cardboard-like taste for what passes as a melon from the local supermarket. The vine ripened Honeydew has an unbelievable sweet, almost wine-like flavour.
The sweetest and most flavourful melons are those picked ripe from the vine and eaten right away. Go ahead, open a melon and eat it right in the garden—without utensils—and let the sweet nectar run right down your chin!
In general, melons are lovers of warmth, which makes them short season crops for the U.K., 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: July to August.
Judging when melons are ready to harvest IS an exact science – don’t be told otherwise. Whether it is late in the garden or early in a greenhouse, the plants will tell you when to pick. In the case of the muskmelons (cantaloupe and honeydew), the short stem seems to become backed up with juice, as though the fruit can take no more.
Honeydew, crenshaw, and other winter melons are ready to harvest when they turn completely white or yellow, and the blossom end is slightly soft to touch. Since they do not slip from the vine, and have no smell as cantaloupes do, the melons have to be cut from the vine.
They will continue to ripen for several days at room temperature once they are picked. To speedup the ripening process place the melon in a plastic bag and seal the bag with a twist tie and place on your kitchen counter. This traps the natural ethylene gas cantaloupes produce inside the bag and the melon will ripen in a couple of days. Remove the bag after the cantaloupe has ripened and refrigerate until you're ready to eat it.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 10 Seeds Common Name Honeydew Melon Other Common Names Desert Melon. Winter Melon. Family Cucurbitaceae Genus Cucumis Species melo - Inodorous Group Cultivar F1 Jade Lady 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). Time to Harvest July to August. Notes Charentais is a type of true cantaloupe from Europe
(what many in the US call cantaloupes are actually muskmelons)