Cantaloupe, Hales Best Jumbo

The Hales Best Jumbo Melon is, in our book, one of the finest all-around cantaloupes available today.   A classic heirloom muskmelon that has only recently bounced back into regular circulation, the Hales Best produces deliciously sweet – and sizable – cantaloupes.

Cantaloupe, Hales Best Jumbo Plant Info

  • PLANT TYPE: Annual
  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cucumis melo/Citrullus lanatus
  • LIGHT: Full Sun
  • SOIL TYPE: Well-drained with organic matter; sandy.
  • pH RANGE: 6.0 – 7.0
  • MOISTURE/WATERING: Average but steady
  • MATURITY IN DAYS: 70 – 80 for early melon varieties – recommended for northern climates
  • KNOWN PESTS: Cucumber beetles
  • KNOWN DISEASES: Leaf spots and mildew

OVERVIEW:

Melons and watermelons are full of vitamin C, and are among the most prized in the vegetable garden.   Weather is very important.   The warmer it is, the sweeter the melons will be.   Plant melons in late spring to early summer, when the soil is very warm.   It will help to use plenty of compost or manure.   Like cucumbers, melons like company so plant several seeds per hill and thin to 3 or 4.

PROPAGATION / SOWING OF MELONS:

For best results start watermelon seed indoors, 4 weeks prior to the last frost.  Sow 2-3 seeds 1/2” deep in 2¼” Jiffy strips.   Provide a warm soil temperature, 24-27°C (75-80°F) and even moisture.  Thin to one seedling per pot.  Transplant watermelon plants outdoors after all risk of frost in rows 4-6’ apart with 36”(melons) – 48”(watermelon) between plants.   For direct seeding, wait till all risk of frost has passed and soil has warmed.  Sow melon seed in rows and space properly or sow into mounded 1’x2’ hills, leaving 2 watermelon plants per hill, with hills spaced at 4-6’.  Melons and watermelons require a bright, warm growing season of about 3 months duration.  row covers or black mulch are highly recommended for extending growing season, to ensure maturity and to increase yield.

COMPANION PLANTING OF MELONS:

Corn.

CARE & GROWING OF MELONS:

Full sun and sheltered location with a soil pH of 6.0-7.0.  Melons are moderate feeders which require plenty of compost added to the soil.  Regular feedings during the season with a well balanced fertilizer or compost tea are highly beneficial to watermelons.

HARVESTING OF MELONS:

Muskmelons – when the melon easily slips off the stem.  Watermelon – when the curly tendril that intersects the main stem with the stem on the fruit has completely dried and turned brown and the underside of the melon, where it sits on the ground, is yellow.

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