Approximately 40-45 seeds per gram. Cucumis melo Lot# ME29002 Hales Best Cantaloupe is a classic heirloom muskmelon. It is a reliable heavily netted melon that produces a slightly ribbed 1.8-2.7 kg (4-6 lb) melon that is on average 17 cm (7”) long and 15 cm (6”) in diameter. The juicy salmon orange flesh is simply delicious with a strong fruity scent. The melons are mostly fleshy with a small seed cavity. They are produced on strong vining plants that can reach 1.5 m (5’) long and about 30 cm (12”) high. This classic heirloom has stood the test of time and has just recently returned as a favorite melon for gardeners to grow.
Sow seeds inside in mid to late April or direct seed when soil has warmed up to 23-29˚C (75-85˚F). If direct seeding, plant seeds 1-2 weeks following your last frost date. Sow 3 seeds per hill at a depth of 12 mm (½”) deep and 45 cm (18”) apart. Space rows at 122-182 cm (4-6’) apart. We start cantaloupe seeds under lights and move to the greenhouse when they have germinated. Sow seeds in pots 12 mm (½”) deep in rich organic soil at least 4 weeks before transplanting outside. An outside temperature of 23˚C (75˚F) is healthy enough for seedling growth. Gradually harden off the seedlings prior to transplanting by reducing both temperature and water. We transplant directly into the garden by planting double transplants into hills that are 45 cm (18”) apart with rows spaced at 122-182 cm (4-6’) apart.
Soil Conditions: Well worked rich, loose well-drained soil. Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8.
Planting Depth: 12 mm (½") deep.
Germination: 8-10 days.
Height at Maturity: Vining type habit. Hales Best Cantaloupe will grow to about 30 cm (12”) high and have vines that spread about 1.5 m (5’) long.
Days to Maturity: 70-85 days for maturity from transplants.
Watering: 2.5 cm (1") a week ensures good growth, whether they are grown in single or wide rows. The amount of rain that falls during the week affects how much you should water your garden.Keep soil consistently moist. Inadequate or inconsistent watering may cause irregular growth. Hales Best Cantaloupe melons need plenty of moisture until fruit is tennis ball sized.
Sun/Shade: Full Sun
Spacing after Thinning: 45 cm (18") between plants in rows that are 122-182 cm (4-6’) apart.
Additional Information Harvesting melons at perfect maturity can be tricky at best, each type of melon is a little different. In general: cantaloupes slip from the vine when ripe. Charantais Cantaloupe can be cut when they have a thick netted skin. Galia melon types slip from the vine and are ready when skin turns bright yellow. Honeydews can be cut from the vine when skin turns color. Other indicators of ripeness are when the leaf closest to fruit becomes dried and shriveled and when the stem becomes corky. Isolate different varieties of melons by 310 m (1/4 mile) to prevent cross pollination. Tree lines, woods or buildings separating fields can allow for shorter distances. Harvest the melons when ripe for eating. For seed collection remove the seeds and pulp and rinse under water until seeds are clean. A light fermentation with a little water can sometimes help in the cleaning process. Simply add 250 ml (1 cup) of water for every cup of seeds and pulp and let sit in a warm place for 2-3 days, stirring daily. Then rinse under water and allow seeds to dry on a tightly woven cloth or plate. We winnow our seeds to remove immature and light seeds. Melon seed will remain viable for 5-6 years under cool and dry storage condition.