America leads the world in Melon consumption by eating an average of 27 lbs of melon per person, every year! So, what are America’s TOP 4 Melons? Find out below along with how to grow them and how to tell when they are RIPE!
Over 120,000 acres of these beauties are grown each year in the US with over 85% grow as “seedless”. With an average of over 31,000 lbs per acre, that’s over 1.8 MILLION TONS of watermelon grown in the US each year, NOT including what you or I are growing in our yard!
Grow in deep (12-18”+) of rich, well-draining soil with a good 2” of mulch on top to help keep the maturing melons from rotting as they ripen (this is pretty close to the same for every melon).
WATERMELON IS RIPE WHEN:
1. Look for a yellow “field spot” and the blossom end is clean
2. Listen for a “Thump” (hollow sound) not a “Tink”
3. Feel the weight… the heavier the better (an over-ripe melon sounds hollow, but feels light)
4. FIELD RIPE: Stem tendril is completely dry to the stem of melon
Over 75,000 acres grown per year used in everything from salads to smoothies and beyond. It’s the most versatile of the melons and a great add to any garden for its great taste as well as its thicker, more even ground-cover.
Grow in deep (12-18”+) of rich, well-draining soil with a good 2” of mulch or even a bit of extra air flow around the ripening fruit that an inch of STRAW or wood chip on top can provide. You can even go vertical with thin ones on a trellis if you want! Be uire to feed monthly with a fish-emulsion or compost tea for best results.
CANTALOUP IS RIPE WHEN:
1. Look between the “lines”. A golden color between the Netting is a good sign it’s ripe.
2. Feel the top and the bottom… are they firm, but not solid or squishy?
3. Smell it! The melon should have a sweet hint of the melon and FULL of FLAVOR.
Rising more than 13,000 acres grown nationally, honeydew, in many of its varieties, (the dews) is in a clear 3rd -place spot. Eaten mostly fresh, this big green or yellow beauty is as soft inside as it looks on the outside.
Grown just like the cantaloupe, but it needs an extra bit of air circulation around the ripening time. However, it often grows too big for a trellis. You can feed the honeydew just like you do with the cantaloupe.
HONEYDEW IS RIPE WHEN:
1. Look for a golden hue
2. Listen for a “squeak!” when you rub an ungreased thumb across the midsection of the fruit
3. Smell the stem-end, It should be sweet
#4 It’s a four-way tie!
Have you ever tried a Crenshaw Melon? Santa Claus? Canary? Musk?
There are many awesome varieties of melon out there! Try a new one this week!