How to Grow Winter Melons: Casaba, Crenshaw, Honeydew, and Persian
Posted Mar 28 2009 3:12pm
Winter melons are summer-grown, warm-weather, tender plants that are commonly ready for harvest in late summer, autumn, or early winter. So-called winter melons include casaba, charental, Crenshaw, honeydew, and Persian. Winter melons require 110 frost-free days to reach harvest, more days than required by the summer melons, cantaloupe or muskmelon and the watermelon. Sow winter melons in the garden or set out transplants not earlier than 2 weeks after the average last frost date in spring when all danger of frost has passed. Start winter melon seed indoors 6 weeks before you plan to set plants into the garden. Winter melons require that nearly all of the growing season be warmer than 80°F.
Description. Winter melons come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. These melons are long trailing annuals.
• Casaba: round or ovoid with wrinkled, rough yellow-rind and greenish-whitish flesh weighing about 5 pounds (2.2 kg). Greenish tinge at stem end. Smooth-textured, creamy flesh is juicy and subtly sweet and less fragrant than other melons.
• Charental: elongated, globe-shaped melon with smooth to slightly netted grey-green rind with slight ridges and a firm deep orange, sweet flesh.
• Crenshaw: smooth yellow-green skin with pale green or salmon flesh weighing about 6 pounds (2.7 kg). A hybrid cross between the casaba and cantaloupe. Flesh is extra sweet and juicy with a sweet spicy aroma. Softer than other melons.
• Honeydew: more ovoid than round with smooth rind that changes from pale green to creamy yellow as it ripens weighing about 3 pounds (1.3 kg); green, white, orange, or pink-orange flesh.
• Persian: large, oval-to-round, strongly netted, unridged rind with a musky orange-colored flesh; similar to a cantaloupe, but larger, weighing 7 to 8 pounds (3.1-3.6kg)..
Yield. Grow 2 winter melon plants for each household member.