The challenge in our growing zone is to find vegetables that “work/finish” for us. No where is it more important than with melons! Everyone loves a great juicy sweet melon! So, we are directing our energies to varieties that, under our weather circumstances, should have half a chance of finishing here on the prairies. It has been noticed, if a variety doesn’t quite finish…YET if one is able to grab some great seeds and replant it…there is the half-chance it will adapt and try finishing sooner! A royal family feast should always include some luscious melons!
Will remain online for educational purposes. Operating on a “Hobby” basis only.
Occasionally we may have some “extra” seed. Pkts. marked below. If nothing marked…then it is “N/A”
- Amish – would have to be from an Amish community! Oval 4-7 lb. fruits offer thick rinds with sweet orange flesh that is not only juicy, but with full melon flavor. Seems adverse weather does not bother it. Strong shorter…determinate vines. 80-90 days
- Banana – Was listed in print in some of the first original seed catalogs of N.A.! Actually, a long banana-shaped fruit tapered at both ends. Usually measures 16” to 24” long and about 4” wide. Semi-smooth, yellow/green skin with salmon/pink flesh. Gardeners say that it has a sweet, spicy flavor. 80-100 days
- Boughem – seed has been in the P.G. Seed Co. family for over 80 years (since 1930) and known to have come from Russia. The best melon known to produce reliably on the prairies, a week to 10 days earlier than “Far North”! It bears large oval yellow-skinned fruits which are mild flavored, soft and unfortunately not very uniform (or so he says…)
- Boule D’Or – (aka Golden Perfection) Listed in the Vilmorin’s catalog “The vegetable garden” in 1885. Fruits ripen to a bright yellow skin and green flesh. A rare french variety that is incredibly delicious and sweet. Would have had a chance to taste it better, if the “chippies” didn’t sniff it out first! Maybe will try growing it in a large pot, so that it can finish quicker in our zone. 85-98 days
- Canary Yellow – this honeydew melon offers up elongated “footballs” of pretty yellow when it matures, with fine gentle ribs. The flesh is a very a pale green/whitish with some degree of sweetness. Could use a hot summer to push it along.
- Cershownski – Given to a local seed company by Jake Rempel of Halbstadt, Manitoba. Family believes it came over from the southern part of the Ukraine via Jake’s mother’s family…Jacob Kehler & Kathrine Penner in July 1874. According to that author, believed to be a rare strain of the “cob melon”! The center of the melon is filled with a “cob-like” structure containing seeds, so it is easiest to cut around the melon lengthways against the core of seed, take the top half in one hand & the bottom half in the other and twist the 2 halves apart. This is how Jake’s family have been doing it for generations! Fruits average 8-9” long by 5-6” wide with mildly sweet flesh that is light green to cream in color. Quite rare says HHS. 85 days
- Charantais – A French heirloom. Considered by (flavor specialists) authorities (those who think they know…) that this variety is the most divine and flavorful melon in the world! Smooth, round fruits mature to a creamy, gray/yellow with green stripes in the skin. Flesh is a salmon orange sweet. Typically weighs like a large grapefruit at 2 1/2 lbs. Perfect for 2 people. Ripe melons have a heavenly fragrance. 75-90 days Pkt…$2.50 Sold out!
- Crane – (aka China) Was originally called the “Gold Rush” melon and cultivated by Chinese mine workers. Made famous in California by Olivier Crane with its introduction in 1920. Seems this family have been farming there for 6 generations AND this melon has been there all the way thru! Delicious crenshaw type with pale orange flesh and fine sweet flavor. Skin is green even when ripe with orange spots. Approx. 4 lbs. 85 days Pkt…$2.50
- Delice de la Table – French Heirloom listed by Vilmorin in 1885. Translated means “Delight of the Table”. Fruits are very pretty, weigh about 2 lb., appear solid…heavy & are heavily ribbed. Flesh is orange and sweet. Very hard to find. Rare. 85-90 days
- Delicious #51 – Bred at Cornell University. A popular home garden variety that is also (thank you!) quite early. Fruits can finish at 4 to 5 lb. weights. The flesh is gorgeous to look at AND eat…being a deep orange and pleasantly fruity sweet.
- Early Black Rock – (aka Honey Rock ? aka Sugar Rock) An AAS winner in 1933! Skin is tough grayish/green with flesh, a deep orange. Fruits weigh 3 to 4 lbs and there should be 5-7 per. plant. Northern variety. 74-88 days
- Early Hanover – “Introduced by T.W. Woods and Sons of Richmond, Virginia in 1895. This variety was known as early sort…reported to have attained “immense popularity” … and was noted for the sweet and sugary flavor of the flesh which can be eaten to the very thin skin. c/o William Tapley et al., The Vegetables of New York, Volume I (Albany: J.B. Lyon Company, 1937) Ref. 133:” Fruits grown in our climate can reach about 2 lb. and 6″ in diameter. Has rare green flesh with full sweet flavor. Said to be on the endangered list and therefore rare. 70-85 days Pkt…$2.50 Sold out!
- Edens Gem – Early maturing variety developed in 1905 at Rocky Ford, Colorado, as a “crate melon”. Author Amy Goldman, claims this muskmelon to be one of her all-time favorites and “may cause drooling”! Soft-ball sized 1 lb’ers are heavily netted. Flavor is complex and spicy. 65-80 day
- Far North – Many grateful thanks c/o Brian Porter (of Regina, Sask) who shared some very interesting info. with me about this wee melon. He has referenced a doc. from the Western Canadian Society of Hort. Regina, Sask 1951. “Far North was selected in 1936 (named 1937) at the Can. Dept. of Agr. Exp. Station , Indian Head, Sask, under the direction of R.M.Wilson, from a breeding program begun in 1932. It was derived from a cross between Scott Select (selected at the Scott SK Exp. Stat. in 1931, derived from Russian Mennonite seed) and Golden Champlain. The latter was named in 1932, from a cross of Lake Champlain & Golden Nugget. Lake Champlain is derived from the Early Ripe Strain of Early Green Nutmeg. It was initially known as Indian Head #341. Despite it being known as somewhat unstable, it was released because of the demands by the Seed Trade for a melon that would ripen sufficiently early on the Prairies. After more re-selection, seed was sent to Ottawa in 1949 and after verification trials, etc was granted registration in Jan. 1951!” Wanted the full impact of Mr. Porter’s share (THANK YOU!) but he wrote A LOT! So was hard to condense without losing precious information! One of the earliest maturing melons in my collection. Fruits are little soft ball sizes (about 1 lb.) round with orange flesh. Flavor isn’t quite like in the store, but it is a treat to eat something like this from your own garden, this far north! I am sure if the summers were hotter and drier here, we would get a real “muskmelon flavor” fix! Excellent for short seasons. 60-70 days
- Gnadenfeld – Obtained from H.H. Seeds. Was found growing in Gnadenfeld, Manitoba for generations… a melon already named for the town/area in which it resided. One of the most earliest, productive and sweetest var. they claim to have ever grown. Fruits are small, with fragrant flesh, finishing in good time before the chill sets in!
- Golden Gopher – Developed at the University of Minnesota in 1930. Put into circulation by the Farmer Seed & Nursery Co. Saved by Glenn Drowns from extinction. Has honeydew parentage…which could explain its rich, intensely sweet bright orange flesh. Has one of the highest ratings for sugar content. Skin is only lightly netted with tan/gold colored base. Roundish/oval fruits are 6-7″ long and about 5-6″ wide. Known as the “Pop Open” melon. If allowed to stay in the field/garden too long, they will split open. Very early.
- Golden Honeymoon – a honeydew melon with brilliant gold rind & delicious green flesh. Unique flavor. 2 weeks earlier than regular honeydews. Excellent production. Rarely prone to “sunburn”. Unique, rare AND a “keeper”! Leave on the vine till fully ripe to enjoy its fullest flavor. 92 days
- Green Climbing – heirloom from France. Small fruit with green flesh. Has a lovely fragrance. Prefers a warm, drier climate (hot summer). Ripens best when it is given a chance to climb. Might need to be tied to trellis. (?days)
- Green Fleshed Pineapple – (aka “Ananas“, aka “Ananas d’Amerique A Chair Verte“) translation: “Pineapple of America with Green Flesh”…a heirloom melon, maybe from both France & America. Fruits are typically oval with dark green skin, strong tan lines & faint netting overall. Flesh is light green flesh, sweet like ?pineapple. The vines are prolific, producing lots small to medium pound fruits. 80 days
- Green Nutmeg – this very old variety was 1st mentioned by Bernard McMahon in “The American Gardener’s Calendar” of 1806. In 1863 Fearing Burr Jr. described 12 varieties suitable for the garden & those listed, ranked “Nutmeg” as “One of the very best”. This small melon matures anywhere from 2 to 3 lbs. Has typical muskmelon webbed skin and emerald green flesh! Its flesh is wonderfully aromatic, divinely sweet, combined with a unique spiciness. A very reliable producer any where…year after year. Short season. 70-80 days.
- Hearts of Gold – (aka Hoodoo) Dev. By Roland Morrill and introduced in 1895. Registration was granted Dec.15 1914. Smooth round netted fruits of typical muskmelons. Vines are vigorous, producing many sweet and juicy fruits that average at 2 to 3 lbs. Many varieties in the store typify this variety and in 1930 this one was the most popular . Flesh is firm, juicy and offers fantastic aromatic flavor. 75 days
- Honey Rock – (aka Sugar Rock) Pre…1920. Developed by F. W. Richardson (US). Popular in the 20’s due to its short season. In 1932 a seed catalog described it as “perfect for both home gardeners & market gardeners.” A heirloom melon with fine, firm, deep salmon-colored thick flesh. Its globe-shaped fruits roll in @ 3 to 4 lbs. An AAS winner in 1933! Tough, grayish-green skin, making it great for travel. A favorite for the North. Good-sized fruit for the time-frame of 75 days. Pkt…$2.50
- Jenny Lind – was dev. from an old Philadelphia variety from before 1840. Registered in 1846. It was named after Swedish singer “Jenny Lind…the Swedish Nightingale”. Fruits are almost turban-shaped with a “button” or “knob” on the bottom, weighing in at 2½ lbs. Skin is brownish orange, mottled with green when ripe. The flesh is whitish green and sweet. Its vines are short (for a melon!) reaching only 5 feet! A great one to trial for short season gardens. Disease resistant. 70-75 days
- Kazakh – Said to have been collected in Kazakhstan (East Asia) and once offered by the Gurney Seed Company, of Yankton, South Dakota. (Quote….Cucumis melo ( aka Kazakh Honeydew Melon )
“An early melon with white skin that turns yellow upon ripening. Flesh is white, to be eaten fresh, not a good keeper but with incredible taste. Climbs on a trellis well, and produces 1-3 pound fruits. Rare. An annual warm season crop. Plant 1/2 inch deep, 24 inches apart, outdoors in warm season areas, with lots of room for the vines to sprawl . As transplants they should be started one month before planting out when the soil is warmed up. Maintain temperatures of 70-80F until germination. Soil should be kept moist, and young transplants fed weekly. When planting out take care to not disturb the roots and add plenty of rich organic matter such as compost to the mound. After blooms have set, prune the vines back to aid remaining fruits to ripen, especially in cool climates. Night time temperatures should be at least 60F for fruit set. When fruits are getting close to ripening, decrease the watering to increase the sweetness the fruit.
Important Info : They can be difficult to grow outside the region in which they were developed. Baking hot, sandy soil, is generally a good bet for improving your crop. It is useful to have a cold frame to get the plants going early.” c/o unquote)
- Minnesota Midget – developed by the University of Minnesota in 1948 and introduced by the Farmer Seed Co. One of the most popular varieties for northern gardens. This melon produces 4” to 6” fruits on short 3 ft. vines. Fruits are typical. Plants are compact, yet very productive…ideal for patios and small gardens. Best if trellised. Unique flavor and high sugar content. Resistant to wilt. 60-100 days
- Montreal Market – grown for many years in the Montreal area, prior to 1890’s. Ancestry can be traced back to early French settlers. Also crosses made with many others such as “Cavaillon” and “Giant Green Nutmeg” during its time made it very famous. Thought to be extinct until a few old seeds were found in a seed bank maintained by the US Dept. of Agriculture in 1995. These gems were grown out to produce astonishing huge fruits of 10lbs.
- Noire de Carmes – (aka Black Rock) A French heirloom discovered before 1880. Extremely dark green skin, (almost black) when immature. Then ripening to a full yellow orange, mottled with green patches and stripes. Fruits slightly flattened and ribbed with smooth skin. Sweet, aromatic light orange flesh. Easiest to grow and the most luxurious of all melons. Fruits end up 2 to 3 lbs each. Very productive. (In my opinion…one of the prettiest melon I have ever seen!) 75 days
- Oka – bred around 1912 by Father Athanese of the Trappist Monastery at La Trappe, Quebec. It was a cross of the green-fleshed “Montreal Market” and “Banana”! After a few years of refining, seed was 1st offered by Joseph Breck & Sons of Boston. It was not discovered again till years later on the Island of Bizard, Quebec, Canada. Therefore became known as the Bizard Island strain. Great flavor and texture. What a tasty attractive melon! 80-90 days
- Orange Fleshed Honeydew – Unusual for a honeydew…light green, very smooth skin, combined with brilliant orange flesh! What contrast! Couldn’t resist this one! Very pretty! Typically “classic” very tasty sweet flesh. An American melon variety. Fruits are oblong. 98 days
- Petite Gris de Rennes – Developed by Bishop of Rennes, nearly 400 hundred years ago! This variety became the favorite “in the mouth of” French melon expert Bruno Defay of the US. Grey-green rind covers this small round melon of about 2-3 lbs. The great flesh is super thick, orange, dense and flavorfully sweet (perfumed). Its seed cavity is very small. Reports say that it adapts well to cool climates. Rave reviews. Another excellent market melon with a French connection. Pkt…$2.50 Sold out!
- Prescott Fond Blanc – unique French melon from before 1850. Fruits come in at 4 to 9 lbs! They exhibit beautiful WARTY skin and dense sweet flesh. WOW! It is sooo ugly, that it is beautiful! Incredibly fragrant when ripe. Will NOT slip when ripe! So keep your “nose” on top of this one! Drought resistant. 85-95 days
- Queen Anne’s Pocket – (aka Plum Granny, aka Dudaim Melon) A small melon grown solely for its fragrance! Sources state it may have existed during the 17th century. Very popular during the Victorian times and was carried around by ladies in their pockets for their perfume-like qualities! Is grown for its powerful fragrance! Flesh is pale off white, edible but bland. Have grown this one and found it to be the size of a small baseball…2” to 3”wide with beautiful deep yellow and red/orange stripes. Its skin was also soft and fuzzy! (No wonder they liked to touch it!) Plants were as small as the melons, with vines no longer than 2 feet. 65-70 days
- Thai Golden Round – these big 6 lb. glowing orange “pumpkins” are one of the most “eye-catching” attractive melons I have ever seen! The green flesh is sweet…a unique melting pot of papaya & pineapple! Very “melon-like”! A variety that stands out by itself. Collected by Andrew Kaiser in 2006. Plants (they say) are very productive. A heat lover. ____ days
- Tigger – love this “Tigger”! A Baker Seed Co. introduction. From an Armenian market obtained from a mountain valley in the same country. Fruits are a vibrant yellow with fire engine red zig-zag stripes! (Have to see this one to believe it!) Fragrance is powerful, more so than Queen Anne’s Pocket Melon. The white flesh gets sweeter in dry climates. (hot summers?) Fruits are perfectly round, packed at 1 lb. Vigorous small plants yield heavily. Very unique melon for specialty markets. 85 days
- Tip Top – (aka Livingstone’s Tip Top Nutmeg) introduced in 1892. A very prolific melon. Was one of the leading market melons for over 40 years and now very rare. Medium-sized fruits have salmon/orange flesh, very sweet and spicy clear thru to the rind! Drought tolerant and very early. 75-80 days