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How Many Honeydew Melons Can A Plant Produce? Honeydew melons are a popular fruit that is commercially available in most regions of the world. It is a popular alternative to cantaloupe that can be grown in your yard at home.
A Honeydew plant will typically produce between 2 and 6 fruits per season according to studies in South Africa and Bangladesh. The typical size of the fruit produce varies between 1.0 to 2.5 kg in most cases depending upon the particular variety and the growing method used.
Studies by the National Economic and Development Authority in the Philippines have shown that the yield of the plant can be optimized by using a trellis system rather than allowing the fruit to trail along the ground. It was also noted that the size of the fruit increased with results from the study is shown in the table below.
|Support Type||Average Fruit Weight|
|No Support||1.43 kg|
|Box Type||1.68 kg|
|A Frame||2.06 kg|
|Fence Type||2.19 kg|
What Is the Difference Between A Cantaloupe And A Honeydew Melon?
The lines between what constitutes a Honeydew melon and a Cantaloupe is a little blurry. If we go by what is sold in the supermarket the Cantaloupe has orange flesh and a netted rind whereas a Honeydew has green flesh and a smooth surface. It also lacks the musky odour given off by a Cantaloupe.
However, it is not quite that simple for a couple of reasons;
- Honeydew and Cantaloupe are actual the same species. The defining parameter of being a different species is that members of each species cannot interbreed.
- As Honeydew and Cantaloupe are the same species they have been cross breed by seed companies to produce a range of hybrids that have some of the characteristics of each fruit. See the list of varieties later in the article
- Last what most people call Cantaloupe is actually a muskmelon. The defining feature of muskmelons is the netted pattern on the rind.
Is short I would suggest you call them both melons and move on with your life.
What Type of Climate Do Honeydew Grow In?
Honeydew melons are a member of the cucurbit family which includes Corn, Pumpkin, and Watermelon. They are a frost-sensitive vegetable that does best in warm conditions and can be grown in zones 4 through 11. However, to ensure a successful crop in some of the cooler climates it is necessary to start the seeds undercover and provide protection for the plants in the garden. The measures required are covered in the “How To Grow Honeydew Melons” section at the end of the article.
Are There Different Types Of Honeydew Melons?
Despite what supermarkets might have you believe there are many different varieties of “Honeydew” melons and not all have green flesh. They can be broadly classified into 2 main groups; green fleshed varieties and orange-flesh varieties. Within these two groups, there are many different varieties that are available which include Honeydew and Cantaloupes crosses. A list of some of the more common varieties is provided in the table below.
|Galia Max||Green Flesh||Galia Max is a hybrid melon that is a cross between a honeydew and a Cantaloupe. Plants produce approximately 5.5 lbs fruits with a netted rind and a green to ivory flesh. Resistant to Powdery Mildew and Fusarium Wilt Race 0, 1, and 2.|
|Earlidew||Green Flesh||Early season hybrid that bears yellow-green fleshed fruit that weighs 2 to 3 lbs. This variety has a smooth ivory rind that is relatively thin that is recommended in cooler regions.|
|Venus Hybrid||Green Flesh||A hybrid variety that produces a fruit with a bright green flesh.|
|Golden Honeymoon||Green Flesh||Golden Honeymoon is a distinctive variety with a gold-colored rind and green flesh.|
|Tam Dew||Green Flesh||Tam Dew is an old heirloom variety that produces fruit with a green rind and flesh.|
|Early Crisp||Green Flesh||Is an early season variety that produces are relatively large fruit, 7 to 8 lbs that are Fusarium resistant.|
|Cool Green||Green Flesh||A hybrid variety that produces a medium-sized fruit with light green flesh. This variety is resistant to powdery mildew.|
|Courier||Green Flesh||Hybrid crosses between a honeydew and cantaloupes that produces 5 lbs fruit. This variety is sometimes referred to as the Galia Melon Courier Hybrid.|
|Visa||Green Flesh||Hybrid crosses between a honeydew and cantaloupes that produces 5 lbs fruit that have a netted rind and green to ivory flesh. Resistant to Powdery Mildew.|
|Regalia||Green Flesh||Hybrid crosses between a honeydew and cantaloupes that produces 3 lbs fruit with deep green flesh and a dark green rind.|
|Green Flesh||Green Flesh||Green Flesh is a variety that produces a 6 lbs fruit with lime-green flesh and light gold skin.|
|Super Dew||Green Flesh||Early season variety that has 6 lbs fruit with pale green flesh melons.|
|Bartlett Hybrid||Green Flesh||A Honeydew hybrid that produces relatively large fruit, 7 to 8 lbs. The fruit is gold in color with white flesh that has a flavor reminiscent of an apple or pear.|
|Italian Honeydew||Green Flesh||An old heirloom variety that produces 4 lbs fruit.|
|Creme de Menthe||Green Flesh||An oval-shaped fruit that weighs around 5 lbs with pale-green flesh.|
|Snow Leopard||Green Flesh||A variegated variety of honeydew that produces a small fruit that is cream in color mottled with green.|
|Morning Dew||Green Flesh||A hybrid variety that produces a large fruit 8 to 10 lbs, that is ivory-green fruit with lime-green flesh.|
|Sweet Delight||Green Flesh||An heirloom variety produces large fruit that is pale green in color.|
|Honeydew Orange Flesh||Orange Flesh||An heirloom variety that produces a small fruit, 3 lbs, with light orange flesh.|
|Orange Blush||Orange Flesh||A white skinned variety with a faint orange color when ripe.|
|Orange Sorbet||Orange Flesh||A hybrid variety that produces medium size orange-fleshed fruit.|
|Swan Lake||Orange Flesh||A cream yellow fruit that produces a small 2 lbs fruit that is creamy yellow with a partially netted pattern with white flesh with swirls of orange.|
|Stutz Supreme||Orange Flesh||A large beige-colored fruit with a slightly netted surface and orange flesh.|
|Honey Yellow||Orange Flesh||A hybrid variety that produces a small 2 lbs fruit that has yellow skin and orange flesh. Recommended for cooler locations.|
How To Grow Honeydew Melons
As mentioned earlier in the article Honeydew are a frost-tender plant that requires warm conditions to thrive. In places like the UK or Ireland where the Summers are relatively cool, it can be difficult to get a crop unless the melons are grown in the hoop house or cold frame.
Given that melons need relatively high temperatures for germination it is advisable to start the seeds off in early spring undercover. To get the melons to germinate they require a temperature of at least 59°F (15°C). To achieve reliable germination, particularly if you live in a cold region it is advisable to use a heated propagation tray.
The reason for this is that heated propagation trays allow the temperature to be controlled accurately to ensure the ideal growing conditions are maintained for the seedlings. The product that we recommend for this is the iPower Heating Seed Starter Germination Kit which is shown in the picture below. It is relatively low cost and features a vented dome which helps to main humid conditions. Click on the link to see the current price on Amazon.
When planting the Honeydew seeds they should be sown at a depth of 0.5 inches (1 to 2 cm) with 2 seeds per cell. This ensures that there is at least one seedling per cell that will germinate, if both seeds do germinate the weakest seedling can be removed after a couple of weeks.
If you need to purchase seeds and live in the US try Seed For Generations or St Clare Seeds. Both companies specialize in heirloom seed varieties and stock a wide range of Melon seeds. The advantage of purchasing heirloom seeds is that the seeds can be collected the following year so you only need to purchase them once. If you live in the UK I would suggest visiting Thompson & Morgan, this website has an extremely broad range of seeds but does sell hybrids as well as heirloom seeds.
Once the seedlings have been planted it will take around 6 weeks for them to reach a sufficiently large size to allow them to be planted outside. This should only be done if any chance of a frost has passed. The seedlings should be spaced between 2 and 3 ft (60 to 90 cm) apart.
In cooler regions, it is advisable to provide additional protection to the seedlings. This can be done by using a cloche or row cover. My personal preference is to use a row cover because they are much larger in size than a cloche. This reduces the potential for the plant to overheat, additionally, the size allows it to be left on for longer at the start of the season.
If you don’t currently own a row cover the one we would recommend is the Growsun Garden Tunnel Plant Cover because it is relatively tall and has hoops that can be anchored deeply into the ground which allows it to resist wind. The product is shown in the image below.
Once the plant becomes established the vine will begin to spread along the ground however as mention earlier the plant will yield better if it is grown on a Trellis.
When growing the plant on a trellis it is a good idea to support the melons with netting to prevent them from falling off the vine. The ideal material to use to cradle the fruit is an old pair of pantyhose.
During the growing season, it is important to water the melons regularly to ensure that the plant has adequate moisture as a lack of moisture will affect the Melons’ flavor and development significantly.
In terms of fertilization, it is generally not required if the soil preparation was adequate initially. The simplest and easiest way to prepare the soil prior to planting is to use the “No Dig” method. The advantage of this method is that it requires very little work to implement and it minimizes ongoing maintenance because it suppresses weed growth. To read more about this technique click here.
Harvesting And Storing Melons
Harvesting Melons can be a challenge as it is sometimes difficult to tell when the fruit is ripe. The most obvious indicator that the fruit is ripe, for most melons, is a color change. This change in color is sometimes accompanied by an aromatic smell but this is not necessarily the case for all melons. Another indicator that the Melon is ripe is that it will begin to soften at the blossom end of the fruit (the end that is furthest away from the attached stem). This can be tested by gently pressing on the Melon, if there is a little give then it is ready to be picked.
A freshly picked Melon will store for around 3 weeks at a temperature between 2°C and 5°C (36-41°F). However, if the Melon is cut it will only store for around 3 days but it can be frozen in cubes for longer-term storage if desired.