Planning a Melon House this Season – Growing Melons in Vermont..

Please tell your friends...

Time to tackle a new gardening endeavor. Planning to take one of the hoop houses and devote it to growing melons. Have never grown melons before and know that here in Vermont they will need extra heat and protection from Vermont weather.

Has anyone reading this entry successfully grown melons in a northern climate? I would appreciate hearing about your success or lack of success!

This year we are ordering from three organic seed companies.  The melon seeds are coming from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. We selected four varieties for our first attempt at melon production, all from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

Charentais Melon

1) Charentais Melon: A famous French heirloom with a light grey-green skin. The bright orange flesh is super sweet and very fragrant, with melons weighing 2-3 lbs. 

Noir des Carmes

2) Noir de Carmes Melon: A beautiful and rare heirloom from France. The “Black Rock” melon preserved by the Carmelite monks. It was mentioned by Mawe & Abercrombie in 1787. Nearly black in color, the fruit turns orange as it ripens. They are deeply ribbed and have smooth skin. The flesh is orange in color, thick, flavorful and perfumed, with melons weighing 3-6lbs.

Petit Gris De Rennes Melon2

3) Petit Gris De Rennes Melon: A dense 2 lb. melon with orange flesh that is superbly sweet, flavorful and perfumed. This variety is early and well adapted to cool climates. This melon weighs around 2 lbs. and has a grey-green rind. This fine French variety is of the best quality and is the favorite melon of the French melon expert and author Bruno Defay. Rare in the USA.

Thai Golden Round Melon

4) Thai Golden Round Melon: This is a new offering in the States. The plants are extremely productive, The big 6-lb melons look like glowing orange pumpkins. The green flesh is sweet and melting, and has a very unique tropical taste, somewhat un-melonlike in flavor.

There are hundreds of melon offerings! It was hard to pick just four! I went with visual appeal, then description. If successful and we like them we will stick with this combination. Otherwise we will try others as we are determined to grow melons here in Vermont.

At the beginning I mentioned that we used three organic seed sources this year. The other two are High Mowing Seeds, not too far from us in Hardwick, Vermont, and Valentine & Sons Seed Company, LLC in neighboring New Hampshire.

Finding good organic seed sources is getting more and more difficult with Monsanto trying to take over the world with their GMOs. Later I will do an entry with a longer list of safe seed sources. For now, know you are good with these three.

2013 will see melons growing at Fayrehale, fertilized with composted Chantecler manure.

My mouth is watering already!!

Please tell your friends...

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One Response to Planning a Melon House this Season – Growing Melons in Vermont..

  1. Sally January 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    I keep trying to grow melons myself here in NH, and one year (2003, ’04??) I actually got a sizable crop in my garden direct sowing seed. I don’t remember, but I may have used black plastic mulch under them at that time. Not using it in subsequent years may have been the reason they either didn’t grow well or didn’t ripen in time. I’ve also been working part time these years (spending several days each week out of state) which doesn’t help when your melons need some TLC and you can’t be there. But this year I will be home and can look after the garden and its more finicky plants. I will probably try black plastic mulch again (got some for Christmas) and some simple hoop houses covered with Agribon, if the mice haven’t made nests in it and messed it up too badly. But yes, you can grow tasty melons up here, with some heat-retaining strategies. Good luck!

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