How To Grow A Yellow Melon
The yellow melon, also referred to as the casaba melon, is part of the muskmelon family and is closely related to the cantaloupe and the honeydew. While the fruit is native primarily to Asia, it is also grown in southwestern portions of the United States as well as various places in South America. They were named after Kasaba, Turkey, where they were first imported from in the 19th century to the United States.
Like other melons, the yellow melon is typically served cold in a salad or on a fruit platter. Since it is not as sweet as other members of the muskmelon family, they have never been quite as popular. However, that doesn't mean that they are any less nutritious.
Casabas have a cucumber-like flavor and a remarkably long shelf life. Also, since they are grown in South America and the United States, they ripen at more than one time per year so they are available in the winter and the summer.
The yellow melon has an extremely thick rind with wrinkled, yet smooth longitudinal furrows. When ripe, the blossom end should be ever so slightly soft if you press on it and they should be a vibrant yellow color.
Growing From Seeds
The yellow melon thrives in a temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. These are both hungry and thirsty plants and prefer an acidic soil that you will need to add a lot of nutrients and water too.
These plants can be easily crossbred so to avoid this, be sure to leave a significant amount of room away from cultivators such as pumpkins, cucumbers and squash.
In locations that experience milder winters, sow the seeds after the ground is dry and warm and there is no threat of frost. Create a hill of well-drained, rich, amended soil and plant four to six seeds about one inch deep and two inches apart. Water the seeds well. After the vines produce two pair of true leaves you will want to thin the weaker vines so the stronger ones receive more nutrients to grow.
The yellow melon plants need about two inches of water per week to thrive so if rainfall isn't adequate, you will need to water them. Ideally, watering will be done in the early morning so that the leaves have ample time to dry before evening which will reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
Every couple of weeks you should supply the plants with a 5-5-5, all-purpose fertilizer and add a few inches of compost around the roots every month.
If you notice that your plants are flowering but there is no sign of a yellow melon anywhere, do not worry, these are the males that arrive first. The female flowers are the ones that transition into fruit.
You will reap the sweetest melon during dry and hot weather. If you live in a high-humidity area, it is extra important that you have a well-drained soil and allow a lot of space around the vines for air circulation.
The most challenging part of growing these melons is controlling the moisture. While they do require a significant amount of water while they are growing, they will be the sweetest if watering is decreased right before harvesting.
Preventing Pests And Diseases
Melons are vulnerable to a few different diseases and pests, many of which are influenced by location. Prevention is the key. Always use a reputable source to purchase your seeds and thoroughly inspect transplants before introducing them to your garden.
At the first sign of any disease or abnormality, remove the entire infected plant before it is able to spread to others. You will also want to remove the mulch from the area and replace it with a fresh supply.
The most common pests and diseases you may face are powdery mildew, alternaria leaf spot, downy mildew, anthracnose, aphids, cucumber beetles and the mosaic virus.