Canary melons are yellow elongated melons, the flesh is reminiscent of honeydew in coloration and texture. The taste is sweet, also similar to honeydew but a tad more tart and tangy. There are various varieties but most are predominantly elongated and canary yellow. They are not overly difficult to grow but require persistent moisture and a relatively long growing season.
USDA Zones 3 – 9
Seed Depth 1/2 – 1 inch
Germination 5 – 10 days
Soil pH 6.0 to 6.8
Spacing 36- 48 inches
Maturity 80 – 120 Days
Growth Habit – Vines
Fertilizer – all-purpose
Starting From Seed
Direct sowing is the most common method of growing canary melons. They can be sown directly into the garden soil in spring, but in cooler climates it is advisable to start them indoors about a month before the last frost date. Whether sowing seeds in pots or directly in soil they should be roughy 1/2 inch deep into the soil.
The amount of seeds you place in a pot depends on the pot size, but assuming you are using standard size cell packs 2 -3 seeds per pod is suitable, anticipate that some will not germinate. In the even that too many germinate you may need to thin them out later.
The seeds do not require fertilizer, they have ample nutrients within their seed shell to start life, in fact fertilizer at this point has the potential to cause more harm than good. Once they have germinated / sprouted and have true leaves a very light dose of a starter fertilizer can’t hurt, but shouldn’t be absolutely necessary so long as you used a decent potting soil blend.
Once they break the soils surface they will need light, likee any other plant. A warm sunny window or suitable indoor grow lights are advisable. Standard household lighting will not suffice. see- Grow Lights.
Plants grown from seed started indoors should be hardened off before transplanting to the garden soil. Hardening off is a simple process of gradually acclimating tender young plants to the ravages of Mother Nature, in order to ensure their survival in the grown up plant world. The seedlings are accustomed to a steady temperature, light supply, gentle or very little breeze and basically no environmental stress or disturbances that they will experience in the real world. Temperature extremes, rain, wind and so forth are to be expected in the outdoor realm. Hardening off allows the plants to toughen up and hone their natural defenses. See: Hardening Off Seedlings
Like all melons, Canary melon craves water, keep them well-watered during the growing season, particularly in the dog days of summer and in dry hot spells or climates. Up to 2 inches of water weekly, either by rain or artificial irrigation. A thin layer of mulch is a good idea as it will not only help suppress weeds but also retain soil moisture.
Overhead watering is what is most commonly used, but that doesn’t make it the best method. Drip irrigation systems are best. If you choose not to invest in drip irrigation overhead watering will suffice. Water early in the day so as the plants do not remain too wet at night which is conducive to fungal diseases. The biggest problem with growing canary melons is disease, they are not very resistant or tolerant.
Fertilizer is not a major issue with these melons so long as you have a reasonably fertile soil to begin with. Avoid excessive nitrogen. Fertilize lightly once a month with a general all purpose fertilizer such as 5-5-5 See: Fertilizer Labels
Canary Melons require pollination in order to bear fruit. Avoid insecticides when pollinators are present. If you must spray do so in the evening.