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Cassabanana Melons are a perennial vining melon that under the proper conditions can reach 40 to 50 feet in length [The plant, not the melon]. The leaves of this attractive and aesthetically appealing plant are about a foot wide. The vines are easily trellised and natural adhesive discs will readily adhere to most surfaces even under the weight of ripening fruit. Plants can be started via cuttings or with seeds.
The fruit is up to 2 feet in length with a hard fiery magenta rind. Some variations are shades of orange, yellow, black or dark purple. The sweet flesh is varying shades of yellow and orange and surrounds a core of large flat brown seeds which run the length of the melon. The fruit is sweetly aromatic even before being cut.
In its native South America where it is known as melocotonero, it is used both as a fruit and a vegetable. When under ripe it serves as a vegetable, when its sugars have concentrated and it is ripe it serves as a tasty fruit.
Cassabanana can be stored for up to two months only if kept in a warm dry location away from sunlight. It will continue ripening off the vine and sunlight, or any light for that matter will expedite the process and shorten its storage life.
Direct Seeding only after the last Frost date.
You can also Start seeds indoors 2 - 3 weeks before planting outdoors. be sure to harden off adequately before transplanting outdoors.
Maturity at 75 - 90 days. Ripening time varies widely dependent on multiple variables. To determine its ripeness the best method is to observe. The melons skin, regardless of its coloring, becomes glossy, shiny and smooth when it is begging to be picked, observe changes in the skin texture and reflectivity to know when to harvest.
Generous watering in well drained soil. However - excessive watering too close to harvesting will reduce the sugar content and can cause the fruit to have hollow centers.
Northern gardeners are advised to start seeds indoors at least a few weeks before transplanting outside. Soil temperature should be in the vicinity of 60 F before transplanting in the outdoor environment. Harden off first.
pH 6.0 to 6.5
USDA Zones 6 to 11
Germination 7 - 14 days.
Spacing - Just under 2 Feet
Minimum Soil temp. 60 F