How to Grow Valencia Melons

Valencia Winter Melon

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Ripe Valencia Winter Melon

Valencia Melon, sometimes referred to as Green Valencia or Valencia Winter Melon. It is called "winter" melon not because you can grow it in the winter, but because it stores exceptionally well - nearly all winter long. It is a very old heirloom of uncertain origins, possibly Italy. Valencia is listed in North American seed catalogs of the early 19th Century, it disappeared from the radar screens until relatively recently.

It has a cucumber like aroma when sliced open with a crisp sweet flavor, a honeydew - cucumber flavor that is not overpoweringly sweet.

When I initially planted these melons I was lead to believe that they didn't produce very well so far as quantity is concerned. I was surprised at their abundant yield and pleased that they store well, even after thinning - I got more than I can possibly use.

Valencia melons first appear as light green, they mature to dark green fairly quickly. If harvested as early as most seed suppliers suggest the taste suffers, they can be rather bland. If you have the patience to wait till later in the summer, early August they are much sweeter. They do not continue to concentrate sugars off the vine so will not get any sweeter in storage.

Valencia Melon is thin skinned but hard and thin and is resistant to most sucking and gnawing insects. It also resists splitting and most rot, although it is subject to Blossom End Rot at times.

USDA Zones 4 -10

Full Sun

Soil - Well drained

Soil pH 5.5 -7.0.

Plant seeds about an inch deep, 3 to 6 seeds per foot. Rows should be approximately 3 feet apart.If you have a high germination ratye you may need to thin out after the seedlings have developed their third set of true leaves.

Mulched plants generally grow faster and are healthier than those that are not. Mulch is advisable.