Cucumis melo Tigger
USDA Zones: 4-10
Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.5
Soil Temp for Germination 70-85 F
Soil Temp for Transplant [after hardening] 60-65 F
Seed Depth -Direct Seeding 1/2 "
Growth Habit - Vining
Plant Spacing 3 - 5 ft.
Row Spacing 5 - 6 ft.
Tiger Melon, aka Tigger Melon, an heirloom melon, similar to honey Dew in taste, also related to canary melons. Yellow and orange tiger stripes are believed to be its name source.
The plants are reminiscent of other melons such as muskmelon or cantaloupe, but the fruit ripens later in the growing season than related varieties, it can be grown right up to early Autumn. It is also more drought tolerant than most other melons. From seed planting to harvest is about 4 months.
Full sun is best for these melons. Preparing the soil in early spring by incorporating a healthy amount of Organic matter is also advisable.
They grow well in hills or mounds, so prepare one or more circular beds about 3 feet in diameter with a "moat" around the outside edge. Make mounds at least 12 inches apart.
Plant seeds directly into your prepared hills after the soil warms to 60 - 65 F. Plant seeds an inch deep and roughly 3 inches apart, around the outer edge of mounds.
Thin out the weakest plants when they are about 3 inches tall. You should have three to four healthy plants per mound. An organic mulch, preferably compost or straw should be laid down about 2 inches thick on top of the melon mounds. Soil pH should be 6.0 to 7.5
Water Tiger melons with about 1 inch of water weekly. Some gardeners like to create a moat around each mound. Be sure to give your melons extra water during hot, dry weather. Do not give extra water while the fruit is ripening, and cut back to 1/2 rations 2 days before harvesting, if this is at all feasible.
You can prevent the tiger melons from rotting on the soil by propping them up. Old egg cartons or boards inserted between the ripening melons and the damp soil will suffice. Plastic Mulch is best
Tiger melon vines grow up to 10 feet long, you might want consider growing them by a fence or trellis so they will climb upwards thus conserving garden space and alleviating the problem of propping the melons off the ground.
When ripe, the Tiger Melon has a strong sweet aroma. They turn a reddish Yellow when ripe Many people feel the taste is a letdown however. It is rarely as sweet as some seed providers claim, it is mildly sweet - similar to honey Dew with it's own distinct touch reminiscent of tropical fruits.
You get a sweeter taste by allowing them to ripen a few more days off the vine before using them, most plants won't concentrate any more sugars once picked but this one appears to be an exception. They can be stored in the fridge up to 2 weeks.