The micro melon variety with sweet orange flesh is only 4 inches across, making it a miniature version of the "classic melon". Compact vines give good yields of sweet melon. This micro melon is an early heirloom introduced to Minnesota in 1948. Jere Gettle mentioned in his memoirs how he ate them as a child in the 1980s in the mountains of Montana. He and her father were very fond of palm-sized fruits and enjoyed the sweet, juicy pulp. These were the only melons that could grow in mountain climates.
How to grow Minnesota Midget Melon from seeds:Sowing:
- Plant the melon seeds when soil temperatures are in the 70-80 degree F range. If planting indoors, squeeze the seeds 2-4 weeks before transplanting to prevent the plants from becoming too large.
- Sow a few seeds 1/2" deep in a peat pot, water, and wait to germinate at 75 degrees F. Keep the most vital plant in each pot.
- Harden off the plants a week before transplanting by exposing them outside, then transplant them into hills 4-6' apart with 2-3 plants per hill.
Growing of Minnesota Midget Melon: You should use black plastic to warm up the soil in cool climates. A layer of mulch will keep the necessary moisture and purity of the crop and remove excess weeds. After midsummer, pinch off flowers and smaller fruits to direct all energy to larger fruits; smаller fruits will not have time to ripen before frost and do not represent a significant loss. Minnesota Midget melons are resistant to wilt and have a compact growth habit.
How and When to Harvest Minnesota Midget Melon: The melon becomes slightly golden and very fragrant when ripe. Also, a clear sign will be the ease with which the stem comes off; the tip of the flower should be slightly soft. Melon keeps for several weeks in a cool place. Minnesota Midget vines can produce two crops, if the weather allows.
Minnesota Midget Melon's Seed Saving: Keep in mind that for the seed clean, be aware that watermelons tend to cross-pollinate with other watermelon varieties. Therefore, collect seeds only from mature watermelons. Place the sеeds in a bowl with water, then drain the water and floating seeds. Rinse them well, then lay them out to dry completely. Store them in a cool, dry place for up to five years. Store Minnesota Midget melon seeds in a cool, dry place for up to five years.
FAST FACTSLatin Name: Cucumis melo
Type: Open Pollinated, Heirloom, Warm Season
USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Seeds per Ounce: 1,000
Planting Method: Direct Sow
Sunlight: Full Sun
Height: 12 Inches