Most of us have already recognized melon fruits in the market or gardens. They are actually musky and delicious cantaloupe with the high level of popularity. Melons grow on the surface of the soil as a trailing creeper. Originally, the fruit comes from ancient Africa, Persia, and India.
Melons grow perfectly in fertilized and well-drained soil with good amount of water. Moreover, they need the help of honey bees for the pollination. Melons belong to summer fruits along with watermelon and mangoes. To learn more about the fruit, we can study the types, health benefits, and the proper care in the growing season.
Melon Fruits All Over the World
If we inspect in the market, there will be many types of melon. Some of them grow widely around the world. However, there are two major melon varieties that we can learn, especially in the Western territory.
First, it’s European melon. Some examples of this type are charentais and galia melon. The second one is the North American melon. It’s quite popular in the USA and Canada.
The best example of this type is honeydew melon which has pale green flesh and sweet taste. Generally, melons have the round shape with the size of 5 inches. The approximate weight of this fruit will be 400-800 gm. Sometimes, we can find melons with the weight more than a kilo.
Characteristics of Melon Fruits
Generally, melon fruits have yellow, orange, or green flesh color. There are also some melons with salmon flesh color. The flesh of melon tends to be sweet and juicy. The main characteristic of melons is its musky aroma that radiates best in ripe.
If we take a look at its center, there will be a cavity with many seeds. They have white color and they are spread in netting. We can recognize this kind of fruit by simply take a look at its physical characteristics.
Moreover, its musky aroma is quite familiar as well. Well, what are the health benefits of melons?
Health Benefits of Melon Fruits
The melon fruits are beneficial for our health. They have low in calories and fats. We only get 34 calories from 100 gram of melons. Actually, melons are rich of minerals and vitamins that give enhancement for our health.
A melon contains vitamin A that acts as a wonderful antioxidant and a vision enhancer.
Vitamin A also helps us to maintain healthy skin and mucous membranes. Consuming fruits with a good amount of this nutrient has been recognized to protect the body from cancers.
Melons are also rich of antioxidant. They help us to avoid terrible diseases such as breast, lung, colon, and other types of cancer.
Well, melon are also popular due to their Zea-xanthin. It’s actually an important nutrient for filtering the UV light. As a result, we can obtain further protection against ARMD disease. Melons contain a moderate amount of potassium and electrolyte.
We can get 267 mg electrolyte from 100 g melons. The potassium acts as a component that helps us to control the heart rate. We can avoid coronary heart diseases and stroke by eating a melon. Melons also contain a moderate amount of B-complex vitamins. Thus, we will develop a better resistance against free radicals and infections due to the improvement of the immune system.
Growing Melon Fruits Appropriately
When it comes to growing melon in the garden or how to plant them appropriately, we need to start with the planting phase. Adjust the soil with compost or aged manure before planting the seeds. We should grow the vines in a specific formation called hills.
It’s to make sure that we give proper a drainage and sunlight exposure. If we live in cool zones, we can plant the seeds indoor beforehand. It’s to make sure that they develop properly before transplanting. Melon vines are quite tender and shouldn’t be transplanted until the winter has passed.
If we live in warm and moderate zones, we can directly cultivate melon outdoors. However, we need to wait until the soil reaches its warm temperature. At least, we need 65 degrees of soil to avoid bad germination.
Plant melon seeds at the depth of 1 inch. We can plant the seeds 19 inches apart. If we don’t have enough space, we can adjust the vines to make up as a trellis. Any of us can grow melons in the garden. What we need is only a proper care of this unique plant. Overall, everything can go smoothly based on our plan.
Care of melon fruits aren’t as difficult as we think. Melons like well-drained and loamy soil. We need to handle the plant gently when transplanting. If necessary, we can use lots of compost to the soil before and after the planting.
Mulch the plant with a plastic so we can provide the warmth for the soil as well as to avoid the growth of weed. Thus, the fruits will develop freshly. Add sufficient amount of fertilizers when the vines start to grow. While a melon grows, we should provide 1 inches of water weekly. The perfect time for watering is in the morning.
Once melon start to grow, we must prune them. It may result in a fewer production of melons, but they will grow better and bigger. Quality is over the quantity. Melon blossoms require pollination to produce a fruit, so we need to let the bees do the job.
Don’t even think to get rid the bees off the garden. Melons are prone to diseases and pests such as cucumber beetles, aphids, moths, and wilt. We can use row covers to keep them away.
In the harvesting phase, we need to be careful not to pick them too early. Look for a common sign to pick the melons. A crack in the stem becomes a common sign of ripeness too. In this case, we can easily separate the fruits from the vine.
All melon fruits will fall off automatically when they are overripe. We can harvest them when the vines are completely dry. Don’t every damage them. Usually, they become soft after the harvesting phase.
We can store a melon for 6 days in uncut condition. If cut, we can store them in the fridge for 3 days. Don’t forget to wrap them with tight plastics.