How to grow melon, to pinch melon, varieties of m ..

How to grow melon, to pinch melon, varieties of m ..

The melon is the symbolic fruit of summer. We all know the Cavaillon melon - and soon that of China… so much the hypermarkets put pressure on the prices of the producers of France… Let's move on… But did you know that this fruit, many years ago, was widely cultivated in the South West? There was a good production on the Nérac in the Lot et Garonne, on the border of the Gers, homeland of Henri IV. Well, I'm not going to take a French history class, unfortunately I wouldn't be able to. This Nérac melon culture is almost extinct. The land has been massively reclaimed for more profitable, more massive, more polluting and undoubtedly more profitable crops ... And that is not even certain!

The melon, it was also cultivated much further northThere is also the Charentais melon - not very far from there - very cultivated today but, less well known, other varieties come from Brittany, such as the "Gris de Rennes" melon.

Melon and memories… Memories… Johnny, get out of this body!

A childhood memory, but I'm not going to start telling you my life story… I am? Okay then, yes!
A long time ago, at a time when we didn't go on vacation very often, my brothers and I… That year, however, my parents took us to the south, summer 1976. The story takes place in a woman's house. childhood friend of my mother who was rarely seen. She and her husband lived with their children in the countryside, between L'Isle sur la Sorgue and Saumane, in Vaucluse, not far from Avignon, we dance there, we dance there, and we eat melon but I'm coming…
We were staying with them, in a farmhouse under renovation.
The master who renovated the place was a potter by profession. I have good memories of the pieces he created, rather original in shapes and colors, reliefs, unlike the more "expected" local production. The "production" was fired in their home, right next to his workshop, in a real pottery kiln that he had built himself. Well. There, I really digress, since I'm not supposed to talk about pottery but about melon, but I'm getting there, Julien.
All around the property were fields and fields of melons. That's it, I'm there, we're in the fields. Can you smell the melon? You hear ? The cicadas sing on the silence, the sun burns and browns the skin, that's it, you are in Provence ... A light wind sometimes made the atmosphere a little more breathable for the young northerner than I was, not used to hot weather especially in this year 76.

Often at the end of the afternoon, I would watch the market gardener come to work nearby, check the melon crops, open the water network, made of small canals that irrigated the plots and fed the fruit ...

When he came, he picked, harvested the melons, and, without playing the "old jerk" it was another time when performance, optimization, was not the "yardstick". No, the yardstick was love of the job, love of the melon, and also generosity. And some details need to be remembered - the local market gardeners selected the most beautiful fruits, then, apart, placed in light wooden crates, the melons that could not find buyers, the split, the bruised, the burst, under the pressure of the sun, of their juice, the result of the overflowing of their too rapid growth.

When they left, the producers left the crates on the side of the road, so that the poorest people could find them and help themselves, so that the fruits were not lost for everyone.

Sometimes my brothers and I would choose a melon, open it with our hands and cut it with an old broken knife, just, and we would taste the melon near the field, in the shade of a row of trees. large trees, along a small irrigation canal. We feasted, in the silence of this countryside, we took advantage of this moment of sharing, it was a feeling of happy novelty for a 9 year old child, it was freedom ... It was real life!

"Looks like the south, it was good though," and I feel like it was "over a million years ago."

Botanical name:

• Cucumis melo

Type of plant

• The melon is a fruit

• Cycle: Annual plant

• Family: Cucurbitaceae - cucurbitaceae

• Form: creeping plant


There are over 600 varieties and ten types of melons. In France, 4 types of varieties are commonly cultivated: the Cantaloup Charentais, it is the classic melon, the Charentais Brodé, the Vert Olive, with a green skin and oval shape and the Galia melon, the yellow skin with relief and green flesh. This variety has taken off in recent years.

Other older varieties are still cultivated, but seem to be losing ground or in many places have completely disappeared: Serpent, Rouge de Perse, Petit gris de Rennes, Sucrin de Tours and melon de Trets.

In France, three production regions benefit from an IGP - Protected Geographical Indication:
melons from Haut-Poitou (departement of Vienne and Deux-Sèvres), melons from Quercy (Lot) and, since 2012, melons from Guadeloupe.

Benefits to the vegetable garden

Melon is a sun-loving plant, and the chances of successfully growing this crop are not the same for all home gardens.

Can we grow melons north of the Loire?

Yes, some varieties come from elsewhere in regions that can be located in the north of France, such as Brittany, where the "Petit gris de Rennes" melon was found.

In the North, North? You just need the sunshine period to last long enough to allow the fruit to ripen and raise the fruit's sugar level, because if you're growing melon, it's not to eat zucchini!

Cantaloupe melon produces around 4 to 6 kg per m2. Each fruit generally weighs 1 Kg. Which makes about 5 fruits per m2.

Gardener's Info

Melon is susceptible to a few diseases such as powdery mildew.

It is a plant that needs water to produce its fruit, but watering must be done at the base of the melon and above all, avoid watering the leaves.

This watering precaution as well as mulching will provide optimal conditions to avoid powdery mildew.

Melon can be affected by other diseases: fusarium oxysporum and downy mildew.

Watch out for aphids!

Melon is also susceptible to a virus: the "mosaic virus" which also infects other plants / vegetables: cucumber ", watermelon and zucchini.

This Virus is brought by a particular aphid: (Aphis gossypii) click for more information on the INRA website.

Info +

Melon is a climacteric fruit.

What is a climacteric fruit?

It is a fruit or vegetable that needs a phyto-hormone for its ripening: ethylene. This is also the case with apples, bananas, pears and tomatoes, for example.

When to sow the melon?

It can be sown under cover, this is also how it begins its life with melon producers, but it must be remembered that the melon does not like to be moved and that it weakens each time. time.

• Sow preferably in the ground. from April-May in the south and mid-May in the north of France.
• Sow under warm shelter, from the end of February.

How to sow?

• If you do seedlings under shelter, proceed from March in a mixture of potting soil, compost and soil from the garden.
• Keep the plants until the beginning of May, even in the south.

Sowing in the ground:

• Plant 3 seeds every meter, in pockets, to keep only the "strongest" shoot, once the seeds have emerged.

Once the shoot is well up, about 10 to 15 cm, pinch the melon after the 1st well-formed leaf, then pinch each branch above the 2nd leaf. This is to allow branching and the possibility of multiplying the fruits on each melon stalk. (Read below so as not to confuse leaf and cotyledon)

How to plant or transplant the melon?

What you should know, but you can imagine, melon is a fruit that needs space. It’s not difficult in the garden, but does require a bit of work.

• Amend the soil in the vegetable garden with compost or planting soil, covering the soil in the garden.

• To transplant a melon plant in the ground, make sufficiently large holes (30cm in diameter and depth) spaced one meter apart. Usually garden center plants will have been pinched (see below).

Strengthen the melon stems, so that they give more beautiful and more fruit?

Gardeners who practice, who cultivate melon will tell you: it is necessary pinch* the plant, during the whole time of the growth of the young plant.

* Pinching is the action of cutting or pruning the plant. We say pinching because the gesture can be done with the hands, by "pinching" the leaf or the stem with the fingers.

When it comes to melon, “pruning” can be tedious. Follow the guide ! Be careful, this is not math, but it looks like it.

Pinch the melon? Let's explain!

• The main stem first receives two cotyledons * which will drop off a little later. (* Cotyledon: genus of plant / fatty leaf). These are not the final leaves of the melon, they have a different shape.

• When the stem has developed 4 leaves, it is "pinched" to leave only 2.

• At the base of each leaf a new stem will develop, so there are 2 stems.

• When each of these 2 stems has developed five leaves, we will pinch each stem so as to leave only 3 leaves per stem. You can of course use alcoholic scissors to disinfect them.

• The operation will be repeated again, to form a stem at the base of each leaf, these stems will in turn develop 5 leaves. Here again, we will repeat the operation, pinching one last time. The melon stalk will have been pinched 3 times.

• Fruits will start to appear and some will turn into melons.

• It's almost done.

• Cut 2 leaves off the top of each well-developed melon.

Melon harvest:

The period of melon harvest may vary by region.
• Usually it occurs between July and September, 4 months after sowing.

Melon varieties to grow

The embroidered melon (Cucumis melo reticulatus):

It is round in shape, its bark or skin is irregular and with reliefs, its flesh is salmon-orange.

Cantaloupe melon:

This is the classic melon, which we know well in France. Like the embroidered melon, its flesh is salmon orange, juicy and sweet; its shape is also round, its skin (or bark) smooth.
Be careful, however: the fruit must be eaten "to the point" too ripe, it gives off a medicinal taste, an acetone taste. Pay attention to its conservation.

Melon Galia:

It is a melon that has taken over our stalls in recent years, it is round in shape and its yellow skin has slight reliefs. The taste of its green (sometimes white) flesh is more slightly sweet and gives off delicately "grassy" flavors. More sophisticated than Canteloup melon, it also keeps a little better.

Other varieties:

The hami melons, sucrin, and again the odorless melon (inodorus).

Melon Honeydew:

Not to be confused with Galia. The fruit is round, the skin - or rind - is smooth, very pale, almost white. It is a large fruit of about 2 kg. Its flesh tends towards green. It matures non-climacterically, it keeps better than its climacteric cousins. It is made from the Blanc d'Antibes melon.

The snake melon or Armenian cucumber

The "snake melon", sometimes called "Armenian melon" or "Armenian cucumber", produces fruits with thin and irregular shapes, reaching surprising sizes, over 1 m in length! Its color is very dense green or yellowish. It is a variety that has original flavors, similar to those of cucumber. It is a melon that can be preserved like pickles, candied in vinegar.

There are still many other varieties… Do not hesitate if you grow melon at home, original varieties, old or not, to leave us comments and send us pictures….


Powdery mildew:

As with many other plants, the first signs of the disease are spotted leaves.
How to treat Oidium?

As a preventive measure, some advice!

• Space your plantings well. If the plant does not have the opportunity to air out, to dry out between rains, wet leaves will promote the appearance of the fungus: Oidium loves humidity and heat.
• If you have sown under cover, it is essential to ventilate as the fungus could start its attack here.

• Melon and cucurbits in general require sometimes significant contributions. Avoid manure rich in nitrogen and prefer compost.

• It is essential to avoid early infections. These are the ones that will harm your crops. Later attacks will be much less harmful.

• In case of attack, cut the affected leaves and burn them. We can never say it enough but do not throw them in the composting!

To know :

Some newer hybrid varieties are said to be more resistant to this sometimes devastating fungus. So ask at your favorite garden center ... But know that good seeds, well selected, should produce better fruit than F1 hybrids ... Please let us know your experience by leaving us a comment. Thank you.



Plant size

Plant space


Wet earth,

(standing watering)

1 m

1 m

Seed depth

Sowing period

Harvest period

1 cm

After the frost May - June

July to September


Fresh and sweet, melon is definitely one of the iconic fruits of summer! What if we invited him to our vegetable garden? Find out how to sow, prune, maintain and harvest melon!

  • Scientific name :Cucumis melo
  • Family: Cucurbits
  • Varieties: 'Yellow Charentais', 'Green Charentais', 'Green climbing', 'Canary yellow', 'Petit gris de Rennes', 'Sucrin de Tours'.
  • Flower color:Yellow flowers
  • Plantation:Planting in March, Planting in April, Planting in May
  • Exhibition:Sun
  • Soil type: Rich, neutral to limestone
  • Use : In the vegetable garden
  • Flowering:Flowering in May, Flowering in June, Flowering in July, Flowering in August, Flowering in September
  • Foliage:Lapsed
  • Diseases, pests: anthracnose, powdery mildew, furariosis, slugs, aphids, thrips
  • Watering: Important
  • Growth: Fast
  • Longevity: Annual
  • Length height : 0.30 m to 0.50 m
  • Harvest:Harvest in July, Harvest in August, Harvest in September
  • Medicinal virtues: anti rheumatic, diuretic, laxative and antioxidant. Rich in vitamins, potassium, beta-carotene and trace elements.

Varieties of melons: cantaloupe, embroidered, winter

The melon is part of the Cucurbitaceae family, like its cousins ​​the squash. Unlike the latter, it is not originally from America, but from Africa and Asia. It has therefore been known and cultivated for much longer than squash in Europe.

The varieties of melons can be classified into several families:

Cantaloupe melons : The best known, with orange flesh. They are very sweet and fragrant but they do not keep very long.

Embroidered melons: Formerly very widespread varieties which have the advantage of keeping longer than cantaloupes.

Winter melons: Large sized melons that keep for a long time. On the other hand, they are often not very sweet and a little bland.

Melons of the "Yubari King" variety are known to be the most expensive in the world. They are cultivated in Japan, in Yūbari on the island of Hokkaido. The first fruits harvested are auctioned each year. In 2019 the sale amounted to around € 43,000!

Embroidered melons

The embroidered or reticulated melons (Cucumis reticulatus), are typically American melons. Their bark is covered with corky embroidery, in relief, which resembles a vast network.

Their flesh, sweet and fragrant, is also orange.

Some common varieties of embroidered type melons:

  • Pride of Wisconsin,
  • Sucrin de Tours, an old variety with orange flesh, almost red
  • Chilton,
  • Perlita
  • Hale’s best Jumbo ...

Cantaloupe from Charente

This species offers 9 to 12 well-marked slices, separated by grooves with smooth bark, of sometimes the color. "data-image =" "data-url =" / sciences / definitions / physique-color-4126 / "data-more =" Read more "> light green color slightly yellowing when ripe. Its flesh is orange, deliciously sweet and juicy, with a very characteristic fragrance. Oscillating between 500 g and 1.5 kg, it must be consumed quickly .

The varieties of Cantaloupe melon are numerous and breeders regularly create new ones, essentially Hybrid in zoology
In zoology, a hybrid refers to an animal resulting from a cross between two different species. This offspring almost always is. "data-image =" "data-url =" / planete / definitions / zoologie-hybr-2300 / "data-more =" Read more "> hybrids, that is to say more productive, such as" Bastion F1 "(excellent taste quality, early, smooth dress with well colored furrows) , “Cézanne F1” (very orange flesh, good post-harvest performance), “Jérac F1” (high yield of well-rounded fruits, highly appreciated taste quality), etc.

First, sowing should be done indoors. In early May, fill 8cm pressed peat moss pots with seed soil and drill a 1cm hole in the center. Add a pinch of mycorrhizae in the hole and 2 melon seeds. Cover with potting soil and water well. Place the pots in a warm, sunny location, near a south-facing window, for example, or under a fluorescent or LED grow light, in this case setting the timer to 2 or 4 p.m. A heating mat may be needed to start seedlings if the room is rather cool. Water as needed during this stay indoors: the seedlings should not wilt.

If two seedlings germinate, cut the weaker of the two with scissors when they have 3 leaves to leave only one plant per pot.

All you need to know about melon

An annual herb, the melon is native to Africa. There are traces of melon cultivation in Egypt as early as 5 centuries BC. It will then make its way to Greece and Italy.

But it will take several centuries and an Italian war for it to reach France.

Currently, there are nearly 1000 varieties of different melons.

Melon should not be confused with what is known as watermelon which is actually a watermelon.

Video: BEST TIPS for growing CANTALOUPE: Grow SWEET, FLAVORFUL cantaloupe with these tips.