Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dove Melon Hybrid Seedling

The Dove Melon seeds that I planted 3 weeks ago (see this blog entry) have germinated!

I bought the seeds from Park Seed in December and because Park Seed had problems with seed production, I did not get the seed packets until early February. By then I had dismantled my Grow Light system after I had germinated all of my Tomato Seeds (see this blog entry).

So, I decided to do something I had never done before. I planted 4 seeds in a small container and put the containers inside next to a south facing window. I thought that the weather would be too cold in February and I would not see any seedlings until late March or April.

Well yesterday, I found to my surprise that I had 3 Dove Melon seedlings.

It took 21 days to germinate seeds the "natural way". With my Grow Lights, it takes about 7 to 10 days for seedlings to emerge.

Still, I am pretty amazed that 3 seedlings emerged on the same day. The weather has been chilly (45-50 degrees F at night, 60-75 degrees F during the day) and it rained most of last week. I guess having the container inside helped keep the seeds warm enough to sprout.

Now, I am planning to bring the containers out during the day and bring them inside at night. I'll do this for a little while until the seedlings produce more leaves.


  1. How exciting. Just received my Dove seeds last friday, 22 Apr. Planted them last night, 25 Apr. I don't have a grow light, but used a flourescent desk lamp for my other melons (Charentais; Heart of Gold; Michigan Midget). Placed pots in clear plastic garbage bag in my NE facing garden window. Surprising - I placed 3 seeds in each pot and got at least one seed germinated in each pot within 7 days. Heart of Gold seeds all germinated. So hope I get same luck with Dove.

  2. Correction on the Michigan Midget. It is actually Michigan Midget. The melons mentioned are from Lake Valley seed, except for Dove which of course is Park seed.

    Jennifer, Puyallup, WA.

  3. I am so excited. Since my last post response to this blog I have transplanted the melons: some in ground in the garden with low tunnel and some into larger pots in the hoop house at our county demo garden. Yesterday, 16 Aug, I found baby dove melons on half of my plants in the hoop house, some about golf ball sized and one in the low tunnel that appears to be full size but not yet ripened. I also have some baby Charentais melons and Michigan/Minnesota Midgets. I am ecstatic. The ones I have out in the open are not doing well. Our days are normally around 72 degrees this summer and evenings around 52 here in western Washington state.

    Jennifer of Puyallup, WA

  4. Wow, what was I thinking in April? Michigan midgets are actually Minnesota Midgets and I have at least 11 of them as of today. Also 9 Dove Hybrid melons; three Park Seed Gold Bar melons and a couple of Heart of Gold and also Charentais. So excited...

  5. Was in the garden to check on melons yesterday, 27 Aug. Dove Hybrid continues to produce. Now if these babies will ripen soon I will be very happy. The one in the low tunnel or cloche seems to be just sitting there..It is the right size, just needs to watching a pot that you want to boil water...So far no powdery mildew but will treat with milk solution preventive measure since they are in the same hoop house as Gold Bar and Minnesota Midget which are having mildew problems.

    Gold Bar hybrid from Park seed has only three melons, two of which have doubled in size. Tey are plagued with powdery mildew. The milk solution will not be sufficient to treat them so used Neem Oil II spray.

    Minnesota Midget, plagued with powdery mildew, has 8 tennis ball sized babies...used Neem Oil II spray which seems to have stopped progression but with so many damaged leaves I cannot guarentee these guys will make it to a final product. I hope I am wrong.

    Hearts of Gold finally produced two melons in the hoop house and one so far in the cloche in the garden. They are so cute and love the stripes on the exterior. But here comes the powdery mildew. Time for milk solution.

    Charentais melons are coming along slowly. Several baby melons but days are getting shorter and nights cooler. These are in the hoop house so maybe we will get some ripened fruit but we are a long way off.

    All of these were selected based on short germination to maturity rate but with the late spring arrival, etc we are facing a challenge. Hope we have a long Indian Summer.

  6. Jennifer in Puyallup, WAAugust 28, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Went to the garden today and to my surprise there was a Heart of Gold melon, softball sized in the low tunnel in addition to the tiny one I saw yesterday! I am so excited. I mentioned in previous entry the Emerald Envy cucumbers. These are The Cook's Garden seed. If you have short growing seasons like we do in the Pacific Northwest consider this seed. The cukes are fairly consistent in size and the plants have been very productive. We found the ones in the hoop house were more productive than the ones in the garden bed but even in the garden bed you will get at least one a week between three plants. Today I sprayed all cukes, squash and melons with milk solution due to powdery mildew. Read about this in several garden sites and extension services to be considered as a preventative measure. The melons and cukes in the hoop house that displayed powdery mildew already were treated three days ago with Green Lite Neem Oil II ready to use. This seemed to stop the spread at least temporarily but sprayed with milk solution to hopefully help hold it at bay. More to follow this week. The next course of action for those squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and melons exhibiting powdery mildew will be a sulfur powder/spray. Please note the Emerald Envy cukes appear to be resistant to powdery mildew so far as has the Dove Hybrid melon. Hope this continues.

  7. After further research and discussion with several veteran gardeners from this area, I decided to use Copper Fungicide rather than sulfur. I considered horticultural oil but with some hot days coming this week I was afraid of making the plants more susceptible to leaf burn. I sprayed last night at 1oz per gallon water. I sprayed both sides of all leaves of the melons, cucumbers, pumpkins and squash in the garden and the hoop house. To date, Emerald Envy cukes and Dove melons seem to be powdery mildew resistant. And Dove is producing melons on all plants now in the hoop house and the low tunnel/cloche. Now to get these babies ripe enough to taste.


  8. Well, it is now September. I have a lot of gren melons but none ripe enough to pick yet. The Gold Bar melon still is still plagued with powdery mildew and a small unripe melon fell off on Tuesday. Today I cut the little melon open and tried it. Oh eating a cucumber with a hint of cantelope flavor. Delicious...crispy and center looks like cucumber....

    Jennifer in Puyallup

  9. So excited. I went to the garden today to harvest lettuce, cucumbers, herbs and check on the melons. The first of the Dove hybrids has started to turn yellow. It is under the low tunnel in the garden bed. The temperature was in the 8os all last week but cool in the evenings. I dropped the plastic to help keep the heat in. Will check on it again Thursday...think it might be time to pick? It did loosen from the vine today when gently twisted or tugged. It should actually slip on its own. Last friday the third of my four Gold Bar Hybrids slipped. This one is finally the right size.....taking it to the fair tomorrow to share with some of my fellow gardeners. Too bad it hadn't ripened in time to enter in the fair last Wednesday...oh well....
    Meanwhile I am watching the Minnesota Midgets, Hearts of Gold and Charentais. Have several that are the right size and feel like the correct to get socks on them as they are vertical and a long drop to the ground/table in the hoop house. Anyone with spare pantyhose?

    Jennifer in Puyallup

  10. So, what have I learned over the past few months in regards to the melons? I live in western Washington State. We rarely had any summer evenings above 58 degrees and most days were no higher than 73 until 9 days ago and finally heat wave (low to mid 80s and 90 on Sunday and evenings around 60). I did not have soil heating cables to install in the low tunnel and raised bed where our melons were located outdoors. I was unable to lower sides in the hoophouse due to repairs pending so I could not keep the environment over 60 degrees in the evenings and had sportic watering when I was on vacation. I know that our location/climate is not conducive to melon growing, however I now know that with artificial measures we can grow melons to maturity, especially the short growing types such as the ones my team selected.

    The Gold Bar melon was not a good choice. With all the efforts we made the harvest was four melons, two of which were only half the size normally expected. And the plant was not resistant to powdery mildew....

    I am hoping our other choices will work out and when pending repairs are made perhaps next year we will have a better return on investment with these choices.

    Jennifer in Puyallup