Melons/Watermelons 2023

I’m opening a new topic for this year to discuss watermelons, cantaloupes, asian melons, and honeydews.

I have about 30 varieties of watermelon in the freezer which gives me a lot of options for which to plant. My choices are usually older heirloom varieties that have exceptional flavor. I’ve grown seedless watermelons a few times with blah results. Most of the time, I grow seeded varieties that have a history of good production in my area.

I will probably grow 2 or 3 varieties this year including a Royal Golden X Ledmon hybrid (long term selection to improve Royal Golden production and flavor) possibly some pure Ledmon, and maybe some Yellow Moon and Stars.

I have not yet considered cantaloupes, but have some Susan Healy that are very good.

What are your melon/watermelon plans for 2023?


Starbrite is the watermelon of choice in my area. I ordered 1,000 seeds but only plan to plant a third of them.

I love honeydew. Any recommendations for the hot humid Deep South?

My Starbrite are up four days after planting.

And I just ordered PETIT GRIS DE RENNES from Gurney’s seeds. It’s a small highly flavored cantaloupe type. I’ve got other cantaloupe I’ll plant as well.


This year I am trying the Summer Breeze Seedless, with Sangria as the pollinator. I will also be planting several Lemon Drop Watermelons, which I enjoyed last year. Last year I failed miserably with Charleston Grey and Oh So Sweet.

On a side note, I’ve been terrible growing watermelon, despite following instructions to a T. If I don’t get decent results this year, I’ll be buying watermelon at the supermarket next year.

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Watermelon - I’m planting Orangeglow, Jubilee, Royal Golden, and seeds I saved from a Blacktail Mountain. All but one Blacktail Mountain I grew were “normal”, but this one was a miniature fruit, so I want to plant some seeds and see if I can get more miniatures from it.
Royal Golden has not grown well for me 2 years in a row. I’m trying it again and hopefully this year will be successful.
Cantaloupe - I’ll probably only plant Hale’s Best this year
Muskmelon- definitely Ha’Ogen, it is hands down the best green fleshed melon I’ve ever had. I thought it was technically a honeydew, but Sandhills Preservation puts it in the muskmelon group and says this: This group is not to be confused with Honeydews, but are softer muskmelon types that ripen to green or whitish green flesh colors. Once the most popular kinds in the 1800’s, they are making a comeback.


I could never justify growing melons given store prices on melons. It is just all around not cost effective. That being said the watermelon with the yellow and orange insides to look quite interesting.

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Orangeglo are fantastic. Everyone I share this with is blown away by the incredible flavor. And they are fascinated by the color! You can’t buy these in a store anywhere around here.

Marco, presuming your climate is as short as I think it is, short season varieties are recommended. Black Tail Mountain is a very short season watermelon that might work for you.

Honeydew melons can be difficult. I am referring to true Honeydew C. melo inodorus group melons. They grow best in arid climates with long seasons. Sandhill has several of which I’ve grown 3 or 4. Ashkahabad is a very good green flesh honeydew. Romanian Green is one I brought back from Romania in 2017 and grew seed for Glenn. It is very good flavored. I personally like a bit sweeter melon, but if your preference is slightly less sweet with a bit more flavor, give it a try.

There are lots of other possibilities so do some due diligence.

P.s. KSprairie, if you think Orangeglo is good, give Yellow Moon & Stars or Ledmon a try. Better yet, grow all three and revel in the incredible flavors.


that is great advice! :grin:
I was just re-reading melon descriptions on Sandhill’s site and was interested in the Yellow Moon & Stars.
Apparently there is some interesting history around Ledmon

Ledmon is a superb flavored pink flesh with pale green skin watermelon in the 30 pound range. I will probably grow it for seed this year since Glenn is sold out. I can probably scare up 10 or 20 seed if you want them.

Yellow Moon & Stars is a mind blowing good yellow watermelon that peaks with very high brix. It is another that I love to grow.

I don’t want to take away from Orangeglo, it also is a superb watermelon. But if you want to add to your list, give Wibb a try. It is a very good flavored deep red flesh watermelon with the “crimson” gene. If you grow them all, you will have orange, yellow, pink, and deep red.


I’m also going to be trying out Petite Gris de Rennes this year, as well as Minnesota Midget (because of it’s compact vines). Really looking forward to trying out Desert King watermelon since I’ve read good reviews about it on Baker Creek’s website. Fresh watermelon is one of my absolute favorite fruits to eat–so refreshing on a hot summer day!


I came to this thread to mention Ledmon as it’s my favorite watermelon.

I’m trying 2 new melons this year, Crane and Fordhook Gem

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2 years ago I tried Sugar Baby, which was supposed to be almost fool-proof for me and just like all the other ones that I’ve tried, the taste was subpar.

I think Boston is just not the right place to grow watermelon. I’m going to try an earlier head-start this year. If that doesn’t work, I’ve reached my 5 year threshold of trying and I will find something else to grow. Same with corn.


For 2022 i got a greenhouse and grow for the first time melons. This because it seems the summer is to cold here in Netherlands for outside growing. But some people have good results in a hot year when they grow melons outside on top of black plastic.

In 2022 I grow with good results:
Kazakh (best tasting)
Pelgalia F1
Pelhari F1

Because the taste of the melons was so good I will grow in 2023 in the greenhouse:
Pelgalia F1
Oranje Ananas
Petit gris de Rennes

They say Petit gris de Rennes is difficult, even in the greenhouse, but the taste should be so good.


That’s your big issue. I have roughly twice the sun and twice the heat units as in Boston. Temperature wise your May is about the same as our March.


Yep, I’m sold. Definitely need to grow them all this year. I’ll PM you regarding Ledmon seed, thank you!
A few years ago I grew Jubilee, Orangeglo, and an Orangeglo/White Wonder cross from seed I got from @Mountain_Donkey, which ripened with a pale yellow flesh. I put together a tri-color watermelon fruit salad that was very eye catching and delicious too. That was fun.

The easiest melons I’ve found to grow here in 6b are Ferry Morse Petite Yellow. Good flavor and productive.


I grew Charentais and Amish muskmelons last year – had some disease problems that limited production but what I did get was delicious! Trying again this year. I also had good success with Bush Sugar Baby watermelon last year. I tried Triple Crown Seedless but could not get it to germinate. Trying that again this year, as well as Oh So Sweet.

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That’s common complaint. I’ve germinated them outdoors in March with nights in the 30s but that’s not the easy way.

What they need is high heat and constant moist not wet… So try them in pots at ~85-90F 24/7 and in a pot that can’t dry out, ie wrapped in plastic. Don’t water until they are germinated.

I am in a colder climate than you.

I’ve followed a good friend, Kevin @thecityman’s advice. He said 3 things watermelons need to thrive: sun(heat), fertilizer and water. Following his advice, I have been successful in growing watermelon for the last 5-6 years.

I can grow any variety that need no more than 100 days to ripen, the shorter, the better.

As for varieties I like, Crimson Sweet and Charleston Gray are fool’s proof to me.

I tried Georgia Rattlesnake, the melons are large but not as productive. I will give it one more year.

I grew Orangeglo but gave up. The picking window is too narrow. I had picked them too early or two late one too many times. It was aggrevating. It tasted fine but most of our family members and friends do not like orange or yellow watermelons.

If I had more space, I would try OG again but not at my limited space.

Blacktail Mountain, too small and too many seeds.
I grew another small watermelon and like it but I prefer larger watermelons considering time, space and energy I put in.

Black Diamond, never ripened in time in my zone. Waste of time and space.