Melon cantaloupe: cultivation, description, photo
The fruit with the original name of cantaloupe is neitherthat other as a kind of a melon familiar to everyone. It has a characteristic appearance with a grid of bands on the skin and small dimensions (15-20 cm in diameter). There is an opinion that this plant of the pumpkin family was first exported from Armenia to Europe in the 15th century.
Melon cantaloupe was presented to the headthe Catholic Church as an exquisite dessert. It very much pleased the pope, and he sent to his estate in Cantalupia (commune in Italy now) its seeds for further cultivation. Currently, this is a widely cultivated culture, not only in the Old World, but also in the New World.
This type of melon also occurs on sale underthe name is American, musky, Thai. The largest yields are currently collected in Thailand. The plant has characteristic oval-round fruits with a thick and dense skin with a peculiar net. The length of the melon does not exceed 20 cm on average, the flesh is from yellow to bright orange, sweet, fragrant.
Melon cantaloupe, yellow flesh of which hasincomparable aroma and delicate taste, is a valuable food product. The fruit is famous for its high content of ascorbic acid, which has a beneficial effect on the state of immunity and helps the body cope with viruses and infections. A good melon is also from the point of view of dietetics, since the inosine present in its pulp prevents the formation of cholesterol and the accumulation of fat, and also strengthens the hair. Thai melon (photo above) contains a record amount of carotene, as well as folic acid, B vitamins, fiber.
As a rule, the food is fresh. In addition, melons are used in the preparation of various desserts, vegetable and fruit salads, bakery fillings, jams.
A plant with small but very tasty fruitsis of interest not only in terms of industrial cultivation, but also for owners of small farmsteads. This is the only kind of melon that is widely and successfully cultivated throughout Western Europe, including in Russia.
Advantages and disadvantages of culture
First of all, it should be said that meloncantaloupe is the ancestor of almost all European varieties and a close relative of Central Asian. Culture has a number of positive qualities and shortcomings:
- The characteristic rough mesh rind prevents cracking of fruits from excess moisture.
- The plant is perfectly adapted to wet and cool summer.
- Melon cantaloupe ripens 2-3 times faster than Asian varieties.
- The plant is characterized by high resistance to such a disease as powdery mildew - a scourge of melons in rainy summer.
- By the size of cantaloupe inferior to Asian relatives, less fragrant, but still has high taste characteristics.
- For a long time it is not stored, therefore it is recommended for consumption in the first 2-3 weeks after collection, after 1-1.5 months the fruits lose all attractiveness.
Melon cantaloupe: cultivation
Experts advise to choose for plantinga place separate from other cultures. It should be well lit and warmed by the sun, without cold drafts and winds. The southern slopes of the site are most optimal in this respect. Thai melon (a photo of fruits is presented in the article) prefers light soils that pass well moisture and air, cultivated and with a neutral reaction of the environment. Preferably autumn application of organic material (compost, manure) for not very deep digging (up to 30 cm), in the amount of 5-6 kg per square meter of area. The plant is hygrophilous and requires abundant systematic waterings.
Melon planting is carried out directly into the ground or seedlings, the second option being preferred for cold regions. Disembarkation is carried out as soon as the soil warms up well (+ 18 ° C).
Care of melon
The plant is extremely unpretentious, and grow itcan not only experienced gardener, but also an absolute beginner. Melon cantaloupe gave rise to many varieties, but the basics of caring for them are all the same. Like all melons, it is very demanding on the level of moisture in the soil, especially in a very arid and hot period.
In the spring, after landing, melons should be harbored,if there is a threat of recurrent frosts. Further care consists in weeding, shallow loosening after watering and fertilizing with mineral preparations. Under the ripening fruit, it is necessary to make a lining to protect them from damp soil, as this can lead to decay. In the period of active plant growth, fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers is recommended, and after flowering and at the time of melon formation, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers are recommended.
Directly during the ripening period, it is recommended to reduce watering so that they are more aromatic and sweet.
Grades of cantaloupe melon
Currently, cantaloupe melon is not sopopular, like a few decades ago, but still gardener amateurs now and then turn to the process of its cultivation. However, the selection work is also continuing. The below two varieties are the most promising.
- Iroquois is a new grade of East Americancantaloupe. The plant is powerful, with long lashes and dark green large leaves. The maturity dates are average. Fruits are clearly segmented with a coarse net on the skin, oval, weight is on average 1.2-1.7 kg. Sugar content is 12-13%. Leaving is common for cantaloupe, so the collection of fruits must be made on time, not allowing rash. The plant has a high resistance to disease.
- Blondie - a new breed of selection with goodcharacteristics. The maturation period is medium - 80-85 days from the moment of planting. The hybrid belongs to the famous French Charente sortotype, characterized by high environmental plasticity, that is, the ability to adapt to climatic conditions, humidity level, soil characteristics. The plant is powerful, with long bushy whips. Fruits are small, oblate or oval in shape, weighing up to 600 g, do not have a characteristic net on the skin, segmented. Bright orange flesh has a sweet taste and a pronounced flavor. The variety is resistant to root rot.
It is impossible not to mention the varieties of cantaloupe, whichhave received the greatest distribution in 50th years of the last century: Prescotta usual, warty and thin-skinned, Carmelite, Best early English, Parisian.