How to Grow Tiger Melons

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The small but tasty heirloom Tigger melon, called also "tiger" melon also for its yellow and orange tigerlike stripes, is related to canary melons, casabas and honeydews, in the Cucumis melo inodorus species. The plants resemble cantaloupe vines, but the fruit ripens later in the growing season than standard cantaloupes, which causes the Tigger melon to be called a "winter" melon. You might not find bedding Tigger melon plants at your nursery, so shopping through seed catalogs might be the best way to find seeds. It will take about four months from the time you plant seeds until the time you harvest your first tiger melon.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Straw
  • Fertilizer
  • Prepare your planting area in early spring by digging in one part organic compost to every four parts of soil in a sunny area. Tigger melons also perform well in soil with added grass clippings. They grow well in hills, so prepare one or more circular beds about 3 feet in diameter with a "moat" around the outside edge. Make hills at least 12 inches apart.

  • Plant seeds directly into your prepared hills after the soil warms to at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit in spring. Plant seeds 1 inch deep and 3 inches apart around the outer edge of each hill.

  • Thin weak plants when they are 2 to 3 inches tall. Your goal is to have three to four healthy plants in each hill.

  • Spread a 3 to 4 inch layer of mulch, such as organic compost or straw, on the soil on top of your melon hills.

  • Water Tigger melons with enough water to equal about 1 inch per week. To water, flood the moat around each hill. Be sure to give your melons extra water during hot, dry weather.

  • Fertilize your Tigger melons with a time-release plant food or other granular fertilizer once a month while the plants are growing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Prevent melons from rotting on the ground by propping them on boards you insert between the ripening melons and the damp soil.
  • Because the Tigger melon vine can grow as long as 10 feet, consider growing them next to a fence or trellis so they can grow up and conserve garden space.

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