Seeds per Ounce: 750
Planting Method: Direct Sow
Sunlight: Full Sun
Crenshaw melon seeds, introduced to American gardeners in 1929, are essentially a renamed variety of casaba melon from ancient Persia. They have changed little since their arrival, remaining distinctively large and sweet.
Type: Open Pollinated, Heirloom, Warm Season
Plants require consistent moisture until pollination. Once fruits are about the size of a tennis ball, only water if soil is dry and leaves show signs of wilting.
3 to 5 days, 60F to 95F
Transplant at same spacings as direct-seeded crops – 2 to 3 plants per hill in hills spaced 4 to 6 feet apart, or 1 to 2 feet apart in rows 5 feet apart. Transplants are delicate and roots are sensitive to disturbance. If you need to thin, use scissors. Keep soil intact around plant when transplanting.
As they require a long growing season, melons are best started indoors approximately 3 weeks prior to the last frost of the season. Sow seeds ½" deep in flats or small pots, sowing 3 seeds per pot. Keep medium moist while awaiting germination. Additionally, melon seeds will show better germination rates with heat. Keep the soil between 80-90 degrees, using a heat mat if necessary.
For transplanting, sow seeds indoors ¼ inch deep in peat pots (2-inch square or bigger), 2 to 4 weeks before setting out. Plants should have one or two true leaves when transplanted.
Crenshaws were created as a viable cross between Casaba melons and muskmelons, producing creamy white or yellow late season melon. They are typically medium to large-sized melons, weighing 6-8 or more. Their shape is somewhat unique, more oblong than most other melons. Crenshaws are a late-season melon, requiring 110 or more days. They are well worth the wait though, as the sweet and somewhat ‘spicy’ taste and smooth texture make this a pleasing contrast in late summer or fall.
Direct-seed 1 to 2 weeks after average last frost when soil is 70 F or warmer. Plant ½ inch deep, 6 seeds per hill, hills 4 to 6 feet apart; or 1 foot apart in rows 5 feet apart. Can plant at closer spacings if trellised. Thin to 2 to 3 plants per hill.
If using fabric row covers, remove at flowering to allow pollination by bees. Good pollination is critical to fruit set.