Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
CUCUMIS melo 'Athena'
Athena Cantaloupe, Cantaloupe
Highly disease resistant vines produce classic cantaloupes that are fragrant and delicious. ‘Athena’ is a vigorous hybrid that produces 5 to 6 pound fruits around 75 days after planting. It has orange and tan netted skin and sweet, juicy salmon-orange flesh within. The vines are very compact and can produce as many as seven melons. The crack-resistant fruits store well too. The netted skin reveals this is truly a muskmelon.
Melons are tropical annual vines with long, spreading stems that cling via springy tendrils. Their big lobed leaves are coarse, fuzzy and medium to deep green. Bright yellow, funnel-shaped flowers are produced when the vines reach maturity. The flowers are monoecious, meaning separate male and female yellow flowers appear on each vine. The pollen producing male flowers open first, followed by the female flowers, which have distinctive bulbous ovaries at their bases. Only the female flowers produce melons and each must be pollinated by bees for fruit set, so be sure to encourage these productive garden insects.
For best performance, plant melons in full sun and friable, fertile, deep soil with good drainage. Vines should be planted after the danger of frost has passed. It is common practice to create mounds of soil to grow melons in. The seed can be directly sown in ground. Melons need space to grow and should be surrounded by a layer of straw to protect the fruits from rot and keep weeds at bay. If space is limited, they can be grown on a trellis and fruits supported with cloth slings. Heavy rains can cause ripe fruits on the vine to split and lose sweetness.
Cantaloupes are best harvested when the skin becomes fragrant and the melon can be easily removed from the vine. Mature fruits also become yellower or more orange at the base and emit a hollow sound if knocked.
12 - 4
2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
8"-14" / 20.3cm - 35.6cm
2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m
Hybrid Origin, Africa
Orange, Salmon, Tan
Green, Light Green
Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Herb / Vegetable, Vine
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