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CUCUMIS melo 'Fastbreak'

Image of Cucumis melo 'Fastbreak'

National Garden Bureau

Family

Cucurbitaceae

Botanical Name

CUCUMIS melo 'Fastbreak'

Plant Common Name

Cantaloupe

General Description

An early-ripening muskmelon that's suitable for areas with short summers, 'Fastbreak' grows from seed to harvest in approximately 80 days. The 3- to 4- pound (1.5- to 2-kg), corky-skinned, sweet-fleshed melons are abundantly borne on fusarium-resistant vines.

Melons are tropical annual vines with long, sprawling 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 plants are monoecious, bearing male and female yellow flowers 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.

Melons require full sun and friable, fertile, deep soil with good drainage. A neutral pH is best. Vines or seed should be planted after the danger of frost has passed. It is common practice to create mounds of soil to grow melons in. Muskmelons need space and benefit from a surrounding layer of mulch 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.

Muskmelons are best harvested when the skin becomes fragrant and the melon can be easily removed from the vine. Mature fruits also become yellower at the base and emit a hollow sound if knocked.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 4

  • Sunset Zone

    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

  • Plant Type

    Fruit

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    10"-18" / 25.4cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    5'-8' / 1.5m - 2.4m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Light Yellow, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Herb / Vegetable, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes