About Hearts of Gold Melon: In the 1930s, Hearts of Gold was without a doubt the most popularly grown variety of melon for the midwest market. Originally, this melon was developed by Roland Morrill of Benton Harbor, MI and trademarked in 1914.
Hearts of Gold Melon Germination: Melons must not be planted until the soil temperature has warmed to 70-80 degrees F, since they thrive in heat. Start the plants indoors only 2-4 weeks before transplanting, since if the plants grow too large they have difficulty adjusting to the change. Sow several seeds 1/2" deep in each peat pot, and keep them at 75 degrees until they germinate. Thin to the strongest plant in each pot by cutting off the others. Gradually accustom the plants to outdoor temperatures by setting them outside during the day, then transplant them to hills 4-6' apart with 2-3 plants to a hill. For companion planting benefits, plant melons near corn but not potatoes.
Growing Hearts of Gold Melon Seeds: In cooler climates, melons may benefit from black plastic to warm the soil; mulch also helps to conserve necessary moisture, control weeds, and keep the melons clean. Adequate moisture is particularly crucial as the vines begin to develop. After midsummer, pinch off blossoms and smaller fruits in order to direct the full energy to the larger fruits; the smaller fruits will not have time to ripen before frost, and are no great loss. Heart of Gold melons are especially blight resistant.
Harvesting Hearts of Gold Melon: As the melon ripens, it will turn a slightly golden color and become fragrant; the stem should come off easily, and the blossom end should be slightly soft. The melon will keep for several weeks in a cool place. Hearts of Gold vines are very productive, giving 5-7 melons per plant.
Saving Hearts of Gold Melon Seeds: When saving seed from melons, keep in mind that they will cross pollinate with other varieties of melon but not with watermelon, cucumbers, or squash. Melon seeds mature when the fruit is ripe; cut open the fruit and put the pulp that contains the seeds into a bowl. Work it with your fingers to separate the seeds from the pulpy fibers. Add enough water so that the pulp and the hollow seeds will float; remove the floating material, and the good seeds will remain at the bottom of the bowl. Rinse them well, then spread them out to dry completely. Store them in a cool, dry place for up to five years.
Detailed Hearts of Gold Melon Info: Cucumis melo. Also known as HooDoo. Annual. 90 days. 1000 seeds per oz. 18-24" height. 5-6' spacing. Produces 3-4 lb. netted, slightly ribbed round cantaloupes with orange flesh.