Home » Horticulture » Melon


Melon (Cucumis melo) is a gourd crop of food value.

Melon (Cucumis melo)
Melon (Cucumis melo)
Source: commons.wikimedia.org
©Wilfredor (CC0 1.0)

Economic importance

Melon fruits contain 6-12% sugars, vitamins B1, B3, C, PP (folic acid) and iron. The content of vitamin C is 3 times higher than watermelon .

In terms of the absorption of iron from melon, it is 17 times greater than milk and 2 times chicken meat.

The fruits are eaten fresh, dried and dried, used in the canning and confectionery industry for the manufacture of honey, candied fruits, marmalade, marshmallows, jams.

Melon fruits can be used for medicinal purposes in diseases of the heart, liver, kidneys, anemia, nervous system, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract.

Cultural history

It has been known in culture for more than 4 thousand years. Cultivated in Ancient Egypt, China, Persia, Central Asia.

It appeared in Russia in the second half of the 16th century. in the Volga region, from the beginning of the XVIII century. also began to be grown further north in greenhouses.

Cultivation areas

Melon is grown in Central Asia and Transcaucasia.


The melon yield ranges from 10 t/ha to 50 t/ha.

Botanical description

Melon is an annual herbaceous plant, represented by a sufficiently large number of species. Melons are common in Russia:

  • with soft fruit pulp:
    • handalak – Melo chandalak Pang.;
    • adana, or Cilician, – Melo adana Pang .;
    • cassaba – Melo cassaba Pang;
  • with dense pulp:
    • charjou – Melo zard Pang.;
    • ameri – Melo ameri Pang.;
    • cantaloupe – Melo cantalypa Pang.

The species differ little from each other.

The root system is less developed than that of watermelon, taproot, penetrates deep into the soil up to 1-4 m, has numerous lateral branches, spreading in a horizontal direction by 2-3 m.

The stem is creeping, cylindrical, hollow, heavily branched, has stiff hairs.

Leaves are kidney-shaped, rounded, triangular, pentagonal or heart-shaped, entire, on long petioles. The area is smaller than that of a watermelon.

Flowers are orange-yellow. There are bisexual and dioecious. There are usually up to 100 male flowers for 15 female flowers. Dioecious flowers are prone to cross-pollination, bisexual – to self-pollination.

Fruits – multi-seeded pumpkin, of various shapes (flattened, spherical, cylindrical) and colors (from yellow or white to green), are formed mainly on lateral shoots of the first and second order. The pulp is loose or dense, the sugar content is 12%. The color, thickness of the pulp and the size of the seed nest are varietal characteristics of the melon.

Seeds are ovoid, flat, white-yellow, 0.5-1.5 cm long, up to 5 mm wide, up to 2 mm thick. Oil content 25-30%. Weight of 1000 seeds 35-50 g.

Biological features

Melon is similar to watermelon , but differs in high heat requirements, less drought-resistant, easier to grow on loamy soils.

Seeds begin to germinate at a temperature of 15-16 °C. The optimum temperature for growth and development is 25-30 °C.

Light-loving plant.

Does not tolerate excessive soil moisture, which provokes decay and death of the roots.

Soil properties also affect fruit quality and fruit sugar content.


Vegetation phases:

  • seedlings;
  • first true leaf;
  • 5-6 leaves;
  • bloom;
  • removable ripeness of fruits.

Agricultural technology of cultivation

General recommendations for the cultivation of melons are similar to those for all gourds.


Under the melon with deep autumn tillage, 15-20 t/ha of manure are applied. Higher doses may delay fruit ripening and reduce fruit quality.


The optimal time for sowing melon seeds is when the soil temperature at a depth of 10 cm is 12-14 °C. Seedlings appear in 8-9 days.

Recommended sowing schemes are 2.5×0.8-1.0 m or 2.1×0.8-1.2 m.

Seeding rate – 2-4 kg/ha. The depth of sowing seeds is 4-6 cm.


Melon harvesting is carried out in 2-3 doses as they ripen.

Signs of ripe melons are the acquisition of the color characteristic of the variety and the manifestation of the pattern.

Undamaged fruits are suitable for storage. The melon storage temperature is 0-2 °C and the maximum air humidity is 75-85%.


Crop production / P.P. Vavilov, V.V. Gritsenko, V.S. Kuznetsov and others; Ed. P.P. Vavilov. – 5th ed., revised. and additional – M.: Agropromizdat, 1986. – 512 p.: ill. – (Textbook and textbooks for higher educational institutions).

V.V. Kolomeichenko. Crop production / Textbook. — M.: Agrobusinesscenter, 2007. — 600 p. ISBN 978-5-902792-11-6.

Fundamentals of agricultural production technology. Agriculture and crop production. Ed. V.S. Niklyaev. – M .: “Epic”, 2000. – 555 p.