Three New Vegetables win All-America Awards

Three new vegetables have received awards for 2013 from All-America Selections.

‘Melomon’ is the name of a new hybrid melon which is earlier than other honeydew melons. Small round greenish-yellow melons with a crisp white flesh grow to about 3 to 4 pounds. Judges rated Melomon’s taste superior to other honeydew melons because of its added tartness. Because it is a hybrid, plants are vigorous and high yielding. Vines grow 2 to 3 feet in diameter. Fruit matures about 3 months after transplanting.

‘Harvest Moon’ is a new seedless triploid watermelon. Harvest Moon produces medium size melons about 10 to 15 pounds. It has a dark green skin with yellow dots and sweet, crisp pinkish-red flesh. It is earlier maturing and better tasting than other triploid watermelons. Plants grow 3 to 5 feet in diameter.

‘Jasper’ is a new hybrid cherry tomato with some distinct improvements on one of my favorite cherry tomatoes ‘Sweet 100’. It has the same earliness, multi-clustered fruit and sweet taste, but ripe fruit does not split if left on the vine. Fruit also keeps longer after harvest. Vigorous vines are able to handle weather related stress and are resistant to fusarium root rot which can be a problem in our area.

All three of these new vegetables are sensitive to frost and should not be planted until late April or May unless frost protection is provided. Seeds can be easily started inside in a sunny window or under a grow light.

Tomato seeds should be started 6 to 10 weeks before outside planting, depending upon what size transplant is desired. Melons require only 4 weeks from seed to outside planting. Melons are best started in peat cubes or pots for minimum root disturbance when transplanting.

Tomatoes and melons both ripen 2 to 3 weeks earlier when red plastic mulch is applied just before transplanting. Holes are cut and plants inserted through the plastic. Clear plastic and spun fiber row covers allow earlier transplanting and speed growth rates.

Check early with your normal greenhouse or nursery to see if they will have plants of these new varieties. Expressing your interest may encourage them to grow these new varieties.

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