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Varietal Selection

Selection of melon varieties can be challenging given the large number of choices available. Some of those things that influence production like the length of growing season, soil type, climate conditions, and production practices are unique to a farm's location. Very little testing of melons has been done in Utah due to lack of time or resources to evaluate varieties in the different regions where melons are produced. To further complicate matters, there are hundreds of different varieties available for purchase. We recommend that you regularly test new varieties and compare them to what you already grow. On-farm testing is the best way to identify varieties that are most suited to your farm’s local and unique conditions.

Most varieties will grow and produce fruits in Utah but not all may be suited to your location. When selecting a new variety, evaluate it based on fruit size, earliness, soluble solids (sweetness), vine growth habit, and disease resistance. Vigorous vine growth helps produce sufficient leaf cover to minimize sunburn but excessive vine production may limit productivity. If viruses and fungal diseases have been problems, look for resistant varieties. Heirloom varieties are popular but lack disease resistance and are more prone to cosmetic defects.

If certain diseases have been a problem or you are replanting melon sites with melons, you may want to select hybrid varieties with some disease resistance characteristics. Not all varieties carry disease resistance or some have partial resistance to selected diseases. Always check with the seed supplier or reference their seed catalog for a full list of varieties and disease resistance packages or talk to your seed salesperson about unique needs and issues.