I have a special love for growing and eating melons, thanks to my father, who is nearly obsessed with them. However, I seem to always be growing in small spaces that don’t really allow for the vigorous vines of the melon family. When I saw Johnny’s Select Seeds was offering the seeds for the French Charentais melon ‘Savor‘ this year, I immediately ordered a packet. I had read much about these small single-serving melons with luscious flesh scented with floral notes. They produce on relatively small vines that can be trained up a trellis and still support the small melons hanging precariously in the air.
I planted three vines in my garden and three vines in containers on my hot sunny deck. Sadly, the three vines in my garden quickly succumbed to disease after a swift and unavoidable attack by squash bugs even though the vines were covered with protective fleece. My hopes were flagging for the vines on my deck as they really were very scrawny by all accounts – small leaves, short vines, thin stems. No way could these plants produce a good melon, I thought. As it turns out, they produce an amazing melon. The softball sized fruit is intensely fragrant and similar in color and texture to a cantaloupe. However, the flavor is very different than a cantaloupe and rather difficult to describe beyond “delicious”! Only one of my vines is actually producing (three fruits thus far), but I attribute this to a lack of pollinators and my inconsistent watering of the pots. Next year I’ll grow these again in containers with an irrigation system and will make more of an effort to pollinate with a paint brush if the bees don’t wise up to the bounty of blossoms available on my deck in this urban jungle.