Ogen Melon (85 Days)
Middle Eastern. This Israeli melon is also known as Ha-Ogen. Developed on the Ogen kibbutz from ancient Indian/Persian stock and when first introduced became sort of the agricultural equivalent of an urban legend. The seed was jealously guarded and coveted, in very short supply, and only a few had access to it, though it is now it is readily available. The Ogen Melon is a heavy yielder of 3 pound fruit that mature from light green to a golden yellow. Flesh is pale green with a distinct light orange hue around the seed cavity. Of course the rich, aromatic flavor is the reason for the continued popularity of the Ogen Melon.
Germination: 4-10 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 70-85ºF
Seed Sowing Depth: 1/2" deep
Sowing Indoors: 3-4 weeks before last frost. Provide 70-85ºF soil temperature. Sow 2-3 seeds per cell/pot. Sowing into individual biodegradable peat/cow pots reduces root damage when transplanting. Transplant after last frost, 36" apart.
Sowing Outdoors: Sow after last frost when soil temperature is over 70ºF. Sow 2-3 seeds every 36", thin to the strongest seedling.
How much does a packet plant: 18-20 foot single row, 5-6 hills
Harvest: Look for the following signs as it does take some practice on telling when they are ready to harvest. The skin tone changes and netting becomes heavy, the ends soften, they will slip from the vines or a gentle tug will pull it away from the vine, a crack develops around the stem, the closest tendril to the stem dries, and the aroma increases when ripe.
Tips: Plant Ogen Melon in fertile soil, amended with compost or well rotted manure and keep well watered. They benefit from growing on black plastic and by using row covers for weed, insect control, and more rapid growth.