Despite the fact that it looks like an oversized banana, banana melon IS actually a melon – it is in fact related to both melons and cucumbers! If you are looking into how to grow banana melon, we’ve got you covered – come and learn all about these interesting and delicious fruits.
How To Grow Banana Melon?
Melons are generally considered to be difficult to grow and best suited to warm countries – but this one is particularly easy to grow just about anywhere!
If you live in a particularly warm area you can plant it out in your garden; if not then a greenhouse may be a better bet.
- Wait until about 3 weeks before the last frost, then plant 2-3 banana melon seeds per pot into moist potting soil.
- Keep the pots warm (you can place a plastic bag over them to help) and make sure the soil stays moist.
- After a week or two you should see shoots – maintain the water and warmth until they are established.
- As the seedlings get bigger, they should be transplanted into individual pots, to allow them enough space to grow.
- Reduce the temperature and the water in order to “harden off” the seedlings, and transplant them into larger pots again.
- Wherever you intend to plant them, whether outdoors or in a greenhouse, prime the soil with some good organic compost – these plants will take all the nutrients you can give them!
- Keep the plants well watered, and you can additionally dose them with some balanced feed during the growing months.
- Melons like to climb, so surround the plants with supports like stakes or plant cages to allow them to wander.
- After it has flowered, you will start to see the fruits emerging from the vine – these are ripe when they change to pale yellow.
If you want to learn all there is to know about growing melons, check out this article.
How Do You Know When A Banana Melon Is Ready To Pick?
So you’ve grown your banana melons to the fruiting stage, and you’re excitedly waiting to pick them. But how do you know when they are ripe?
You are looking for a deeper colour – they will change from pale yellow to a deep ochre shade when they are ripe.
You should also notice a sweet smell if you sniff the fruit – this is a sign that it is getting ready.
A little like mangoes, the fruit should feel firm and heavier than it looks – simply place a hand under one and gently weigh it.
If you gently press on the end of the melon furthest from the stem, it should feel slightly soft – don’t poke it too hard though!
It should easily slip from the vine with a gentle tug. Make sure you are holding on to the bottom of it; they can be riper than you expect.
If you have melons on the vine that do not meet these criteria, just leave them for a few days and check again – ripening can happen very quickly!
How Big Do Banana Melons Get?
The fruits from this vine are bigger than you may expect, especially if the plant has been kept in its preferred conditions and the weather is good.
They won’t take the prize from a watermelon or a giant pumpkin, but you can definitely expect some decent sized produce from this plant.
Each melon can reach up to 24 inches long, and can weigh between 5 and 8 pounds. Growing this melon is a worthwhile investment!
Obviously, some fruits will be slightly bigger and some slightly smaller than this, but on average these melons can be a good size.
The size of the banana melon fruit is also a sign of its readiness – as they ripen, they will continue to grow bigger until they’re completely ready.
Keeping the plant in the conditions it likes and ensuring that it gets plenty of sunlight is a good way to ensure the biggest, and best fruits.
Do Melons Need A Lot Of Space?
If you have a tiny garden or you are planning to grow indoors, melons may not be your best bet – these are big plants that tend to spread and grow pretty large!
When you are planting, you will need to place your melon plants up to 42 inches apart, to ensure they have enough room to spread.
They will need to be staked up so that they can climb – these are large, spreading plants that need space to send out their vines.
If you don’t want to let them climb, they will be happy enough trailing along the ground – but again, they will need space to do so.
You can grow melons in containers, but remember that they need a lot of space to trail and spread, so make sure you have the room for them to do this.
What Does A Banana Melon Taste Like?
All melons have a different flavour and texture, don’t they? A cantaloupe is different to a watermelon which is different to a honeydew, and all the others.
A banana melon, as the name suggests, has a hint of the banana about it. It is not a banana though, so it won’t taste exactly like one!
People have described it as a cross between a cantaloupe and a regular melon, with the hint of banana flavour in the mix too.
This type of melon is very sweet – there is not a hint of a sharp or tart flavour, as long as it is fully ripe.
This video shows some people’s experience of the taste of banana melons, plus it will also give you an idea of the size of this awesome fruit. You’ll have to try it for yourself though!
These fascinating tropical fruits are surprisingly easy to grow, as long as you have enough space and the right conditions for them.
If you’ve always wanted to grow delicious melons but not had the nerve or the knowledge, welcome to your new favourite hobby!