Kajari melons are so lovely that you might have trouble cutting into them. This heirloom melon is an eye catcher, with its dark green stripes barred by light green evolving into persimmon as the melon ripens. If you do decide to slice it open, you'll find pale green or peach colored flesh with a light, sweet taste like honeydew. Read on for more information about kajari melons.
Kajari Melon History
Kajari melons come from India, and are believed to have originated in the Punjab region. Nobody from this country had seen them or were able to find seeds. It became a decade long quest of Joseph Simcox, botanical explorer and world food plant ecologist. Simcox traverses the globe to find little known foods and preserve varieties of vegetables and fruits by collecting their seeds. Simox got word of a beautiful melon in central India, a large, round melon with orange-red, yellowish green and dark green stripes. The melon was said to have pale green flesh. Nobody could give him any tips on how to locate it. Finally, in 2014, he personally went to Delhi, India and met a man who knew quite a lot about melons. That man provided Simox directions to another melon man who was a seed dealer and Simox finally got his hands on a very small amount of kajari seeds.
He shipped these back to the United States where trials began with the seeds. The melon plants did very well in the grow-outs, producing beautiful 3-pound fruit with gorgeous striping and delicious flesh similar to honeydews. The seeds are currently available in small quantities in commerce. They are offered through Baker Seed Heirloom Seed Company.
Growing Kajari Melons
If you are interested in growing kajari melons or heirloom melon growing in general, you'll need to be in a region with sultry hot summer nights for at least a month or two to allow the melons to ripen. You'll also need to mix sand into your soil to keep it as hot as possible, and to choose the site with the most sun in your garden. Plant seeds in springtime after all danger of frost has passed. Sow seeds in small groups of three or four spaced a yard or more apart. Kajari melons take about 70 days from germination to harvest.
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Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
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