Better Chamoe (Korean Melon)
Cucumis melo var. makuwa
Landrace Korean melon variety. This chamoe cultivar has all the classic attributes that make them beloved by Koreans. Crisp flesh, with much of the sweetness coming from the seeds and pulp, these melons are somewhere between a cucumber, honeydew and apple. They range from 4-8", with yellow skin and white stripes. Less sweet than modern hybrids, the flavor is quite interesting, refreshing and somewhat floral. The plants are very vigorous and highly drought resilient. They have been improved through mass selection for having moderate fruiting patterns distributed over a long harvest window.
Chamoe is a symbol of summer in Korea. They are distinctly part of Korean culture on the peninsula and in the diaspora. This variety predates Japanese intervention into chamoe breeding, where they crossed native Korean melons with Japanese cultivars. Most modern commercial strains are a product of this hybridization. This chamoe is less sweet in a certain way, but with a flavor we find more interesting. This variety has been protected by small growers in Korea, and as a result, it's production habit reflects desirable traits for subsistence farmers: vigor without the need for commercial fertilizer, long harvest window reducing the need for multiple successions, and harvest volume appropriate for small scale.
Days to Maturity: 75
Seeds per pack: 32
Planting / harvesting notes
Warm season annual. Can be direct seeded after all danger of frost has passed, but is generally more successful when raised as a transplant. Start indoors 4 weeks before last frost date. The soil should be adequately warm with moderate organic matter content when put out into the field. Give plants 2-3' spacing. They like full sun. Water moderately when introducing to the field, but pull back once vines establish themselves. Depending on your soil and climate, you can stop watering once fruit set. Traditionally in Korea, vines are pruned back to the third node to promote larger fruit size. We have not typically noticed much difference with this habit.
Seed keeping notes