Melon Jam (Preserving Melon, Red Seeded Citron) – 7 HEIRLOOM Seeds
Citron Melon – Homemade Jam’s Best Friend
This ancestor to our modern watermelon goes by several names that hint at its best uses – jam melon, preserve melon, or pie melon. At first glance, the citron melon looks like a small, round watermelon, but when cut into, you’ll find a pale green to white, dense, crunchy flesh dotted with shocking red seeds scattered throughout with a very mild to almost absent flavour. Sometimes people taste a young, not-quite-ripe honeydew, others taste cucumber, and still, others taste the young pumpkin.
The lack of flavour from a fresh-picked fruit might surprise you, especially since it looks so much like the beloved watermelon. Its real value is not in the fresh taste but in what it can do for jams, jellies, marmalades, and pickles.
Citron melon has naturally high concentrations of pectin, the traditional gelling agent for jams, jellies, and marmalades, as well as fruit pies and cobblers. The high pectin content makes them perfect for candied fruit for fruitcakes and desserts. After cooking, the natural flavours become more apparent.
Because of their tough rinds, melons are harvested in late autumn, and some kept aside in a cool place until just after Winter, to be made into the last preserves of the year.
Seed germination is strong, and production is quite prolific – 50 melons from a single large, sprawling plant is not uncommon. Most people prune the first half-dozen flowers, then let the next set pollinate for however many melons are needed, then the rest of the flowers are also pruned. This prevents being overrun by melons!
The French have long since figured out the easiest and most delicious way to work with what they call ‘melons d’Espagne’ - translating as Spanish melons, but meaning ‘jam melons’. In the Médoc region of France, just north of Bordeaux, these melons are widely grown solely to make fruit confitures after harvesting in early November.
In fact, locally crafted sweet preserves made with ‘jam melons’ are highly valued – it is an honour to receive a jar of fruit confiture from outside the family.
These melons create the most delicious homemade jams after peeling, de-seeding and chopping. Vanilla and sugar are added to a bowl of chopped melon, or ginger, mandarin, melon, and sugar as another option. Left overnight to soak and mingle the flavours, they turn into a syrupy fruit mash that is gently simmered for about 45 minutes, turning a gorgeous translucent yellow and filling the house with the scent of sugar and spices.
As you might expect from a melon that grows exceptionally well in the Sahara and is used as a water source during droughts, citron melon is hardy – shrugging off the heat and dry conditions with aplomb. Despite this, better flavour results from moderate moisture during seedling growth and after flowering when the fruits are growing. Harvest the fruit when the vine starts to die back.
Jam Melons are warm-season annual vines and need a long warm season to mature. Jam Melon needs plenty of room to grow as it sends out long vines.
Start them early if you can. In temperate areas sow October - November, after all, the danger of frost; subtropical areas sow September - November; in tropical areas sow April - July, during the dry season. Sow directly where it is to grow 10 - 20mm deep, or start early in individual seedling pots; in cool areas, bottom heat will be required. Seed germinates best at a soil temperature of 21 - 35° C. Seed will germinate in 7 - 14 days. Soil should be fertile, well-drained, with a pH of 6 - 6.5.
Prepare your soil with compost and well-rotted manure; deep digging is beneficial. The soil needs to be well-drained.
Space rows 1.5 m apart with 1m between plants on raised mounds. Avoid over-watering once the fruit is nearly ripe, as this will make for a bland flavoured melon (also too much rain).
Slide a flat piece of wood underneath ripening fruit on the ground to avoid rotting from contact with wet soil—harvest when the melon slips easily from the stem.
Harvest in 10-16 weeks. Compatible with (can grow beside) Sweetcorn, Sunflowers. And avoid growing close to Potatoes.
All orders are dispatched from our shop in Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Order dispatch time guidelines
Order Placement date
|21/09/2021 4:15pm AEST onwards||2-3 business days||
As per Australia Post timelines*
Delays in AusPost network
|18/09/2021 onwards||2-5 business days||
As per Australia Post timelines*
Delays in AusPost network
4-6 business days
As per Australia Post timelines
* Please note that Australia Post is experiencing delays within their delivery network, so the delivery estimate dates are not guaranteed.
We appreciate your patience during the testing time as we are working under the challenging circumstances of Sydney COVID restrictions to prepare and pack your orders as quickly, and safely as possible. You shall receive an email / SMS notification with a tracking number as soon as your order has been dispatched. We are dispatching ALL seed orders via Australia Post tracking letters for certainty & peace of mind during this uncertain time of our lives.
Please see the table below or use the shipping calculators on this website.
|Economy Delivery||Small seed packets||$3.95 or FREE on orders of $40 or above|
|Small seed packets||$6.50 for Australia Post Tracking Letter|
|BULK seeds by weight||$10.00|
|Express Delivery||Seed packets||$12.00|
We'll use the most economical method to deliver your order. Delivery times vary but are generally from 3-7 business days.
During the planting season change mainly around the end of Winter (August) and the beginning of Spring (September), our order processing time can increase to 8 business days. We encourage you to plan early and place your seed order as early as possible to avoid any delays to your planting schedule. We strive to dispatch orders in 1-2 business days during the rest of the period
We ship orders in tracking letters for some of the standard economy delivery, if possible, for peace of mind. The large orders are always dispatched in a tracking letter. We may use Australia Post Registered Post, which requires a signature on delivery, or you may need to present your ID to collect it.
It's the fastest possible delivery service within the Australia Post network.
We will process your order after we have received clear payment in accounts.
Orders to Western Australia and Tasmania may be subject to additional delays due to inspections by Quarantine.
Dispatch and delivery times are estimates only; we cannot guarantee delivery times as these can change for reasons beyond our control.
Postage rates are calculated based on each order. If you have placed multiple orders and have the same recipient and address, we may combine all items in single postage.
The flat International postage rate is $30 (AUD)
If you buy one packet or several packets of seeds, the shipping and handling cost will remain the same for us.
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Please note that we will ship international orders at the buyer's risk and provide you with a tracking number. If your order is lost, stolen, delayed, damaged, confiscated, seized, or you don't get it for any reason, then, unfortunately, there will be NO REFUND.
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We DO NOT provide phytosanitary certificates for any of our seed varieties.
Very prompt service to receive these seeds so I can make jam eventually as I remember as a child. Thank you very much.
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