Skip to content.

Cantaloupe, Hales Best Jumbo

Short Description

HEIRLOOM. This muskmelon became widely popular because it combined excellent flavor with earliness.

Full Description

Hales Best Jumbo was developed by a Japanese market gardener in California around 1920. It became widely popular because it combined excellent flavor with earliness. It's a beautiful oval melon with deep green skin and golden netting. The flesh is an appealing salmon color, aromatic and sweet.
Buy this product
Item # Product
Order: 1 Pkt. (200 seeds)
- +
Add to Wish List

In Stock

Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

80 days

Fruit Weight The average weight of the fruit produced by this product.

3-4 pounds

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

36-72 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

15-18 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Direct Sow

the burpee




since 1876


Enlarge Photo
Print Page


How To Direct Sow Seeds
How To Direct Sow Seeds
Learn how to direct sow seeds from Burpee's expert horticulturist.
Watch video
Introduction to Raised Bed Gardening
Introduction to Raised Bed Gardening
If you’ve ever wanted to know just what raised bed gardening is then this is the place to start.
Watch video
  • Melon

    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: May-16 - Last Date: Jun-13

How to Sow and Plant

Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Direct sowing is recommended, but to get a head start you can start melons indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost in individual biodegradable pots indoors. Sow 2-3 seeds per pot.
  • Sow seeds ½  inches deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 70 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Thin to one plant per pot.
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Sowing Directly in the Garden

  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones.
  • Sow in fertile, warm soil after danger of frost has passed.
  • Sow seeds 3 inches apart in groups of 4-6. Cover with ½ inch of fine soil.
  • Space groups 4-6 feet apart each way.
  • Keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
  • Thin to 3 or 4 strongest seedlings in each group when they are 1-2 inches high.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
  • Melons have a shallow root system, mulches help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures.
  • Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Plants need about 1-2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • As plants grow, mulch to control weeds, keep fruits off the ground and conserve moisture.
  • Do not move the vines, they are easily injured.
  • To prevent diseases keep melons off the ground.
  • Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.

Harvest & Preserving

  • Allow your melons to ripen on the vine. In general fruits are ripe when they smell aromatic and when stems start to crack and the fruit slips off easily with light pressure from your thumb.
  • Harvest cantaloupes when the fruits change from green to yellow or tan and they break away easily from the vine.
  • Harvest winter melons when they turn the appropriate color and their blossom ends are soft.
  • Honeydew melons are ripe when the skin turns to a creamy yellow color and the blossom end is slightly soft. To avoid damage, cut the honeydew off the vine with sharp shears.
  • Watermelons are ready to harvest when their undersides turn from white to a creamy yellow. The tendrils closest to the fruit will also turn brown and dry up and the skin will become dull and hard at harvest time.
  • For best flavor eat at room temperature.
  • Melons may be stored in the refrigerator for a short time. They will lose their flavor and color if stored too long.
Days To Maturity
80 days
Fruit Weight
3-4 pounds
Full Sun
36-72 inches
15-18 inches
Sow Method
Direct Sow
Planting Time
Sow Time
After Last Frost
36 inches
Life Cycle
Cantaloupe, Hales Best Jumbo is rated 3.6 out of 5 by 11.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Flavor My father planed this variety when I was a kid in the 60's. Great then and still the best.
Date published: 2018-09-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great taste but fussy to grow Oh my word the babying these plants took to get anything off of them. They germinated quickly, but then the new seedlings stalled and stalled even with plenty of sun and fertilizer. Then the vines took off and set tons of male flowers, but it took six weeks (yes six full weeks!!!) for even the first female flower to appear and another week for one to pollinate and set. Then naturally around that time powdery mildew set in just to liven things up. I will give the plants this much, they held out against the PM for a long, long time. The resulting fruit was worth the bother I think, with an appealingly smooth texture and a scent and taste like honey, but it definitely took a lot of care and attention. Not a plant it and forget it type at all. I only got 1 melon off each vine too, so the yield was low.
Date published: 2017-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bad start (My Fault) Received the plant from my daughter just beautiful. So I planted it in soil that has a high clay content will cure that issue in the fall. Transplanted to a large planter and nursed it back to health giving super thrive and other organic nutrients and is really taking off expect big things and will let you know how it goes so far very strong plant. If there's issues typically it's the plant missing something. I like to know exactly what is in my soil so I use filtered water and add the required nutrients and you would be amazed how much more they tend to produce more work equals better results what's 2 hours a week out of my life to get relatively free food. The one legged bald gardener
Date published: 2017-07-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hale's Best always reliable Here in Kingman, AZ we are at 3500' but we have a long, warm (often hot) growing season, perpetual drought and high winds. Fortunately, melons like it hot and most it seems don't mind dry. We've grown Hale's Best every year for the past six years and while it's productivity varies with conditions, it always does produce. It is my wife's favorite for flavor and I have to say that when they turn gold and slip from the vine they are hard to resist. The aroma alone is outstanding. One tip I would add for all melons is do not top water them. Hale's Best is susceptible to fusarium wilt, which I learned the hard way. That, along with the fact that my personal favorite cantaloupe is an heirloom called "Kansas" is why I only gave Hale's Best four stars.
Date published: 2014-08-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok, not Great I grew 4 plants from seed and they grew very well, each plant produced an abundance of fruit, about 5 or 6 each. The melons were ok but not as sweet as I have had in the past but this could be due to our uncommonly cool temperatures this year and the large amount of rain that we have had. Generally to get the sweetest melons stop watering a week or so before time for picking. This just wasn't possible this year. I am highly satisfied with production, and the size of each melon exceeds 5 or pounds. The melons just seem a bit bland to me this year and as I stated earlier, it could be due to the cooler temps and wetter summer that we have had. I have decided to grow Ambrosia next year in place of Hale's Best.
Date published: 2013-08-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Slow Start I started these seeds about 6 weeks ago and they haven't 'taken off' yet. Germination was poor, at about 50%. They are very small compared to my watermelon and honey dew plants. I hope they do better over the next few months. I will report back on the growing and quality of fruit.
Date published: 2013-06-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from No Luck Big bushy nice plants , tons of flowers, but no fruit. Will no Try again
Date published: 2012-05-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Toamtoes and peppers I was a little disappointed when I recieved the plants as they were in very poor condition. They were extremely limp. I planted them and they did survive, but have been extremely slow growing and in fact do not seem as if they will amount to anything. I will only buy seeds from now on unless you have some way of sending plants from a closer nursery.
Date published: 2012-05-08
  • y_2019, m_12, d_6, h_18
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.3
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_0, tr_11
  • loc_en_US, sid_prod000545, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_burpee