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Cantaloupe, Hearts Of Gold

Short Description

Deep orange flesh is thick and very sweet.

Full Description

These are beautiful melons with luscious deep-orange golden flesh that is sweet, juicy and fragrant. Rinds are thin, heavily netted and medium ribbed. Vigorous, prolific plants bear nearly round, medium-sized, 2-3 lb. fruits that are ready to pick 90 days from sowing. An heirloom introduced around 1900 and once the most popular commercial cantaloupe in the Midwest.
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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.

80-90 days

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

3 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

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  • 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
80-90 days
Fruit Weight
3 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, Hearts Of Gold is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 6.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Grows like crazy I live on the Texas Oklahoma border and sowed these directly in the ground mid May using only the dirt in the ground built up into little mounds. Honestly, I forgot about these once I put them in the ground and only water once daily at 6am. They are spreading and producing like crazy, growing up the strong stalks of my Cosmos too! No issues with pests so far and my yard is covered in pests and grasshoppers. They're surrounded by some marigolds and okra plants I mixed in there, as well as sugar bush baby watermelons. If you want to support these melons so they aren't directly on the ground then build up your mounds of dirt to sow the seeds in and layer long sticks from your yard over the mounds. They love that. It's a nice support. A trellis next to your vines will help tremendously!
Date published: 2019-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Needs to be kept dry! I have grown these for years in both the deserts of the Southwest and now here on the plains of the upper Midwest. Drier environments like these are perfect for this melon. The secret here is that the leaves need to be off the ground in humid prone areas. This melon is therefore a favorite of dryer Midwest and very dry deserts of the Southwest. This fruit will make you fall in love with cantaloupe. The sweetness of this melon is unlike anything you can imagine. You will swear someone added something to it- it is that good. I read some reviews where people had trouble with disease and small yields. Or that the melons simply did not produce. There are two things to watch out for with all fruit from the melon family. First, these won't do well in constant dampness. This explains why the gardener in Connecticut had such trouble. Leaves that stay damp are a favorite of bacteria, mold, etc. To combat this, I turn a tomato cage upside down over the seeds and train them to grow in a network of cages. It's not hard to do and it is most certainly worth the sweetness you get from this melon! Four plants in a square with cages over them will yield beyond anything a family can eat- you will be giving these away. (And people will ask what they are! You won't find this in any produce isle!) Second, animals will do these melons in. They need to be protected from your typical garden pests. Also, "sap sucking" bugs will destroy your yield, but I found oil of neem will do them in perfectly. Getting the leaves off the ground in wet prone areas makes it easier for beneficial bugs, birds, etc, to find these pests as well. And lifted vines are easy to spray with neem and other natural pest solutions. And if you must use a pesticide, (rare with this variety,) than lifted leaves are easier to spray by far. That, and lifting the leaves means you can tolerate a lot of your typical leaf eaters, because the plant has lots of extra capacity. But combine bugs, mold, fungus and damp, and there is little left for the plant to work with. As to size, I would not call these small. I think the small size mentioned in other reviews has far more to do with management than it does weakness in this plant. Container growing is possible, but I notice that many people overdo their container mix. Just like a diet of candy will make you sick, so will it make a plant. Watch the leaves, they will tell you when it is time to fertilize. Yellow leaves are sure signs that something is lacking in young plants. Add a reasonable amount of fertilizer as needed- don't over do it. And make sure to have a support structure for the vines to grow on in wetter areas. Even in Arizona and North Dakota, I do this. It gives pests nowhere to hide. As with all container and raised bed gardens, make sure your soil is light and fluffy. The problem many encounter is that since their garden soil produces weeds, it must be great for plants. That simply is not true. Don't use garden soil in raised beds, containers, etc. Use plenty of perlite and vermiculite in any bed or container soil mix to encourage strong plants. So with just a small amount of care, you can have the single best cantaloupes you ever ate. You won't want ANY other variety after this. The work is so minimal and the reward is so worth it! Trust me, it only takes minutes and minimal costs to have amazing plants, prolific production and Garden of Eden taste!
Date published: 2018-10-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very Disappointed!! HEARTS O GOLD CANTALOUPE Planted seeds in Burpee Super Growing Pellets in mini Greenhouse container & placed on a sunny windowsill. They all germinated in a few days. Once transplanted (~ May 20), they rapidly started growing. The vines grew out of the half-whiskey barrel they were set in & sprawled all over the patio. There were 3 plants in this barrel & they each had at least 3 little melons. One fell off the vine in late July & smelled like a ripe melon but it was very small, about 2.5 or 2.75 " in diameter. When I cut it open, the juice & seeds spilled out of the melon, so I'm pretty sure it was ripe, but the taste was flat, hardly tasted like cantaloupe & definitely wasn't sweet. We had a lot of heavy rain in late June (almost every day) until mid July, so they hardly needed any watering. In early August, they all got hit with some kind of wilt that killed all but 1 plant, which still has 1 melon on it & is growing new, green leaves & new flowers. I saved some of the seed, but I don't think I'll plant them-it was awful.
Date published: 2015-08-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hit or Miss The first year I grew these, I harvested four delicious melons from four plants. There were several smaller melons on the vines at that point in late July, but bacterial wilt set in and that was it. Last summer, torrential June rains, followed by cucumber beetles, followed by bacterial wilt did the plants in before any fruit set.
Date published: 2014-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super Sweet Cataloups This will be my third year growing this variety. Just the right size for one person, these cantaloupe are super juicy and super sweet. I get about 12 - 15 per plant. If you have rabbits nearby you will need to protect the plant. They will eat the end of the vine and kill the plant. I tried the bush variety, it wasn't bad but the fruit didn't have the same sweet flavor like this variety. FANTASTIC ! If you love cantaloupe you gotta try this one.
Date published: 2012-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from exceptional flavor I only got two melons this summer, since all my cucumber-family vines got some sort of bacterial wilt. Despite the vine's failing health, it produced the two most exceptionally juicy, flavorful melons I've ever eaten. I will definitely be planting them again next year, and hopefully I'll have better luck.
Date published: 2010-09-05
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