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Melon, Early Silver Line

Short Description

HEIRLOOM. A small delicious gourmet melon rarely found in markets.

Full Description

Unique, elongated oriental melon. White, crisp flesh sweet and fragrant. Yellow skin lined with silvery furrows, so thin it can be peeled like an apple. GARDEN HINTS: For early fruiting and to overcome a short growing season, start seeds in a warm, well-lighted indoor area 3 to 4 weeks before last spring frost. Before transfer to garden, accustom plants to outdoor conditions by moving to a sheltered area outside for a week. Grow on plastic mulch to control weeds, conserve soil moisture and protect fruit by keeping it off the ground.
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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.

76 days

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

1-2 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
76 days
Fruit Weight
1-2 pounds
Full Sun
36-72 inches
15-18 inches
Sow Method
Direct Sow
Planting Time
Sow Time
After Last Frost
36 inches
Life Cycle
Melon, Early Silver Line is rated 3.5 out of 5 by 10.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Inedible This year I only tried to grow melons and tomatoes. I planted 7 different varieties of melons.These were the first to ripen; key to determining ripeness are 1) melon slips easily from the vine and 2) one usually sees some ant activity where the melon connects to the vine. Out of 4 plants, I've gotten 8 melons. Critters got three before they were ripe, I've harvested 3, 2 are still ripening. Unfortunately, the three I've opened so far didn't taste like any melon I've ever had. While these melons smelled wonderful and looked good when I cut them open, they had little flavor that was not appealing. My Crenshaws and Burpee Hybrids were delicious, however.
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mild tasting melon This little melon has weaseled it's way into my heart. It's not like any other melon I've eaten before. The flesh is almost crispy, similar to an apple, but textured like a melon and not an apple. The flavor is lightly sweet. Some people have said it's similar to a cross between a cucumber and a honeydew melon, and I would agree that's the most accurate way of describing it. The plants produced these melons in pairs. Each melon is 12-16 ounces in size, perfect for 2-3 servings. The fruit ripened quickly and has a good shelf life in the refrigerator. I've tried it in lettuce salads as a cucumber replacement, and it's definitely too sweet for my liking. Imo, it's best in fruit salads. The firm texture and mild sweetness works as a great balance for berries and citrus. Fwiw, I cut off the rind.
Date published: 2016-07-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Early Silverline Melon I chose to grow these melons because they ripened earlier than most any other melon I've ever grown. I knew going in they would not be "sweet" melons. I planted seed in early May, and I just harvested my first two on July 22. First ... they are really cute! Second, as expected they are more crisp than most melons, and not as sweet. Some reviews I've seen suggest a "pear-like" taste, but I thought it was more like a cross between a cucumber and a honeydew. I really wish I had had some prosciutto when I ate my first one; that combination would have been fabulous. Net: if you plant these and expect a "sweet" melon, you will be disappointed. If you think you might like a less sweet melon that would "go" with a wide range of other foods, and that ripens so much earlier than other melons #my cantaloupes and watermelon aren't even close yet#, AND if you want a little melon that is just, well, really, really cute; this melon is a good choice.
Date published: 2014-07-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Silver Line Melon It is a different melon. Was not quite sure if it was actually ripe since it is quite firm. And were we suppose to eat the whole thing. Ended up peeling it like a cucumber and it tasted ok. Had one melon burst open at the end so we assumed it was ready. Still pretty crisp. Not sure if I want to plant these next year.
Date published: 2013-08-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very Bad Melon We've grown many different varieties of melons over the course of many years, and have seldom had a "bad" melon. This year we tried Early Silverline and, while all of our other melons this year were outstanding, the Silverline was tasteless and hugely disappointing. At their very best, these melons resemble a cucumber in flavor, although most had no flavor at all, and none were ever sweet. If you want cucumbers, plant cucumbers! And with so many excellent melon varieties to choose from, why plant these? They were a big waste of garden space, and I would never consider planting them again.
Date published: 2013-07-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Small, Tasteless Melons for Two Years I gave the seeds for this plant to my grandfather, who has more than 70 years farming experience, two seasons ago. Both years the plants failed to produce many melons, and what were produced were small and quick to rot. The few we could harvest had poor, bitter-tasting flesh, which was grimy with schlerenchyma fibers. Both seasons were optimal melon seasons. I would not recommend trying this melon.
Date published: 2009-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Really Nice Melon The fruit is small, just enough for one or two people, so there is no waste. It is sweet and crisp and a definate for next year.
Date published: 2008-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Personal Melons Easy to grow and flavorful. They can be peeled like cucumbers which makes them easy to prepare and the flesh is firm but sweet and light. Harvest when the melon becomes bright yellow with white (or silver) lines.
Date published: 2008-08-05
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