Oriental melons belong to Cucurbitaceae, and are climbing annual plants. It is said that Oriental melons are an improved version of an Indian species. The main stalk is a tendril that stretches and climbs. The leaves, which are split into three or five parts, are crisscrossed. Their base is shaped like a heart and their edges look like sawteeth. Yellow flowers bloom around June and July, and male and female flowers bloom in the same tree. The corolla of the flower is a bell-shaped sympetalous flower that is split into five parts. Oriental melons are classified as berry fruit and their sizes, shapes and tastes differ depending on their species. People eat ripened fruits. Unripen fruits are good for edema, insect poison and excessive menstruation, and are used as emetics.
Oriental melons seem to have been transmitted to Korea from China via Manchuria during the Three Kingdoms era. As of 1989, Oriental melons are grown in areas spanning 86,190,000m2. Native species, such as Seonghwan, Gangseo and Gam, have been grown in Korea for a long time, but Koreans gradually have chosen Euncheon since the 1960s. Today, Euncheon has become the main variety.
The ideal temperature for growth is 25~30°C during daytime and 18~20°C at night. If the temperature is 16°C or lower, growth is restrained. Much sunshine leads to good growth, good fruits and high quality. Sandy loam is good for early culture, and clay loam is good for late culture. The right soil acidity is pH 6.0~6.8. As they have shallow roots, melons are vulnerable to drought.
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