Edibles · Garden · Raised Beds

Melon Success

I have finally had some success this season with growing melons. The watermelons haven’t been doing that well and I was way off on the timing of the first one we harvested. I have three more growing now so I’m hoping to have a few more chances to get it right. The cantaloupe, however, are an entirely different story.

I planted two vines in our garden at home and one in our community garden plot.  The taste has been absolutely amazing!  They were incredibly sweet and juicy.  They blew away every cantaloupe we’ve ever had from the grocery store.  I was just shocked!  Not bad for the first time I’ve grown them.  We’ve harvested two and have three more growing in our home garden.  The vines just put out another round of flowers so I’m hoping for a few more before the season is over.  We’ve harvested five from our community garden vine already and there are 10 still growing. Yes, that’s 15 cantaloupes from one vine! Unbelievable!  Hearts of Gold cantaloupe will go down as a winner for this season.

The vine at the community garden is healthier and far more productive than the ones at our house and I’ve done very little in terms of caring for the plot. The soil is just really good there and it’s a lot deeper. The garden bed is 4’x10’. As you can see in the picture, one cantaloupe vine takes up most of the space. I meant to have the vine grow up and over the trellis to the other side but I didn’t get to the garden often enough to train it properly.  The vines just started cascading down to the ground and growing down the length of the bed.  Now keep in mind, this is just one plant!

Canteloupe vine
Cantaloupe vine

The vine winds through the other plants in the bed. One melon was even using my eggplant as a trellis. The tendril was attached to the eggplant near the top with the cantaloupe hanging from it. I was a little worried that it would break the eggplant so I very gently untangled it to let it rest on the ground.  The vine reached the other side of the bed where I have a trellis that was meant for beans. However, the cantaloupe overtook the beans and is climbing that trellis now.

 

Trellis damage to canteloupe
Trellis damage to cantaloupe

I’m using a wire trellis with large squares.  This melon started to grow in the middle of a square.  It was buried beneath the leaves so I didn’t spot it right away.  I was really torn on whether or not to leave it.  I had visions of it getting squeezed enough to burst and spray cantaloupe all over the the garden!  I doubt that actually happens but it gave me a good laugh to think about it.  At that point, I didn’t have many melons growing yet so I didn’t want to sacrifice it.  I managed to cut the wire away to let the melon continue to grow.  It actually turned out well.  I picked it a bit early so it wouldn’t split through to the flesh but it was still quite delicious!

Here are some more pictures of this crazy vine that took over our garden plot…

Female cantaloupe flowers before being pollinated
Female cantaloupe flowers before being pollinated

 

Baby cantaloupe
Baby cantaloupe

 

Cantaloupes
Cantaloupes

 

Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe

 

Our first Cantaloupe. Yum!
Our first Cantaloupe. Yum!

 

Our first cantaloupe.
Our first cantaloupe.

The discolored part on the left side of each half is where it split.  Just cut around that part and the rest is perfectly fine!

And this is what it looks like when Comedian gets done with it!  She loves them!  When she was younger she’d actually eat the whole rind.  She still tries though.

IMG_5734

Happy Gardening!

 

 

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