cold weather and cantaloupe, when to pick?

gardengirl3(8)October 11, 2013


I am growing cantaloupe for the first time this year; I think I might have planted it around July. The variety of cantaloupe is called "Goddess." My concern is if it is too cold for them to be out there.

I have put some rocks under the them so they don't get what is called "bottom rot." I don't how long I can wait to pick them though because it's getting cooler as the days go on. Only one smells sweet and is a mostly yellowy color. I don't know what to do. I read if I pick them they will get softer, but not sweeter. But how long can I wait, to pick them, when the weather is getting cooler day by day? I will try to plant cantaloupe earlier next year for sure, I had to wait until July because we were building a new raised bed, and it wouldn't of fit in any of the other smaller raised beds. I attached a picture, that I took today, of the cantaloupes so you can get a better idea of what they look like.

Any help is much appreciated, thank you so much in advance! :-)

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You don't say how cold is "too cold" where you are. Cantaloupes aren't ripe if they're not ripe, so you just have to wait for them.

I'm surprised, though, that yours aren't ripe by this time if you planted in July. This is supposed to be an early variety iirc.

If you find the ones that smell the most ripe and look where the stem meets the fruit, you might see some cracks. If so, it's almost ripe. Try putting some pressure on the stem and see if it separates.

If it does, you'll be able to see how ripe your melons are now and whether they'll ripen further in the near future. But your vines are pretty well died off and they may not support a lot of ripening at this stage.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 4:59PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Your melons won't ripen properly without leaves even with plenty of heat and sun. The leaves may have been killed prematurely by mildew or something else. If you grow them again you need to keep good foliage until they are fully ripe.

With what you have now heat won't help much if any. Nothing will. If they ripen up some try them.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 6:28PM
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Oh I forgot to say what the weather is like here, thank you for mentioning that. This coming week is unusual warm weather here actually, in Vancouver, WA (near Portland OR) because it was raining for a while and now it will be sunny, in the 60s during the day and high 40s low 50s at night.

The vines were overflowing the box and I cut some of them like two weeks ago, so I wouldn't step on them or run over them with the lawn mower. I hope that didn't make the leaves and vines shrivel up. I thought it was from the cool weather and constant rain that has been going on recently. I guess that is true that if there are no leaves, then heat won't help.

Thank you Itilton and fruitnut for all your advice. I might have to cut my losses this time around, but I will try your stem advice too Itilton.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:39PM
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The vines look diseased. Cool weather and rain won't cause that, but it can help spread disease.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 9:35AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Even with early planting, melons will be difficult in your area. To increase you chances of success, you might want to try a variety sold by a seed house in the PNW, such as Territorial or Nichols. They have notations concerning cultivars which do better in cool weather. Which, for melons, you have most of the time.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 6:02PM
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Just an update. Only one melon was ripe, one was close to ripe, and the rest were not really edible or orange inside. I will plant much earlier and try to trellis it so it doesn't take over the whole bed. Thank you for everyone's advice! :-)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 10:29PM
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