in the Melon Patch

digit(ID/WA)September 1, 2010

This week, I had my first galia melon (Passport) and a first cantaloupe (Fastbreak).

> happy dance!

What are your experiences in the melon patch this year??


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Dan Staley

Mine were slow to get going - then the heat became an issue. I only have room for two: a cant 'Minnesota Midget' and a chant 'Tigger'. 'MN Midget' maybe will give me 6-7, 'Tigger' maybe 20 if the frost is slow in coming. 'Tigger' could care less about the heat but the cant has abscised about a half-dozen so far.

Next year starting inside then transplanting.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 2:19PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

So far we've only had one ripe melon. It was the only Golden Midget, and the vine was already dying back. Looks like a may end up with a few of the Tigger that Dan mentioned, and a few small Blacktail Mountain. There are also some small melons that are growing from the same hill, so not sure, could be Sweet Passion, Swan Lake, or Sleeping Beauty. I might even have a Cream of Saskatchewan or a Sweet Siberian in there, but the vines are so intertwined that I'm not sure who's who anymore. Hoping I'll be able to identity when ripe ...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 4:29PM
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gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)

I haven't harvested any melons yet but some are getting close. I have 4 watermelon plants and 4 watermelons growing. I think at least two will reach maturity.

Then there's about 6 Kansas melons that are turning color, 3 casabas of nice size, at least a handful of tigger melons, a few Thayer American melons which look fair and 3 Canoe Creek melons which seem like they won't get big enough before the frost.

It's looking like a decent harvest but it's going to come pretty much in a narrow window of time.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:48PM
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Picked the first Early Hanover of the year yesterday, 2lb 3 oz; my wife & three-yr-old & I shared it for dessert; was very good but not delicious, but I remember the first Early Hanover last year wasn't quite as good as those that came in later. I'll probably get 5-6 more off the one plant.

The Honey Girl Charentais have set about 1/2 dozen on two plants; not super productive, but each melon is big - the biggest may run 2 1/2 - 3 lbs, a lot bigger than the charentais I'm used to.

The Noir de Carmes is a bust this year - I've found only three melons, none of which are likely to get over a pound. Had better success with it the last time I grew it, two or three years ago. I prob. won't repeat; I'll probably try Passport next year, or repeat with Petit Gris de Rennes, which did well for me last year.

I think the low fruit set was due to the weather in July - we set some fruit early, then nothing for a few weeks, then some late.

I grew the melons on 2' dia. remesh tomato cages. Seems to have worked well, with better fruit set on the cages than the runners on the ground. The black landscape fabric that I set down before planting seems to be a big help. I'll definitely repeat it, and maybe try it with the tomatoes and peppers next year. Haven't had any powdery mildew on the melons, even though the adjacent cucumbers got hit. (Sprayed with baking soda/dormant oil/water 1t : 3/4t : 1qt, which pretty much knocked out the powdery mildew on the cukes after 2 applications).

Thanks for all the advice, everyone!


    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 8:41AM
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Ah, the Blacktail Mountain . . . my only complete bust for germination this year. There's a very aggressive hill of Sugar Baby, tho'!

Edonis will be a new-for-me Charentais! The fruits are smaller than Honey Girl and don't look to be quite in the same league as Passport & Fastbreak for early ripening. I'll just have to be patient.

I like growing fruit! Sweetness appeals to me! I was noticing how sweet one of the cukes was and thinking that this is probably why I like them, beyond that slightly astringent flavor. Sweetness in everything . . . peas, green beans, winter squash (harvested a Sweet Meat last week).

Yeah, that squash plant was dying back and that happened to another before its fruit had matured in the slightest. I blame nematodes for things like that but really, haven't a clue . . . Luckily, there's quite a few winter squash, and no loss of life amongst the cuke plants and in the melon patch!

Weather has warmed again here, that is a relief! A high of only 62° on the 1st day for a ripe cantaloupe was a bit unnerving.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 10:57AM
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Zut alors! Some critter ate half of the next-to-ripen Early Hanover last night. A raccoon would be the most likely suspect. Guess I'll be picking the melons as soon as they start to scent up.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 12:24PM
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Dan Staley

The coolish temps last night were enough to color up ~6-7 'Tigger' and two cantaloupes.

And something mowed down my seedling lettuce last night as well...grrrrrrr (like a 'Tigger').


    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 5:24PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

We ate our first cantalope a couple of days ago - although not a huge melon, it was sweet and juicy! We really enjoyed it. We have 2 or 3 more growing, one almost ready.

Our watermelon vines have done well. We have probably 4 melons getting close to being ripe enough to pick. I found some tips (a posting off of GW) on how to tell if they are ripe, so have been using that to test them before picking (funny how it's seems so different than just thumping them at the store!). Think the largest one we'll pick this weekend.

I've got to remember to keep the varietal names of our plants for next year!! Sorry I don't remember what these are - maybe I can still find the seed packets laying around somewhere ;^)


    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 9:18AM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

I picked our first Sugar Baby (yeah, found the package for the variety name!) watermelons tonight. Very tasty :^) and pretty crisp. May have been able to pick it a little sooner - there were just a few soft areas in the flesh, but not sure if that means it was a little over ripe or what. But it was much, much better than a lot of watermelons I've bought in the store! Should be able to pick the other ones soon.

This is the biggest of the few we have - about 8" long. I'm saving the seeds - some for us, and some for the seed exchange.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 8:54PM
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Good photo's, Marj! And, good-looking melon - thanks for locating that variety name. I was thinking of taking a picture of the melon patch here . . . but, it was "leaf, leaf, leaf, lump, leaf, leaf, leaf . . . Suppose it could be interesting to show how much space melons take up and, there's the rub, isn't it? That and how short the season often is . . . S'

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 6:57AM
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