Cantaloupes with first flowers

angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)August 29, 2008

I thought the cantaloupe that I had planted would die while we were gone since we weren't here to water them, but since it rained enough, most of the established plants survived! Yea!

Yesterday when I watered them, they didn't have any flowers, not one. Today, I go out and they're chock full of them. I don't see anything that looks like a tiny melon, though. :-(

Does anyone know about how long it takes for them to produce pickable cantaloupe after they show their first flowers? Any other tidbits of cantaloupe info is also appreciated....

~Angela

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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

The first flowers will be males, with females to follow. They'll come soon I expect. Good luck with them.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 5:14PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Angela - melons generally mature 5 weeks after fruit set. Fruit set is when the female has definitely been pollinated, and the flower has fallen off. Here's a photo of one of my baby cantaloupes.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 5:33PM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

Thanks so much, Sinfonian & EG. Five weeks sounds really exciting. I guess it might be another week before I see the female blossoms? That would only put it six weeks away from picking a melon! WooHooo!

Awwwww... what a gorgeous pic of the baby cantaloupe, EG. I think I'm gonna hand-pollinate to be sure that they produce well quickly. I planted these so late, so I'm hoping that I can still get plenty of melons (or at least a few) before frost. It sure looks like I will by what you guys are telling me!

~Angela

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 7:38PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Angela- I took this photo for ya today. This is what you're looking for.

EG

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 8:46PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Man cantaloupe look JUST like cucumbers at this stage, hehe. I know they're related. Just boy, you can't tell them apart!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's garden adventure

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:12PM
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msyoohoo

Aww...EG your little fuzzies are so cute.

Maureeen

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:36PM
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anniesgranny(6b)

"Aww...EG your little fuzzies are so cute. "

Thanks, Maureeen...I just spewed diet cola all over my laptop!

Granny

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Kitchen Garden

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:57PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

They're even more cute, when they weigh about 8-10 lbs!

EG

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 11:02PM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

ROFL! Yep, EG's got some big honkers on those plants!

As for the 2nd pic... wow, that's a female flower? It sure looks like the male ones to me. I am just so new at this. I examined them very closely today, and they all look like just a plain yellow flower with nothing that looks like it could develop into a cantaloupe behind or beside the flower. I am so shocked at how many flowers came on the plant literally overnight, too. Nothing one day, 10-15 or so the next day. Whoa!

These are the ones I planted straight from the cantaloupe we ate. I sure hope it's not some kind of hybrid that doesn't produce fruit or have fruit unlike it's parent.

~Angela

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 12:22AM
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msyoohoo

Hehehehe.....I was being serious (they are cute!) - what I was inclined to say was "nice hairy balls EG"! Or is it WG? (OMG I think I have officially joined the crazy crowd!)

Maureen

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 12:56AM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

ROFL - ROFL - ROFL

That's what I was THINKING, but wasn't going to say it! hahahahahaha

Good one, Maureen!!!!!!!!!

~Angela

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 1:05AM
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laura729

Y'all pipe down now! ;) As IF I wasn't thinking the very same thing about the "cute fuzzies" comment! - And I think it either went right over EG's head or perhaps he was being a gentleman. LOL!!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 10:22AM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

Laura's right... poor guy having to put up with all of us! Plus, I really want his help with the cantaloupe plants. I certainly don't want him scared off from sending in his pics.... I'm sorry, EG.

Now, back to the topic, is that second pic of a female blossom?

~Angela

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 11:42AM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Holy Moly.....Y'all just won't do! hee hee.

Maureen - I'm gonna go outside and cut a switch for you....hee hee

Angela - I took that photo in a hurry, hmm...i'll go make sure it was a female. I remember where it was located. I picked 2 more cantaloupes this morning.

Laura - Get 'em!!! Hee Hee

EG

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 12:57PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Angela - I put the wrong picture on here. The second one IS a male. Sorry.... Oh well, hope this picture makes up for it. To tell when ready to pick, the color of the melon will change colors overnight, and the stem will start to detach like the photo below.

EG

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 1:36PM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

Oh, EG, there's nothing to make up for. You're so wonderful to try to show me all this stuff. I'm very thankful!

This picture rocks! What a nice close-up. I can totally see how it's starting to separate. Neat!

You know, it's crazy. I just checked on my cantaloupes today and they've doubled the flowers since yesterday! Wow! I had no idea that they did this so heavily so soon! Is this normal? They are beautiful. I actually see little bitty buds in almost every joint where a new vine has started, but they aren't blossoms yet, but I can tell they will be soon, too. This would mean I'd have bookoooos of blossoms more than I have already. It's pretty amazing to me.

Just as a reminder, these are the plants that the kids ate the cantaloupe, and we just scooped the seeds and guts out of them and planted the whole mess in one short row before I started SFGing. There are tons of little plants in that row as I never thinned them out. I guess it's more of an experiment at this point to see how they do growing so close together. The only thing is I have nothing to compare it to. LOL I wish I knew what normally happens.

Oh, and still no signs of what looks like a female blossom yet. I'm figuring if some of these are females, they might just be too young to tell is all. Is that about right?

~Angela

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 4:17PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Angela - You will have tons of flowers, and also several female blooms. Although I have plenty of bees, some of mine didn't get pollinated well enough to set fruit. You'll know when this happens....a little tiny melon will form, and then it will turn yellow and wither away. No biggie, though. I feel that each vine is only capable of supplying enough nutrients to so many fruit. Some of mine matured when they were really small. I believe that too much of the plant's energy was forced into more vine growth, instead of toward the existing fruit. Next year, I will snip the end of each vine, once 3 or 4 fruit are growing on them.

EG

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 8:45PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Here's a photo of the damage.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 8:18PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Here's the little culprit...the pickle worm.

EG

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 8:25PM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

What??? Are you kidding me? That thing is tiny! That little thing cause that drilled-like hole in the fruit? Wow! Thanks for showing me the pics once again, EG. Unreal. At least I know what to look out for.

I'm looking every day under my leaves, etc. I had no idea to look for something so tiny. I will be even more cautious of my 'lopes.

BTW, I still don't have any females, but you know I'll be screaming to update this thread when I do see 'em. Ewwww... I'm so excited!

Again, I'm sorry for the damage to yours now. I know you got a lot of great melons this season. I guess these boogers will attack the gardens of even the best gardeners who check every day. :-(

~Angela

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 11:43PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

I've been picking several good melons, and just found this damage over the weekend. Since I planted my fall stuff, I haven't been spending as much time looking for pests. Oh well, the leaves have powdery mildew on them, as well. I'm pulling the remainder this week.

EG

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:36AM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Wow, I'd forgotten this thread. I clicked on it to say I too have flowers as of this weekend. Male of course. Poor little plants don't know they're done for in a month or two when that frost hits. And temps are dropping into the low 50s at night now.

Oh, and EG, I understand as the season winds down, plants have given their all and can no longer defend against wilt and attack, so the get hit. Think of it as a natural progression. It's great you got fruit this year. More of the same the next.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 10:11AM
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carolynp(z7)

Hey EG? Do we have to pollinate our melons? I haven't grown any cantelope, but I had to help the bees with my pumpkins and watermelons.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 2:40PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Carolyn - you will need to treat them just like the other melons...hand pollinate, if necessary.

Sinfonian - yeah, I guess it was a success for the first year. Next year will be even better!

EG

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 4:21PM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

Well, I may not be the most patient person, but I thought I'd see ONE female bloom by now..... I'll keep inspecting them and try to be more patient....

~Angela

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 12:54PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Angela - I've got another photo for ya....I found this on some leaves this morning. Seems there was another pickle worm causing problems. This is what dripped out of a fruit.

EG

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 1:45PM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

Lord have mercy, that is disgusting! LOL

Okay.... I'm starting to get mad about these females flowers.... I didn't put all this work into these plants to only get males... I wonder if it's because I planted them so close together and now there's no hope at all to get fruit... ugggh...

This waiting is pure torture, I tell you....

~Angela

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 5:11PM
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angelady777 (was angelady on GW) - Zone 6(6)

For anyone wanting to follow up as this progresses, I've continued it under the thread linked below. :-)

~Angela

Here is a link that might be useful: First female flowers on my cantaloupes!!!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 7:01PM
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firebird1(7)

Hello: This is my first time to try to grow cantaloupes. I have one mature melon on two hills of plants. Many little ones come on, but I think they drop off because I never see them growing. What is going on?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 1:36PM
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kingsvoice

Hi, I'm new here but had a question about cantaloupes. I live in the Pacific Northwest (not cantaloupe country!) My male blossoms have been going crazy...but no females yet. It's mid July and our first frost is in mid October. Do I have a chance at getting cantaloupes this year?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 12:52PM
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jengc(7)

Firebird, it could be that they are not being pollinated. They start out looking like the beginnings of a melon but if they are not pollinated to REALLY make fruit, then they will look like they "died off" which really they did, but the true melon didnt.

Kingsvoice, if you get some females, then I personally would hand pollinate instead of waiting for the bees, then you will be sure that it is going to grow, and you know WHEN it started ya know? When you do that, do like EG said and count 6 weeks. You have a good 12 weeks from now til the middle of October. I think you have a GOOD chance of getting two complete harvests!

Here is a link that might be useful: Jen's Victory Garden Blog

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 2:22PM
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askid15

Hi guys my family is growing cantaloupes this year and i was wondering since we have lots of flowers and only a few cantaloupes. Does picking off some buds help make more cantaloupe?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 2:30PM
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susancol(7 Atlanta)

askid, no I don't think that will work. No need to prune anything, mother nature will do it for you. What EG was talking about was once a singe vine has 3-4 fruits on it, he snipped off the growing end of the vine, so that the vine put all it's energy into growing those fruits and not waste energy trying to grow more vine or additonal fruits. One vine can only support so much and if it set more fruits, they would likely wind up small and less tasty.

Does that help?
Susan

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 2:18PM
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askid15

Yeah that did help thanks susan. I guess we'll just see what the plant does. We already have 3 melons growing.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 4:57PM
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veronicajaramillo28_yahoo_com

Hi I planted some cantaloupes and I have severl different little plants coming out not sure why their different but if anyone has a picture. it would be helpful.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 2:10PM
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