Baby Cantaloupe (really a muskmelon)

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 | 1 comment

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If I’m lucky, this little bloom will grow into a delicious cantaloupe! I didn’t get it planted till late, but probably in time to still get plenty of melons if the raccoons don’t get them first. (The chew a nice hole in the rind then scoop out all the good stuff with those little clever paws…)

What I’ve always called a cantaloupe is actually a muskmelon, while true cantaloupes have a thick, warty skin and are more favored in Europe it seems.  But muskmelon sounds strange after a lifetime of cantaloupe…so cantaloupe it is.

Like most melons though, this bloom will need about eight visits from a bee if indeed it is to become a melon. I’ve noticed the bumblebees LOVE the blooms and roll around inside getting completely covered in pollen. Go bees go!

100_7498So this pic proves the bees did their work — another good reason to have flowers in the veggie garden is it entices the bees to stay close. Here you see a baby muskmelon/cantaloupe in progress. This pic was several days ago and it’s about twice that size now.

As usual, the vine is taking over an entire garden bed and now spreading out in the rows. One trick with raised beds is to plant it toward the end or edge of the bed, then run the vine out into the lawn to sprawl. You’ll need to put down mulch or landscape cloth under it or the grass underneath will get huge by the time the melons are ready. I’ve read about dwarf or bush vines, but haven’t tried them yet.

I’ve found this is a good way to kill the grass where I want to put a future garden bed – grow melons next door and use the spot as the vine-runner space over a newspaper+mulch or landscape-fabric covered area. By the end of the season, the grass/weeds underneath are dead and it’s ready to be worked into a bed once you remove the covering!  I tried a tarp once but, ooops, they don’t drain water and I had to put my cantaloupes on little life rafts after big rains…

Thanks for stopping by Larrapin – where we’ve had another whole day of soft rain and everything is SO happy about that!

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One Comment

  1. I should have taken a photo of our cantaloupe that had deer-size bites taken out of it while still on the vine. I picked it anyway and trimmed around the tooth-marks. Yes, butterfly photo is stunning!