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Cantaloupe…Dad’s Got the Car


Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. “Can’t elope, Dad’s got the car” for those who aren’t as punny as me.

Anyway, I was in my garden the other day looking at a cantaloupe I had growing in my garden. I’ve pretty much given up on trying to grow melons in my yard even though I love them. This plant is in my garden because the seed happened to be in my compost and sprouted. I’ve just never had good luck with melons with very few fruits developing, despite good vine growth, and even fewer of them getting to ripeness before they rot or are eaten by something (everything loves melons it seems). But I was hoping.

Cataloupe

According to veggie guides keeping the melon from direct contact with the soil is important in good ripening and I’ve seen a number of suggestions  for what to use including wax paper, plant pots or growing the vines on a trellis. I tried wax paper last year, but the ants ate right through it.

So I was keeping an eye on my cantaloupe as it ripened. It didn’t look quite ready yet, but when I was looking at it on Friday I decided to turn it over to see if it was still intact. As you can see it wasn’t.

Cnataloupe with Some Rot

I was, of course, disappointed, but I took it in to see if any of it was salvagable. Again, as you can see, most of it was. I just cut out the rotted section and ate the rest. It was delicious.

Halved Cantaloupe

There are a few lessons I think to take from this experience.

1. Some veggies and fruits are more difficult to grow than others and when you are planning your garden it’s important to take that into account. How much of your limited garden space do you want to take up with a plant that might not give you a good yield? If yield is not your first priority then give it a shot, otherwise you might want to try something else.

2. Your garden may not give you everything you want, but it will almost always give you something. And taking what you get is perhaps a good lesson in general.

3) If you really want that veggie, keep trying. I haven’t tried growing my cantaloupes on trellises yet but maybe I’ll try it next year. Research is also helpful in trying to figure out why you might be having trouble. A quick perusal of one of my garden bibles gives a bunch of tips on increasing yield and more successful ripening which I’ll try if I decide to grow melons next year.

Just remember, in gardening there’s always more to learn and something else to try.

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