Category Archives: Cantaloupe

Those Volunteer Cantaloupe Are Ready To Harvest

Originally published Summer 2011

Those volunteer cantaloupe that popped up in the composted horse manure were harvested.  The first 3 are picked.

The first 3 volunteer cantaloupe

They are not very large or uniform. I am assuming they were hybrid, store bought cantaloupe. I am saving the seed, however, because the vines are vigorous even though the fruit is small. This is a better result than I got the first time I planted seeds from store bought cantaloupes, some 30 years ago. Those were softball sized freaks that never rippened. I am not disappointed that I allowed these sprouts to grow and mature. There are still vines growing here and there all over the garden, along with more fruit on these first volunteer vines.

Cut up melons

The largest melon was nice sized, but it wasn’t as sweet as the smaller one. Perhaps I should have let it ripen another day?

I saved the seeds, separating the seeds of the larger melon from the seeds of the smaller melon. I may never plant them, but I’ll keep them for several years. The vines were very vigorous – totally
outperforming my heirloom melons – that is why I believe they are a commercial hybrid.

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Volunteer Cantaloupe Update

Originally published Summer 2011

As I mentioned in a previous post, these volunteer cantaloupe/melons have sort of frustrated me in that they are growing beautifully and fruitfully without any visible pest problems.  There must be at least 6 fruits that are at least baseball or softball size.  Here is a closeup of 2 growing closely together.

These 2 are baseball sized.

Two volunteer cantaloupes

The plants are growing like crazy, shooting branches out all over and no pest problems visible.  The leaves are beautiful, unblemished green.  For years, I have struggled with trying to get a good muskmelon harvest, but these free spirits just popped up out of the horse manure and kept on growing and growing.  My other melons – the ones that I purposely planted in the garden – those few plants that survived the cutworms and whatever else got most of them, seem to be doing OK, but not nearly as good as these volunteers.  Time will tell whether these are some hybrid, unedible freak, or whether they are good and edible.  If they are OK, I’ll plan on saving the seed and trying next year.

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