Will melons ripen with damaged stems?
This year I am growing two types of melon: tasty bites and minnesota midget. The minnesota midget are not so midget this year however. I had saved seeds from them previously and although they are larger than previous years, they still look like muskmelon. I have harvested two of the tasty bites when they "slipped" from the vine and they tasted pretty ripe.
I have one minnesota midget that is looking pretty ripe based on color, but is still not "slipping" at all. The stem of the melon has damage that I am thinking is from cucumber beetles. It looks like brown rough scar tissue covering the stem, but the stem has not broken down or detached and is still holding the melon firm. Quite a few of the melon stems look like this too, but none of the melons have rotted or anything. Is this like girdling a tree, and the melons are not actually getting anything from the plant anymore? Or does it just slow down growth and ripening of the melon? Or is it just cosmetic as long as the melons are still attached and not rotting.
I have found some cucumber beetles on the plants, but I wouldn't call it an infestation. Some vines are wilting, but it may be from the extreme heat and dryness as well. I tried the test of cutting some of the vines to check for "stickiness" from bacterial wilt and it seemed fine to me.
Any advice would be appreciated.