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more sugar baby questions

Posted by steve_in_los_osos CA 10a/Sunset 17 (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 24, 12 at 13:34

Yes, another one. So is this melon ripe? It's been way more than 85 days since setting the plant out, but I live in a cool marine climate. There's a small yellowish spot underneath but no real change in leaves or tendrils near the melon. There are, however, prominent ridges (which may not be visible because of all the dew) which are absent in a smaller melon that set much later. far I've picked nearly every cantaloupe at the wrong time. I'd hate to waste this baby considering how difficult it is to just grow one period in this climate.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: more sugar baby questions

Nice melon. Can't go by the yellow spot, the tendril is a much better indicator. Is it the only one on the vine? It doesn't look quite ripe to me yet, but it's getting close. I can see the ridges even though it's got dew on it, but it still looks a little too smooth and shiny. And even if it's close to being ripe, leaving it on another week won't hurt it a bit. Try and wait until the tendril dries if you can. Way more than 85 days? Are you sure? How much way more?

RE: more sugar baby questions

I scratch melon’s skin with my nails. If green skin gets under your nails, the melon is ripe;
if the nails slip on the surface, the melon is not ripe.
NOT a scientific method, but always worked well for me.

RE: more sugar baby questions

That plant went in the ground at the end of March and spent at least one month under row cover (maybe more--at least until flowering). There is a second, smaller melon but it might be on the adjacent plant--too crowded to tell.

You have to understand that "days to harvest" don't mean much here, especially with heat-loving crops. A "hot" day here is pushing into the mid-70's and we have frequent marine clouds (like today). I have to use every trick in the book to grow tomatoes, eggplants, melons, cukes, etc.

A guy likes a little challenge :-)

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