Out the Front Door :: Melons

Snapshots and snippets of the beautiful, crazy world right out our front door.
If you’d like to share some of your own photos or a blog post,
please leave a link in the comments!

Melons1

Everett holds our first Prescott Fond Blanc Melon (above and below)

Melons2 Melons3

Banana melon really does look and taste like a banana! 

Do you grow melons?  If so, you probably can relate to the absolute wonder of walking out into your garden, picking a ripe melon, and letting its warm, sweet juice drip down your chin and fingers.

My garden in Oregon did not get full sun exposure because we lived in a narrow valley.  Plus, a year-round creek flowed through our backyard, making the garden micro-climate a bit cooler than our neighbors up the hill.  Melons and other hot weather crops were a real challenge to grow.  I was able to grow extremely small, short season cantaloupe in the greenhouse, which were certainly delicious, but not abundant.

I was so excited to try a variety of heirloom melons this summer.  The hot days and moderate nights, humidity, and full sun make for great melon growing conditions.  I selected over a dozen varieties from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and off they grew.

Selecting a ripe melon is still not something I excel at (for instance, the Prescott Fond Blanc above was a tad bit underripe), but my general understanding is that a ripe melon should be fragrant, the base should have a little “give” when pressed with your fingers, and the melon should slip easily from the vine.  The Banana melon grew to its enormous size within the first month, then sat there, unchanging for weeks, while I wondered when in the world it would be ripe. Suddenly, the color began to change from a light green to a light yellow, and finally to a bright yellow. The stem began to separate from the fruit, and a heavenly scent was noticeable.  In two days, it was ready to pick!

Next year, one of my goals is to create a larger space dedicated to melons.  I am hooked!

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What is happening out your front door?  Do share below!

8 thoughts on “Out the Front Door :: Melons

  1. Hello 🙂 I am new to your blog from Five Little Homesteaders. I am very inspired by your “radical” homesteading.

    We planted cantaloupes vertically (for space) this year (plain variety I think), and have LOVED having them literally fall off of the vine when they are ripe. We’ve had friends compare the sweetness to cotton candy. Your banana melon sounds fantastic!

    You can check out my blog http://www.elstonbackyardfarms.wordpress.com It’s new, so there isn’t too much content yet.

    • Great! I will check out your blog. Thank you!

      I did cattle panel arches this year for tomatoes, but I’m thinking next year they would work better for cukes and melons. Glad to hear that vertical melons works well for you!

      Thanks for saying hello!
      teri

  2. I’ve been growing watermelons and I love them. I’ve tried a cantaloupe and it didn’t turn out very sweet. You said you selected a dozen, can you do a post with your favorites? I will definitely try the banana melon next year, that sound GREAT!

  3. Nice melons! (no pun intended) Our melons and gourds aren’t quite ripe yet but are doing well. I find the trick to picking a ripe melon is in the feel of the skin. If they are ripe they will be very slightly soft to the touch yet firm. The outside surface about 1/16 to 1/8th of an inch will soften very slightly as they become ripe. This works well for cantaloups and watermelons at the market. Some melons are harder to analyze especially hybridized varieties since traits like size, sweetness and yield have been enhanced in their strains. In the garden I usually pick melons when the stem that attaches the melon to the plant has cracked or isn’t green anymore and the melon separates easily from the stem.

    We are a day late with our “out the front door”
    http://turnanewleafblog.wordpress.com/

    Henry

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