Caring for Ripening Melons

Hold the front page – we have two Melons growing in the coldframe. I only noticed them after I came back from a weekend away. I must admit I had given up on the Melons. I planted them waaaay back in May and have been madly trying to pollinate the little blighters since. It seemed that nature was conspiring against me though. A male flower would open but no female. Then the next day a female flower would open but the male flower had withered and died – doh!

So I flailed around with my pollinating brush (a paintbrush to you and I), wildly dabbing here there and everywhere and crossing my fingers that something, somewhere had hit the right spot. It had. Two spots infact, as I have two tiny Melons about the size of an egg.

I checked in my books what to do next and dutifully snipped off the plant two leaves after each ripening Melon. I am also feeding them once a week with Tomato fertilizer, closing the lid at night and opening it on sunny days. Phew! this Melon growing business is hard work.

The only worry I have, and it’s a big one, is that they pollinated too late and they are too small to ripen in time. This is the first time I’ve grown Melons so I’m just over the moon to have any at all. I think I will let them fly and see how far I get with them. No doubt there will be photos if they ever ripen. Watch this space!

9 Comments on “Caring for Ripening Melons

  1. Good luck! I’m growing melons for the first time this summer as well – Ha-Ogen

  2. I planted my raised beds late this year and we’re diving into fall right now. I do love the crisp fall mornings (today is one of the first) but I am so hoping for what we call an Indian Summer, a nice spell of summer in the fall. I planted an heirloom canteloupe from seed and it has grown nicely, producing one fruit (two actually but the other never got bigger than a small grape) that is currently kiwi-sized. I have my doubts that it will be ready before it gets too cold but there’s no harm in leaving it to grow as much as it can, just for curiousity’s sake. There is a picture on my blog in one of my recent blog posts.

    I wish I had’ve planted sooner.

  3. oh well done – I managed to get two melons to grapefruit size one season. They tasted lovely. You can always put a plastic tunnel on them to give them a longer season. I put some stones under mine to stop them rotting.

  4. Jessica – omg you’re right. They have literally doubled in size since I wrote this post. Crazy!

  5. We planted 3 plants on raised beds late and have had a really terrible spring. We assumed they would die as many other plants did but no they grew.

    Our trick is to grown them through black garden plastic, making holes for the water to go down. Our crop – if all that are good sized make it will be about 10 per plant. We are 1500+ feet up.

    The thing is we grow the local melons. Galia or Cantaloupe and they have perfumed orange flesh. The ones we do not eat we ball and freeze. Wonderful for sore throats in the winter or slightly thawed and served with crystallised stem ginger for a winter dinner party treat.

    Unfortunately we managed over 800 small vine peaches from one tree and still have a load in the fridge for jam making tomorrow. The rest will go into the damsons (small bright blue plums – our first harvest from this little tree 2 years old) and wild plums. Our freezer is full of peaches but we are very remote so have stocked up for the winter.

    Once you start growing melons there will be no stopping you. Have you tried round courgette (zuchinni). Fantastic stuffed and baked – grown the same way with plastic (which breaks down and is garden friendly).

    I have to own up – I live in France but in the cool hills and not the hot holiday area. 4 raised beds and we never manage to eat it all and we give it away on a daily basis. Spinach planted 6 weeks ago – kilos of it anyone?

    The Fool on the Hill

  6. Hi, I’ve managed to grow one melon for the first time this year. and during its growing period I had to support it’s branch off the coldframe structure, there was another one but it only got to about a walnut size! Anyway the one that was successful I finally had to add some straw under it which seemed to do the trick, it’s now on the kitchen window sill ripening off nicely. I found somewhere the other day that discarded bras are good for melon support-in fact the lady said she was very glad to get a ‘Double D-perfect!