Monday, August 17, 2009


I've never been a big fan of cantaloupe or muskmelons. I pick the big orange chunks out of fruit salad, and never voluntarily purchase one. David loves these melons, though, and I bought a single "Hale's Best" Muskmelon from Buchanan's for him. Since mid-April when I planted the tiny seedling, it has spread in all directions and produced gorgeous big green leaves. However, like the Charleston Gray watermelon vines nearby, there was not a single fruit by the end of July. I started looking for female flowers, and found two right next to each other at the tip of the vine. The vine had grown over and through our poblano pepper plants, and with some difficulty I managed to free the poblano plant. I then hand-pollinated both female flowers, using two male flowers per female just to be safe.

About a week has passed, and this morning I was out checking the muskmelon plant for female flowers. As usual, lots of male flowers without a single female. I found the two females I pollinated last week and both are now tiny muskmelons. They have become entangled in the poblano plants again, with their tendrils twisted firmly around the stems. The poblano branches are already being weighed down quite a bit despite the fact that the baby melons are only a few ounces each. I am going to leave them alone as the melons grow, and hope they find their way back to the ground as they get big and heavy. Once again, hand-pollination has done the trick.

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