Saturday, July 24, 2010

Melons Update - Charantais, Thai, Sugar Baby and Sweet Delight

watermelon and gourd
Thai watermelon and an edible Calabash gourd

I have a feeling this will be a good year for melons. They seem to be thriving under the consistently dry and hot weather conditions we've had so far this summer. The watermelons in particular are pumping out fruit like crazy. Hopefully the rodents and insects stay away long enough for them to ripen. Losing one Charantais melon so far has been bad enough!

Charantais Melon
Charantais melon one week ago...

Charantais Melon 2
...the same Charantais melon today. It's about the size of a coconut. I wonder how much longer I'll have to wait until it ripens. Earlier today, I did some research on that. Apparently, you should pick a Charantais melon at leaf turn - that is, when the leaf closest to the fruit (the small bright green leaf to the right of the melon above) changes from green to a pale tan.

Thai Watermelon
Thai Watermelon - Out of all the melons I'm growing this summer, these plants seem to be the most productive so far. I must admit, I know very little about this particular variety. The seed was given to me by my blogging buddy, Winnie. I currently have about 5 fruits ranging from 4 to 8 inches long but have no idea of how large they will eventually get.

Sugar Baby watermelon one week ago...

Sugar Baby Watermelon
...the same Sugar Baby watermelon today. I'm really impressed by how quickly they are growing. This one is about the size of a cantaloupe. Apparently, a watermelon is ripe when the tendril closest to the melon dies back. Hopefully that won't be more than a couple of weeks away. To be able to pick a melon in early August in our climate would be a nice treat.

Female Honeydew Flower
My Sweet Delight honey dew melons are having a rather difficult time setting fruit. None of the female flowers produced earlier this month pollinated properly. However, the plants are currently producing a second round of female flowers. As such, I was out this morning hand pollinating all of them with a fine artist brush. I'm praying that this works.

On a final note, it seems that all of my melons are producing another round of female flowers right now. To have both an early and late crop of melons this summer would be awesome!


  1. Looking good, Thomas! I'm having trouble getting fruitset on honeydew, too. I sure hope they get on with it, because they're running out of time.

  2. Your melons look so pretty!! Hope no rodents or bugs get to them!

  3. Those melons can grow pretty fast. They must like it there very much. I’m very interested to see will hand pollination work, as I would try growing them in the greenhouse next year.

  4. I wish I had planted some melons this year. I don't remember a summer as good as this one for them.

  5. I agree, this seems like a great summer for melons. The best I have had so far in the past three years. I too worried about my Charantais as I couldn't seem to find any fruit in the jungle of vines. I finally spotted some yesterday. Maybe this melon sets fruit much later than the others?

    Knowing when the Charantais and Sugar Baby are ripe is going to be a challenge for me as well. I like that the Fast Break melons practically fall off the vine when ripe.

  6. All the melons look great! You might be waiting a while for that sugar baby - I blogged about mine looking dark green and ripe almost a month ago and we are still waiting! The vine is still green and firmly attached, I am really hoping SOON! (especially since we found out we don't like canteloupe! That was the first melon to ripen fully here, we have had 2 now to give away :))

  7. Thomas, like your melons, I'm green (with envy). Very impressive, as mine have yet to set fruit due to our very cool June and early July.

    You may want to give Blacktail Mountain Watermelon a try next year. It's the most reliable melon I've ever grown, seed source SSE, and Baker Creek.

    Here's a link to a post about it:

  8. My mouth is watering!

    You are going to have melons up the whazoo, my boy! (er, sorry, poetic's the heat index)

  9. Thomas, they look WONDERFUL!!

  10. Nice melons. Hee hee hee! They look so yummy!!

  11. The melons look great! Thanks for the tip on when to harvest charentais - we have one about the same size as yours and I've been starting to wonder when it might be harvestable.

  12. You've got some good looking melons Thomas :)

  13. Congratulations. They're looking great! :)

  14. Thanks for you comments everyone!

    EG - I'm crossing my fingers too!

    Grafixmuse - I think I'll try a fastbreak variety next year too.

    Erin - You don't like cantaloupe???? That's crazy talk!

    Tom - I spied Blacktail mountain on the SSE website earlier this year but didn't get it. I'll definitely grow it next year though! Thanks for the suggestion!

  15. Nice melons, looks like you'll have a good harvest this summer.
    I don't have space to grow watermelon, I'll be interested to know how your watermelons taste.