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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

SUPERmarket Cantaloupe - Melon on Day 51

Folks, we finally have a visible (and hopefully viable) melon on the plant grown from a supermarket cantaloupe seed!  I haven't actually seen it with my own eyes yet, but I can't wait to go home this weekend to see it for myself.

Considering that this plant started flowering (with just male flowers) more than three weeks ago, it has taken forever for the female flowers to show up.  Keith has been diligently combing over this plant for any signs of female flowers so that he could hand-pollinate them to ensure fruit set.  We had some doubts about his pollinating technique, after he told me that his hand-pollinated zucchini died, but doubt no more!  Keith is now a proud papa of our new cantaloupe baby.

August 15, 2010 (Day 51)

August 16, 2010 (Day 52)

The pictures are a bit blurry because they came from Keith's camera phone.  I wasn't sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me, but Keith said that this baby melon's size visibly increased in just one day.  If I remember correctly, I read somewhere on the Internet that cantaloupe typically takes about five weeks to reach maturity after fruit set.  So our target melon tasting date is sometime around mid-September.

Initially, I thought that I would be happy just to get one melon out of this plant, just to see if I could grow it.  But now that I have one, I'm wondering how many more I could get to grow on this plant.  Such is human nature, eh? 

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30 comments:

Heather@myeverydaygraces said...

Minji, It really does look bigger. Sometimes I think that if I watched long enough I would be able to see the zucchini grow... maybe melon is the same. Looking forward to hearing what it tastes like:)

Stefaneener said...

That makes complete sense, wanting more. It's the way we roll. Good work on at least one, though.

Annie's Granny said...

Congratulations to the happy new parents! May your melon grow fat and sweet.

zentmrs said...

It does look bigger! Funny how fast things grow once they get started. Thanks for sharing!

thyme2garden said...

Heather, I have thought the same about my zucchini, too. It would be really fun to watch a time-lapse video of these fruits growing.

* * * * *
Stefaneener - Thank you!

* * * * *
Granny - Thanks for your lovely blessing! We can't wait for our baby to grow up... so we can EAT it!!!

Dirt Lover said...

Oh, I just wonder what the announcements will look like. Make sure you have good lighting for the newborn pictures, ok??
~~Lori

The Apple Pie Gal said...

It's cheeks did get chubbier! Yeah!

Olga said...

How cute your baby cantaloupe is ;-)

Alea said...

How fun! They really do grow overnight! I love that you refer to it as a baby cantaloupe; my husband is always teasing me for personifying my "baby" plants. :D

Engineeredgarden said...

Yep. 5 weeks after fruitset - but make sure and let it become detached from the vine by itself...Congrats!

thyme2garden said...

zentmrs - You're welcome!

* * * * *
Dirt Lover - I will definitely remember that when the time comes!

* * * * *
The Apple Pie Gal - Thanks for noticing!

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Olga - Thank you for the compliment!

* * * * *
Alea - we refer to our vegetables as babies all the time now. :)

* * * * *
Engineeredgarden - thank you for that confirmation, and I will keep that advice in mind about letting it detach from the vine by itself. I've seen pictures, so I know what to look for!

Faith Kolean said...

Oh a home grown melon. So delicious. And on a sort of free seed too!

Greenearth said...

Great to see your melon growing so quickly.

You asked about the taste of paw paws on my blog. They a sweet tasting fruit with a soft, even texture that is easy to eat or to blend.

Angela said...

Congratulations for your successful hand pollination! I also went everyday combing my melons plants over looking for female flowers. I did this until the bees deigned show up at my melon patch. They do a better job than i do.

vrtlarica said...

I never thought that it is possible to grow melon out of seed from store bought one. Instead of buying seed for next year, I will just save some when I buy melon next time.
Congratulations and I wish you a warm and sunny August and September so it can grow into a big juicy melon.

Autumn Belle said...

This is sweet reward for Keith's hard work. Congratulations on the new 'baby'! Thank you for following my blog. I am highlighting your blog on my sidebar this week.

Mr. H. said...

How fun, a couple of my favorite tomatoes and peppers grown from seed originally came from the supermarket and a farmers market. It's a fine looking melon.:)

thyme2garden said...

Faith Kolean - sort of free seed is right! If this experiment really works out and I end up with nice tasting melon, then I should go buy one more melon this year to collect lots of seeds, so that I can sow more seeds much earlier in the season next year. Well, I say that now, not really thinking about how we don't have enough space for a large melon patch... It's fun to think about, though!

* * * * *
Greenearth - Thank you! Your paw paw sounds delicious.

* * * * *
Angela - Thank you! I'm sure the bees do a better job than we do, but they gotta show up first, like you said!

* * * * *
vrtlarica - the only unknown at this point is if this melon will grow true to its parent, or it will be different enough (as a F2 hybrid) to not taste good. Only time will tell!

* * * * *
Autumn Belle - Thank you so much!

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Mr. H. - thank you! I hope to have more supermarket experiments next year. Tomatoes and peppers will definitely be on the list!

Thomas said...

Good luck! I hope he grows and ripens up nicely!

thyme2garden said...

Thomas - thank you! I really hope so, too!

Julie said...

Paying you a return visit although i should confess i've been here before. Nice looking grow closet you two have ; ) Melon is looking good too! Here's to many more. A hui hou.

kitsapFG said...

Squash and melons really do seem to grow virtually overnight. I am always astounded at how fast the pumpkins size up after just being an immature fruit needing pollination. Congratulations on your supermarket melon success.

thyme2garden said...

Julie - thanks for visiting, again. Aloha!

* * * * *
kitsapFG - Thank you! We've had a terrible time with squash during this first year, with just one zucchini fruit surviving from three plants, before the rest all died from powdery mildew. Maybe we'll try different varities of summer and winter squash next year.

Jami @An Oregon Cottage said...

I get such a smile out of your cantaloupe updates. ;-) Thanks!

thyme2garden said...

Jami, I'm so glad you find them enjoyable! Thanks for keeping up!

Prairie Cat said...

Congrats! That's pretty cool that you'll be getting fruit from something from the grocery store. Hopefully you'll get more melons set onto it soon!

thyme2garden said...

Prairie Cat - thank you! Keith told me that there's a second much smaller melon on the plant, although it's growing slower and irregularly shaped. He has dubbed it "Tardo."

RandomGardener said...

Wow, you are such a hard working pair of gardeners! Hand pollination? I have never done that, even when my flowers kept wilting and falling off. Eventually, they set fruit anyways!

Baby Cantelope is sooooo... cute :-) Did you name him/her yet?

Lou Murray's Green World said...

Nice baby melon. If the melons in the grocery store or farmer's market were heirloom varieties, not hybrids, their seeds will breed true. If they were hybrids, who knows what you'll get. Have fun, that's one more melon than I have.

thyme2garden said...

RandomGardener - if I had enough faith in our plants/flowers that they will do what they are supposed to do, then maybe I would be hands-off, but I don't! :)

* * * * *
Lou Murray - we'll have to wait and see how this baby melon actually turns out so we can guess if we started out with an heirloom or a hybrid. We'll let you all know when the time comes!

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