Tuesday, August 10, 2010

SUPERmarket Cantaloupe Update

Remember my SUPERmarket cantaloupe experiment, where I planted the seeds from a plain ol' melon I bought at the grocery store?  I'm happy to report that the one plant transplanted into a five gallon bucket has been thriving with lots of flowers.  It's kind of hard to see all the flowers with the sun shining from behind, but trust me, they are there! 

 August 7, 2010 (Day 43)

If you would like to see the pictures from Day 7 to Day 30, please click here.

Unfortunately, most of the flowers are still just male flowers.  Ladies, it's time to join the melon party!

Actually, Keith did spot one female flower last week, but it must not have gotten properly pollinated, because all I saw was the evidence of a shriveled up dead flower when I came back last weekend.  I'm hoping that was just the beginning and that we will get more female flowers soon.  We still have about 9 weeks left of the growing season before the first average frost date here in zone 5b, so I'm really hoping that we can get at least one or two melons out of this plant before then.

If only "hoping" made everything work out in the garden!

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Robin said...

Hopefully the plant will set fruit! It will be interesting to see what your get

Prairie Cat said...

Just came across your blog. It's fun to read about another person just starting to garden as I'm going through it myself.

My cantaloupe has just starting setting male flowers, and there are no signs of a female yet. My watermelon have set fruit, which I attribute to hand pollinating them. There are so many male flowers compared to females that when I see a tiny fruit, I use multiple males (if not all) to pollinate it.

I try to stay diligent because, man, I want some homegrown melon before frost hits, too!

thyme2garden said...

Robin - I'm so curious myself, to see 1) if I would get a fruit at all, and 2) how much it would resemble the parent melon, considering that it was probably a hybrid.

* * * * *
Prairie Cat - thank you for finding and reading my blog! While it's nice to connect with more experienced gardeners for wise advice, it's also fun to connect with other newbie gardeners to share the first time experience. Is that like being teenagers and going through puberty together? Hmm, no, maybe not, I don't wish to relive that time of my life again...

Anyway, from what I have read, male flowers almost always show up first before female flowers on all these cucurbits. Your idea of hand-pollinating female flowers with multiple male flowers is ingenious. Spread the wealth, increase your odds, just in case some male flowers are shooting blanks? :-)

Lexa said...

thanks for visiting my blog! I can get into my garden two ways. For daily entering/exiting, the black netting is attached to small gold hooks that are stuck into the side of the house. I just unhook the netting and walk in. When I really need to get into the garden, like with a wheelbarrow, the white PVC piping is just set over rebar pounded into the ground. The PVC pipes can be lifted off the rebar and the whole netting system can be laid down on the ground. It works pretty good for a cheap, very effective fence that keeps out both big critters and small. While the white PVC is a bit of an eyesore, the black netting pretty much dissapears.

Erin said...

Look at those huge leaves!

~Holly~ said...

Nicely done with the melons!! I planted my first melon this year (store bought). I saved some seeds from a wonderful Tuscan Melon I had this summer so maybe next year I'll plant some by seed. Glad to see it worked out for you!

thyme2garden said...

Lexa - that's a pretty clever fence you got there!

* * * * *
Erin - but I can't eat the leaves! :)

* * * * *
Holly - I got the part about growing the plant down, but the actual melons have yet to materialize out of this plant, so I'm still holding my breath. Hope you can grow the Tuscan Melon from seed next year!

Anonymous said...

Another great experiment! And I keep my fingers crossed to be a successful one. If it will be late in season and it gets cold, you can always bring the plant inside. So it is very smart to have it in a bucket rather than in a garden.

And it looks very happy and healthy.

abigail said...

looks great!
Our butternut squash had nothing but male flowers for what seemed like months and I was convinced they were defective or something. But then almost overnight tons and tons of female flowers and giant gorgeous squash. Hope the same happens with your melons!

meemsnyc said...

I have the same problem happening with some squash plants. We only see male flowers. I had saved the seeds from an acorn squash. I hope they produce some female flowers soon. Do you know if you can eat the blossoms of any kind of squash blossoms or only off the zucchini plant?

Engineeredgarden said...

That's pretty cool! I sure hope something develops from it...

Jami @An Oregon Cottage said...

It's fun to follow this experiment- keep us updated on this and your garden progress at the Tuesday Garden Party (please remember to provide a link to the party so others can join in, too!). Thanks for sharing!

zentmrs said...

My garden would look incredible if "hope" made it grow! Good luck with your melons - thanks for sharing!

thyme2garden said...

vrtlarica - thank you for your support! I didn't even think about this plant being mobile in the bucket, but that's definitely a possibility if it gets too cold too quickly!

* * * * *
abigail - thanks for telling me about your squash and giving me hope!

* * * * *
meemsnyc - I hope you get some female flowers soon, too! All squash flowers (summer and winter) and even all cucurbit flowers (melons, cucumbers, etc.) are all edible, just like zucchini flowers.

* * * * *
engineeredgarden - I sure hope so! I'm hoping that my next melon update will include a big fat melon. Who am I kidding, I would even settle for a small baby melon.

* * * * *
Jami - thank you for following!

* * * * *
zentmrs - no kidding, only if "hope" played a bigger role in all of our gardens' successes!

Rosey said...

I hope you do get some melons from this. What a fun experiment! I can't tell the difference between male and female flowers. I am pretty sure that makes me a novice.

thyme2garden said...

Rosey, thank you! When I first started gardening this year, didn't know the difference between male and female flowers, or even that there was a difference on cucurbit plants. The male flowers grow on a skinny stem. The female flowers also grow on a stem, but there is a teeny tiny embryo fruit attached at the base of the flower that will get bigger if that female flower gets pollinated. If the female flower does not get pollinated, then the little baby fruit will get yellow, shrivel up and die.

Ottawa Gardener said...

I've had many successful supermarket seed saves. One memorable one was from spaghetti squash. I couldn't for the life of me rememeber what it was that I had started until I opened up the squash.

thyme2garden said...

Ottawa Gardener - I hope I have the same luck as you did with your supermarket seed saves!

Isabella Baby said...

A great start for you! Your blog is certainly fun to read. I will definitely love to read about how these ex-Californians will make a great journey in gardening in Indianapolis! LOL. Thanks for sharig this post! More please!

thyme2garden said...

Hello Isabella Baby - thanks for your nice words! I have now written about my supermarket cantaloupe growing experience in four different posts, I feel like I've talked it to death! The latest update was posted this morning, dated 8/24/10, if you'd like to read about it.

melanie plush said...

Congratulations on your melons! My melons have a problem like that too. I just hope that they can produce female flowers next week. I can’t wait to have my dessert with my melon fruits. LOl.

rose plated said...

Congratulation to you for having a great cantaloupe plant and for a surprise it is your first time in gardening. I am amazed on you. When I was in my first time also I have planted cantaloupe but I didn’t have success on that good for you that you easily grow it in just one attempt.


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