Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waiting for Lupe the Cantaloupe

Well, I was really hoping that Lupe would be ready to harvest by now, but apparently she has other ideas.

According to my own post about When to Harvest Cantaloupe, she is not ready because 1) the melon is still more green than beige, 2) the melon does not smell sweet at all; it lacks all smell actually, and most importantly, 3) the melon is not showing any signs of slipping from the vine yet.  I guess what they say about muskmelons taking an average of five weeks from the initial fruit set to reach maturity is exactly that: just an average estimate. It has now been 5 1/2 weeks since Lupe first showed up on the plant, but she is definitely not ready for harvest.

You can see in this close-up picture that the part of the melon attached to the vine still looks very much attached, with no signs of slipping.

Sigh... I guess I'll wait another week (or more) until Lupe looks more ready.  No point in harvesting an unripe melon, right?  The good news is that our strange Indiana weather is still warm enough for a few more melon growing days.  The day time highs are mostly in the 90s this week (hot!) and in the 70s next week.  I hope Lupe will be ready to harvest before the end of the month.


vrtlarica said...

Lupe is getting very big. Will you have enough warm weather for it to ripen?

Sandy said...

Your melon is just beautiful and I love that you named her Lupe.... I tried growing melon but it rained so much that they drowned..Thanks for your visit to my blog and yes, your question on starting a ginger plant from purchasing a ginger root from the market.. I did just that and it grew! Two other species were plants from a garden store. I have a really large woody yard as they need lots of space and multiply each year....
I read through your blog and so enjoy your tips..

Mary said...

Lovely melon, I'm impressed! I am your new follower, lovely blog. I like the idea of rooting basil, so I'll try that,since ours is still growing strong. I've never been successful at growing indoors though. Probably because I don't have a good light source. Thanks for the new project idea. I'll be back!

Also, thanks for the comment on my muffin recipe too. :)

Sherri B. said...

Wow, Lupe has gotten so big! Are you still watering? There are some fruits that the growers stop watering to make them sweeter, I know some people do that with their tomatoes. Maybe it would help ripen faster, just a thought.

Engineeredgarden said...

Yeah, the "5 weeks thing" isn't set in stone, and the slip method isn't always accurate, either. Melons are just plain weird, in my book.

Sara said...

Lupe looks like an Ambrosia, but anyway, you are right. There will be a slight yellowing and the stem will crack away from the fruit. Good thing you have a sling there to catch her! Garden On!!!

thyme2garden said...

vrtlarica - I hope so! This week, the highs are in 80-94F (26-35C), and next week the highs cool down to 70F (21C). I'm anxious to see if this Lupe will ever ripen.

* * * * *
Sandy - thank you! It is our first and only melon this year (unless the Twin gets bigger), so we thought it was only appropriate to name it.

* * * * *
Mary - thank you! I really enjoy garden projects and experiments, and it makes me happy if even just one other person finds something useful for their own situation.

* * * * *
Sherri B - we've cut back on watering a lot for that exact same reason. Hope we're somewhere in the right ballpark.

* * * * *
EG - Don't call our Lupe weird! :-)

* * * * *
Sara - Well, Lupe grew from a seed from a supermarket melon, so it's very likely that she's a hybrid. Or rather, her parent melon was likely a hybrid, so that would make her a F2 hybrid?

Dan Owen said...

Poor Lupe will one day become the main guest at a meal. I sure hope he tastes good.

thyme2garden said...

Dan Owen - after all this effort I spent on growing this one melon, I sure hope she's tasty. I'll be so disappointed (but not discouraged!) if she does not turn out edible.

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