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ups and downs of melon season
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:23 am
The ups are that I planted six Minnesota Midgets inside one tomato cage and they did great, the melons grew up in the air and then dropped onto the ground when they ripened (deep mulch helped the landing). Total area used was about 2 sq feet.
The downs: I planted Hearts of Gold (HooDoo) not knowing that they stayed green when they ripened so by the time I checked most were rotted on the bottom. They were inside my "deer cage" in front of my corn, a small plot surrounded by high deer netting. The plants are dieing off and I don't think the other half will get to ripen.
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:04 am
What did you think about the flavor of the Minnesota Midgets? I grew them, Gold Star, and Honey Rock cantaloupes and the Midgets were my least favorite. They weren't bad, but not the sweet flavor the other 2 had. My girlfriend and her Mom loved the Midgets though. Just curious as to what you thought.
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:20 am
Both this year and last most were good to very good while a few were bland. I don't think that the best ones were quite as good as the best Hearts of Gold, but they were earlier plants so it is easy to live with the difference.
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:30 am
Ever try growing Honey Rock or Gold Star cantaloupes? The Rocks are only 3 pounders, but the fav of family that have eaten mine this year. VERY sweet if no watering while ripenning. The powdery mildew got the giant Gold Star plants before most fruits were done growing so I only got a few fully mature ones, but my biggest was 5 and a half pounds and fully netted. I took it to work and everyone loved it. It was my favorite of the 3 types. The Gold Star grew 10 foot vines up and back down my trellis and 2 plants put out over 30 fruits. Until the PM got them from huge rains and crazy humidity afterwards. I will grow Gold Star and Honey Rock again next year, but Midgets will only be grown in containers and the fruits will be given away.
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:52 am
No, I just started with melons last year. I didn't think I had room for them and then I found the Midgets. This year I made more room but didn't get around to ordering anything special so I picked up the HoG at the nursery when I got potting supplies. Not much selection at the time. There seem to be alot of interesting varieties out there (I want to try a green flesh) and I hear that the hybrids are alot sweeter than the OPs. Like tomatoes, garden grown melons are so much better than anything from the store.
Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:06 am
Your last sentence couldn't be anymore true. Have you tried melons on a trellis? My method was using large onion sacks to hold fruits. It is pretty slick I must say. A lot of work, but it's worth it. Example......... My Honey Rocks were last to harvest because I started them from seed in the ground in Michigan later than the rest. Started harvesting a week ago and just yesterday I saw that only one more of the bigger ones was left on the vine. I predicted it would pop off the vine while at work today. Sure enough, I get home around 7pm tonight and there it was sitting in it's onion sack off the vine instead of on the ground with animals and insects.
I will use onion sacks again next year on a trellis, but also plan on building another trellis with crossbars every 6 inches so I can place shelves on any crossbar anywhere left to right to place fruits on. I will save so much time by not having to cut sacks for each fruit and tying them to bars on the trellis. I'm leaning towards building the shelves to be concave in the middle so the fruits won't fall off. May have to make the shelves more cagelike?