Post last updated: October 10th, 2018

I’m not one of those city slickers who think food comes from the grocery store. I have my own vegetable garden. So does Mr. Beekeeper. I get my eggs and honey from Mr. Beekeeper. Red raised pigs for food before she moved away.

Still, I’m not claiming to be a farmer other than that veggie patch and a few trash cans drilled full of holes for making compost. Every now and then, I dump the compost into the vegetable patch and spread it around. Sometimes I don’t get around to spreading it and volunteers pop up. This spring, the volunteers were tomatoes and unidentifiable curcurbits. All those curcurbit leaves look alike, you know.

I transplanted all of the curcurbits to provide more space for each plant but it was still a jungle of leaves and vines. The curcurbits eventually proved to be cucumbers and cantaloupes.

At least once in the past 5 years, I tried to grow cantaloupes from seed. The results were unremarkable. The compost volunteers, however, have been quite the success. Technically, these are my first cantaloupes and they came with a city slicker’s surprise. Did you know cantaloupes do not have all that rough netting on the melon when they first show up on the vine? I had no idea those babies came out nekkid as in shiny, pastel green with dark green ribs.

Naked baby cantaloupe and juvenile cantaloupe
Naked baby cantaloupe and juvenile cantaloupe

Only when the melon matures to 4 or 5 inches in diameter does the netting begin to form. Who would have thunk it?

Netting begins to form on cantaloupe
Netting begins to form on cantaloupe

I am having some mysterious implosion problems with the cantaloupes. At the 3″ diameter stage, whether hanging from the garden trellis or lying on the ground, POOF! The cantaloupe implodes or explodes. I never seem to be around when this happens so I have no idea why it is happening. So far, it’s hit or miss.

Luckily, I didn’t lose the entire crop. Well, “crop” might be an over-statement but one cantaloupe made it out of the garden without imploding. It needed salt to make it have any taste so I’m guessing it was missing a vital mineral ingredient.

I want to know how many of you knew that juvenile cantaloupes have no netting?

23 thoughts on “NAKED CANTALOUPES”

  1. Dear Chairlady – You had me at nekkid. I have also had more success with surprise melons, then the ones intentionally planted. I did know about the netting, but I didn’t know about that technical term. Is that for real? or did you make it up? PS – I got my package – yeah! I LOVE your creative envelope, maybe you could post a tutorial?

    1. Kim – These melons fell into your category of “surprise” melons since they came up in the compost pile. Tutorial on calendar photo envelopes? Naw, don’t think there would be much interest in that. I can’t stand a plain white envelope so I just cut up old calendars/magazine pages/wrapping paper and lay an envelope template over them, trace the template, cut out the calendar envelope, score the edges that will fold, fold it together, and glue with a Tombow mono tape runner gadget in permanent adhesive. I’ll email you an envelope template in PDF. You should print it out on cardstock but if you can figure out how to print on transparency, the clear envelope templates are easier to align to get the best parts of the image on the front of your envelope.

      1. Oh my yes, do share, I do have transparency paper, and your instructions already went over my head and I’m lost.
        Compost melons – kinda has a special ring to it doesn’t it – maybe not a good one…

  2. Did not know that! I always learn from you…maybe you need to have your own show! I want my own show…

  3. It’s possible you’re not picking them ripe if they have no taste. Of course it’s also possible you have a bad (tasting) variety. As for the splitting, that’s more of a genetic thing than anything else. Those that have the problem they claim you can lessen the impact by making sure they don’t get over watered. Personally, unless it has some exceptional taste, I just avoid the ones that tend to split. The charentais types tend to be bad both about not slipping from the vine (so it’s more difficult to tell when they’re ripe) and about splitting.

    Also, just for the record, some muskmelons (cantaloupes are a type of muskmelon, and what we call “cantaloupe” in the store isn’t really a cantaloupe) do taste bad. I’ve had some bland, I’ve had one that tasted like dirt. Literally. Pulled all of them up and fed them to the chickens. Thankfully, the bad tasting ones are in the minority in my experience, but they do exist. Just try a different variety. Crane, Jake’s Melon, Crenshaw, Orange Flesh Honeydew and many others I’ve found to taste pretty good.

    1. Gene – My tasteless cantaloupe came out of the compost pile so it must have been a grocery store variety. Sorry to hear the Charentais are imploders because they supposedly taste really good. Something I subscribe to had a list of 10 mini-melons that I typed up for future use; it included “bush” melons. I don’t like all these messy vines. Always glad when you jump in with a response. You are a better veggie gardener than me.

  4. My Dad raised melons, so yes, I knew that by observation; but hadn’t thought about it in years! I have never had great luck growing cantaloupes. It will be interesting to read if there are guesses behind the im/exploding melons!

  5. Linda, I am sitting here looking at the envelope you had sent me and was wondering about how you made it, just like Coral Cottage Kim was wondering about it.
    I loved the big blue and white Butterfly that was used for the envelope. You sure make getting mail interesting. Thanks so much.

  6. You are amazing. You teach us about melon netting and then how to make envelopes from old magazines.

  7. A bit off topic here: I came across a comment of yours regarding vintage typewriters. My bf would love one, but where could I get the ribbons. Would you mind telling me where you got your typewriter cleaned and the ribbons.

    1. Marie – I live in Jacksonville, Florida. On U.S. 17 across from Kent Campus on Plymouth Street is McDavid Typewriters. He cleaned my vintage typewriter and I bought a ribbon from him. I don’t know where you live but my best suggestion is to try to find someone who does typewriter repairs. Those kind of guys are far and few between these days.

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