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Vegetable Gardening: North Carolina Giant Cantaloupe

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CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

August 2, 2012
7:51 AM

Post #9226980

It's going to the scale today at lunch time. Hoping for 40 lbs...

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HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 2, 2012
8:32 AM

Post #9227015

I hope it tastes good.
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

August 2, 2012
12:32 PM

Post #9227276

I do too!!!!!


45 pounds of fun right there.

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HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 3, 2012
7:56 AM

Post #9228094

When I looked at your first photo, I thought the melon was hanging on a wall under its own weight, but then I turned my head sideways and realized it's sitting on a scale.

Did you cut into it yet?
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

August 3, 2012
7:58 AM

Post #9228097

Wow, that is one huge cantaloupe. I tried to grow those one year, they didn't like Texas.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 3, 2012
8:04 AM

Post #9228107

Calalily - okay - can't resist...

I thought everything was bigger in Texas! LOL
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

August 3, 2012
10:11 AM

Post #9228217

LOL

yes, it has been cut. strong cantaloupe aroma. great flavor, medium sweetness.

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HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 3, 2012
10:23 AM

Post #9228228

CricketsGarden - are you saving seeds?
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

August 3, 2012
12:24 PM

Post #9228359

Honeybee, only the bugs are bigger!

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 3, 2012
12:44 PM

Post #9228389

We do have a couple of Texas grown cantaloupes that are really large, I haven't seen any at 45#, but I haven't liked the flavor nor the meat! Yours looks really good! Now, how long does it take to find ways to store them?
CricketsGarden
Nauvoo, AL
(Zone 7a)

August 4, 2012
7:36 AM

Post #9229196

I ended up with about a gallon of chopped cantaloupe out of that one.
The only storage method I know of is freezing.
The texture of the meat was just like a regular cantaloupe.

I saved the seed and counted them out. They are sitting in piles of 10 to 12 seeds each waiting on envelopes to come in the mail so I can store the seeds. Ended up with 2000 seeds.

The temps were extremely hot here during that cantaloupes peak growth. Heat index was around 115 off and on and slightly lower. It was a long hot and dry summer.

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 4, 2012
8:20 AM

Post #9229232

I had a very good melon year, too, although I didn't grow any monsters (or want any).

As for preserving, there's cantaloupe butter or conserve. You can also make pickles. Be careful with the recipe source, though, cantaloupe is hard to do safely.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 4, 2012
12:27 PM

Post #9229447

The hybrid melons did not taste a good as in previous years. Maybe they didn't like the heat.

The Charentais volunteer melons were delicious! The vines are still producing. I have to remove/squish striped cucumber beetles from the flowers throughout the day.
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

August 4, 2012
1:45 PM

Post #9229523

I picked 2 Sugar Queen cantaloupe today. This plant has produced about 14 melons so far...not all harvested yet of course. I love the vanilla taste they have.
The Burpee Crenshaws have been terrific too...about 12 pounds.
samthehavanese
Mohrsville, PA
(Zone 6a)

August 6, 2012
6:15 PM

Post #9232315

What's the best way to tell when to harvest them? I have several growing, but not sure how to tell when they are ripe.
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

August 6, 2012
6:28 PM

Post #9232323

All the cantaloupes I raise change color as they are nearly ripe. Usually this is a tan color or is yellow or yellowish mottled for some special types . Many cantaloupes release from the vine when ripe, but many do not freely releas.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 6, 2012
7:25 PM

Post #9232422

The netting raises- gets rougher- on most as well- if you have the ability to get that close to the ground, the smell is rich at the stem, and if ripe they should slip off the stem easy

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 7, 2012
6:00 AM

Post #9232751

I've noticed that ants start collecting where the stem meets the melon when it's ripe. The area around the stem will also crack.

Charentais melons don't slip. They crack open on the bottom. Once you see them start to turn color, keep checking the bottom, and as soon as a small crack appears, remove them from the vine - they are ripe!

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

August 9, 2012
11:10 AM

Post #9235685

That is good to know,as there are four of them in my garden,never have grown them before this year. A few are begining to set on the vines,this season has been a long wait.
Drought may be clearing here,most of my vines end up with chlorosis from city water when I have to water.All the rain barrel proponents have fun!! with good reason.Rained all night and is still rainy ,although not raining much right now,suppose to have more later today and tonight.
Wonder why it slurps the potassium right out of everything? Such things get odd anymore.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

August 9, 2012
11:21 AM

Post #9235707

Rainwater leaches nutrients out of the soil. Rainwater tends to be more acidic than tap water causing a cation exchange which releases calcium, magnesium and potassium that were bound to the soil particles. These are then washed out, driven deeper into the soil, beyond the reach of plant roots.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 9, 2012
11:30 AM

Post #9235728

Depends on where u live for water ph- but city water is reprocessed a lot of times- country water ph can be totally the opposite, also depends on what the city adds to their water as softeners, potassium leaches fast anyway - I still like rainwater after the first bit has come down- and the air it falls thru is cleaner.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

August 9, 2012
11:37 AM

Post #9235737

I didn't say rainwater was bad, I love it too. I started to add that well water could also be acidic depending upon where one is located, but didn't want to confuse the issue.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 9, 2012
11:40 AM

Post #9235740

Know what ya meant! Where you are there? Do you have salt issues in water and soil?

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

August 9, 2012
11:51 AM

Post #9235761

AT times it does get complicated for such a plain thing,I have acid rain burn a few plants early some years.One would'nt expect water to be so difficult.Then it add salts remove salts in what might be used to feed plants.Always back to water and ph.!
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

August 9, 2012
12:31 PM

Post #9235817

Kittriana, we are three miles from the Laguna Madre as a crow flies, 20 miles north of the Mexico border. We have salt, both in the air and in the water. The Laguna Madre is the 5th saltiest body of water on earth. Everything rusts, even our door knobs. Because we are so close to the ocean, our rainwater has potassium, magnesium and other salts in it. Our irrigation water has salt and the pH is 8 and higher. Our biggest problem by far is sodium bicarbonate and high phosphate(but not available phosphate due to high pH). Sodium builds up because of lack of rainfall, raises the pH which binds up the phosphate (and other nutrients). Boron is also high in some areas, and in some irrigation water. We don't drink our tapwater. I've read the water safety report!

Last year we had hardly any rain; this year is better. The caretaker at our farm (we are on vacation) said we received 2 inches this week.

If you're ever down to South Padre, come by and I'll give you a tour of the farm.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

August 9, 2012
1:32 PM

Post #9235871

Not trying to be rude or anything like it ,Only that sounds like the old Borax commercial where they showed the desert prospector out in the salt flat mining salts and boron for borax.lol

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 10, 2012
5:46 AM

Post #9236475

I kinda figured as much- plants are different that area- I remember those 20 mule team ads- and the little chick on the Bon Ami box! There was a lot of non potable water in New Mexico where I grew up- wells were salt water, not sweet. I don't envy you that close to so much salt! I'd be puffed up like a blowfish ALL the time!
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

August 16, 2012
5:42 PM

Post #9244060

Back to cantaloupes... I have been eating Goddess and it is wonderfully sweet.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

August 16, 2012
6:21 PM

Post #9244096

Why your so close to me with good melons producing and mine are about history,My hats to ya Indy gardener,my only save this year has been the local market stands. Good good melons!!
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

August 17, 2012
11:20 AM

Post #9244685

juhur, I certainly have had problems with melons. The secret for me is to find soil that has never raised melons before and is extra fertile.

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

August 17, 2012
3:44 PM

Post #9244943

RE Sweetness - Yes, heat does affect flavor. I don't remember the exact biology - but when plants are too hot, they are using sugar not storing it. So sweetness will be down right after a heatwave.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

August 17, 2012
5:04 PM

Post #9245031

What is up with the listerious recall in NC?

pollengarden

pollengarden
Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

August 21, 2012
7:19 PM

Post #9249523

We had Listeria problems with Colorado cantaloupes last year. I think it turned out that it spreads in the warm moist conditions you get after harvest but before purchase. I'm not the FDA or USDA or CDC - but I would suggest washing your melon with dish soap (or a bleach solution if you are really worried) before you slice it - and keep it refridgerated after you wash it. And don't buy pre-sliced or diced melon. I was raised that you always wash produce before you eat it - even if it comes from your own garden. People are careless about kitchen safety these days, then horrified if they get sick.

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