Another vine

One vine that I forgot to mention in yesterday's post is in some ways the most important one I grow. It's not the most beautiful, it doesn't take the heat too well, doesn't produce an abundance of flowers, but it delivers in another way.

If you haven't already guessed, it's melon. Cantaloupe to be specific. The variety called 'Ambrosia' to be very specific.


I had seven of these vines in my veggie garden, growing upright on trellises. I've just picked these:

That's right: three melons from seven vines. Not really an award-winning harvest. There are still a few immature fruits out there, but not many. There's this guy:

These guys too, although I have doubts about them ever reaching maturity:

That looks like about it.

All hope is not lost though, because I've also got this vine:

This one never made it into the garden -- it stayed here in its little quart pot, waiting for somewhere to be planted. Languishing, looking sort of sad. Then all of a sudden I noticed it was getting bigger and spreading into the surrounding plants and all around on the patio. Hmmm, the fertilizer must really be working!

Actually, I'm almost certain this healthy growth spurt is due to the roots escaping out of the bottom of the pot and getting into the cracks between the flagstones. I don't want to move the pot to check though as I don't want to break a single root. I want more melons!

The best thing about growing cantaloupes is that they fall off the vine when they're ripe, either when you give them a gentle touch, or just on their own. Makes it easy to know when they're ready. That's not such a nice feature when you're growing them on your deck railing, as I found out a few years ago. It seems they're not capable of surviving an 8' fall onto flagstone.

This one has a little hole in the top, and when I first saw it I was worried the whole thing would be hollow:

That actually happened to me a few years ago (the same year as the deck drop incident) -- I went to pick a ripe melon, only to find that a critter had gnawed a hole in the bottom and hollowed out the skin. It looked like a perfectly good fruit from the top. Not a nice surprise.

This hole is no big problem though:

It looks like a couple of small beetles were making this cavity, but that part is easily removed. Looks good, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, it didn't have the fantastic flavor it did last year. It's sort of bland. It's not terrible, but I'm hoping the other two (and any others that mature) are better tasting.

I really wish I had a lot more room for my vegetable garden. I'd like to try growing these on the ground as opposed to up a trellis. Maybe do it both ways and see which produces better fruit, or more abundantly.

Don't you just love the texture of cantaloupe skin? I love the way it looks, the way it feels, and the smell of it. Oh, taste too (of the flesh, not the skin). Can't forget about the delicious, honey-sweet taste. I'm sure hoping for that flavor from the remaining fruits.

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