I tried growing watermelon and cantaloupe last year but both failed. (I had planted them in a shadier part of the garden and they just didn't do well.)
I hadn't planned on trying melons this year but I had gone into a local nursery hoping for some sweet potato slips back in June. Nope. Sold Out. Since they were out, I felt that I should buy something. I can't help myself. This little nursery is directly across the street from a big box store. I try to buy from them when I can, but I get the vibe that their days are numbered. Anyway, I spotted some Ambrosia Cantaloupes starts and bought those instead and this time planted them in the raised beds.
They've done really well. They put out about 20 melons ranging in size from an orange to a grapefruit. We waited for them to get bigger but they never did. Then we waited for them to yellow up assuming that color would indicate ripeness.
Well, we lost about 4-5 melons that way. They suddenly split and the bugs got them. So we picked a green melon, took it in the house and split it.
Ripe and wonderful all the way to the skin. Tasted good too. What a surprise!
So we've been picking one here and there and placing them on the counter to finish "ripening."
Sunday morning I went and pulled the lot. There was one that got chewed by the resident bunny that is so small he manages to come and go through my rabbit proof fence, and two others that had bug holes in them so they got tossed into the compost pile. The rest are sitting on the counter waiting to be eaten.
It's funny...I was expecting to get these huge melons that you see at the store. But when you buy the grocery melons they're already yellowish and you crack them open to discover they're not even ripe. Plus no flavor. Yuck. (Seems like all store bought fruit is tasteless anymore.)
Home grown melons may be small and green on the outside but they're packed with flavor and juice. And the smell!
Live and learn. I'm so pleased with these that I'll be planting Ambrosia again. They've earned their place in my garden.