Monday, August 20, 2012
When Is Melon Ripe
Trying the impossible seems to be a fundamental part of our overall garden plan. Tendersweet Orange watermelon seeds were selected, ordered, started in pots, planted out, watered, weeded and watched. The vines are beginning to show afternoon wilt so we know that their end is near. The common ripeness indicators for watermelon in our internet search were an overall dull appearance, the melon not the grower, a dead tendril adjacent to the melon and a yellow color where the melon touches the ground.
Inspection revealed a brown tendril next to the stem. The underside of the melon is yellow not white. A dull haze covers the surface. The melon was cut from the vine.
Slicing open the melon revealed several shortcomings. The flesh of this variety is supposed to be orange not yellow. That white web like interior should be gone. Still we placed the melon in the icebox to chill. The brightest part of a center slice did taste somewhat like watermelon. Becky gave it a tentative C+. The bellyache that followed quickly passed. The rest of this melon is headed for the compost.
Three more melons remain attached to the plant. They will stay there until their stem begins to shrivel and turn brown. The blistering hot summer days seem to be behind us. Recent nights have been comfortably cool. Squash needs cool temperatures to set its sugars but melon may need warm nights to do the same. Our window for ripening melon may have closed. One thing is certain, we will eat no more yellow melon.