How to Harvest Cantaloupe Melons
Cantaloupe melons are incredibly simple to grow, not to mention probably one of the most delicious fruits you can pull out of your backyard garden. Cantaloupes are packed with vitamins A & C to accompany that hard-to-resist sweet taste! When harvesting melons, make sure to follow these guidelines to grab them at their "sweetest spot".
- Once vines are developed and yellow flowers appear on melon plants, the fruits will be mature in about 30-40 days (depending on temperature and sunlight). They like it sunny and relatively dry, and will mature faster in these conditions.
- Cantaloupe first form on the vines with smooth, green skin. As the fruits mature, you will recognize the net-like covering that forms around the spheres.
- Melons are ready to harvest when the outer skin is a tan color and the fruit slips off of the vine. Be careful! If you wait too long, another critter may get to your fruit before you do. Additionally, a melon's rind can split like a tomato if it receives too much water. In this case, the melon is still safe to eat, as long as it still smells fresh and not rotten (it will simply have a shorter shelf-life).
- For another indicator of ripeness, bend down and stick your nose in the garden! The sweet scent of cantaloupe is easily detected right through the skin of a ripe fruit.
- After harvesting, the melons may have a dark/moist spot on the bottom from where it sat on the soil. This is completely normal, simply wash the fruit before slicing.
- Store ripe melons on the counter for 1-2 days, or in the fridge for up to a week. The sooner you eat it, the fresher and tastier it will be!
- Try making this melon-prosciutto flatbread for a sweet & savory take on enjoying the harvest.