May melon madness...

10 May, 2014

I am a lazy gardener. Sadly I am also, on occasion, a lazy harvester.

This is my main melon crop.

I picked them today.

A bit late in the season I admit. Ok, a lot late. But better late than never.

These melons all grew from seed sown in November last year and planted out in December. I think this year I shall have to sow much earlier, as not all of the melons have ripened properly.

I grew four watermelons: Golden Midget, Crimson Sweet, Sugar Baby and Orchid Sweet.

Now here comes my problem. I don't know exactly which is which. Given that they rambled all over the place and grew into each other, and I couldn't be bothered tracking the fruits back to identifying plants, it's a bit of guess work.

This one is (I think...) Orchid Sweet.

This one (I'm fairly sure, given it looks a lot like ones I've previously grown) is Sugar Baby.

Obviously there are melon liking rodents in my area.

These, by a process of elimination given there are no Golden Midgets (these are, as the name suggests, small and go yellow when they are ripe), must be Crimson Sweet.

The tiny baby ones are no bigger than a tennis ball.

Onto the rockmelons and cantaulopes.

I grew a few varieties, including; Lambkin's Hybrid, Tigger, Delice de la Table, Charetais and three others I can't recall the names of and cant find the tags in the garden.

Ah well.

This is a Lambkin's Hybrid, which pleasingly turns yellow when it is ripe.

This one was my top melon of last year, and has continued as a favourite.

This is a Tigger, which sadly hasn't properly ripened. This one is just starting to get the bright orange stripes to be worthy of the name, but hasn't quite got there.

Flavour-wise it was disappointing, but I'm going to give it another year with earlier sowing to hopefully give a longer growing time and get some fully ripe ones.

These are Charantais. I've had better. Again, these didn't fully ripen and were a little lackluster.

The only joy was that they were grown from saved seed. Hopefully next year will be better.

Now for the unknows.

This one I haven't tried yet, but don't think will be anything special as I don't think they are fully ripe.

These however were over-ripe, and becoming bug havens.

But that is not enough to deter me. I cut off the bad bits and tried them anyway, but they weren't very nice.

On the other side of the spectrum though were these.

Not only were they quite prolific (this is about half the crop as the rest I've been picking over the last few weeks), they are also quite tasty.

Pity I have no idea what variety they are to make sure I grow them again next year.

Never mind. There is still lots of melon to sooth my woes.


  1. Melons cross pollinate really easily so if you want your melons true to type and you're growing more than one kind you'll need to hand pollinate and tie up the flowers with a rubber band. Then only use seed from your selected fruits. Bit of a faff but worth it if you want to replicate deliciousness and other characteristics. Otherwise you'll end up with 'Bek's Backyard Surprise' melons which have some characteristics from both parents (and not necessarily the good ones!) xxx

    1. Ah yes, thank you for the reminder. The previous saved seed was from when I only grew the one variety, so no cross contamination risk there.
      But now you mention it I love the idea of a 'Bek's Backyard Surprise' melon, no matter what I ended up with ;)

  2. aren't the melons so beautiful, in all their subtle variations of stripes and shapes?
    sad to see the bugs and rodents got to the fruit before you did.

    1. They are amazingly variable. I love too seeing what they turn out like, as I often buy based on name alone.
      True, a pity the wildlife got in first, but I sometimes think its nice they get their share too. And I did get the majority of the crop, more than I think I can really eat or give away, so I can't complain.

  3. They look fantastic. I'm interested to hear what you plan to do with them all?

    1. Cheers.
      That's a good question. The watermelons I've already eaten as they don't last long, and lots have been passed on to friends and family. But I've still got a few melons that I think I'll vut up and freeze for making sorbets later in the year. That should use the last of them up I think.