I planted a couple varieties of cantaloupe this year and they're all ripening at the same time. I think that next year, I'll plant a couple of hills in early May, like I did this year, then plant a couple more in mid- or late-May to spread out the harvest. The melons are very good but it's getting difficult to keep up with them. Fortunately, the sheep enjoy the excess.
I grew one hill of El Gordo melons; we just picked a 15 pound melon this morning. Another hill was just plain cantaloupes, I don't recall any special variety on those. Those are normal size, like what you get at the store.
I scattered sheep manure from the barn in the pumpkin patch and tilled it in well in the spring. When I planted the hills, I dug out a shovel full of dirt below each and filled the hole with compost. I also sprinkled a tablespoon or so of 10-10-10 into the hole but that was all the fertilizing I did.
We also have a very large pumpkin out there; the variety is called "First Prize" and is said to grow up to 300 pounds. Will let you know how that one turns out.
worms love melons/melon peels, but i only have ten
buckets and can't possibly keep up with 30 or more
melons (my last count for six plants).
the other day i was out checking the bean gardens
to see which were ready to pick (as dry beans). i
looked over and saw a melon that had formed between
two large rocks. it was more ripe and i could even
smell it so i picked it to see how it was.
it was excellent, perhaps a few more days and it
would have been perfect. flavor is not quite the
same as a standard cantaloupe/muskmelon - it has
hints of cotton candy flavor. very good. i'm sure
i'll have a ton of seeds.
i have to learn somehow. :) the first one i picked
way too green, it was barely edible in the center.
this second one was fully ripe in the center and only
a bit hard along the edges.
i'm going to have to give a lot of these away!
like i suspected too many all at once. i have called
my friends to see how many they might come to pick up
today. there's probably six or more out there ready to
i picked three yesterday that were ready and all of
them were good. i ate half of one or more, but that's
about my limit for a day. the rest i cut up and we
have a container in the fridge that will last another
day or two.
out in the garden there is one that i missed picking
yesterday so either my friends will get it today or
i'll pick it to see how ripe it is at that color. it
is fully orange - that may be overripe.