The Q&A Archives: cantelope

Question: we have cantelope coming in and they look weird campared to the ones you buy. They are green and squash-shaped. When should I pick them, and are they okay to eat.

Answer: Lack of complete pollination can cause your cantaloupes to be misshapen, as can inconsistent watering so I'm not sure what might be going on with yours. If you planted seeds you harvested from last year's plants or if someone gave you seeds from their garden, that might explain the odd shaped fruit. Cantaloupes can cross pollinate with other melons and the seeds they produce will grow into plants that produce fruit unlike the fruit they came from. With that said, I'd treat the fruit like regular cantaloupes, harvesting when the netting on the skin turns tan and the bottom, where the fruit is resting on the ground turns a straw color. I'm sure the fruit is edible, I just don't know if it will have the traditional cantaloupe flavor.

Best wishes with your garden!

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