Harvesting Melons - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Jennifer Bartz
Clovis, CA
Question by jbbartz27
July 23, 1999
How can I tell when the melon is ready to pick from the plant? Once picked, is it ready to eat right away, or should it rest and ripen first?


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Answer from NGA
July 23, 1999

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Melons are ready for harvest when they 'slip' easily from the stem. The fruit should break cleanly with no pressure at all; just picking up the fruit should be enough to remove it from the vine. Some gardeners judge ripeness by the characteristic scent of the cantaloupe. Experience is the best teacher so try harvesting one to test ripeness.
Storage time for various melons dept in a cool place can vary from two weeks for a cantaloupe to eight weeks for a casaba. It isn't necessary to store your melons - you can eat them right after harvest.

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