It’s been one false alarm after another. I knew that the first female winter melon flower bud to appear would be unlikely to develop into a fruit. Nevertheless, it was an exciting couple of days watching as it grew and finally bloomed. It was a cute little thing – green, oval and covered in the same bristly hairs that cover the stems – with the same yellow petals that the male flowers sported. As there were already several ants excitedly visiting the male flowers, I decided not to interfere and leave the pollination to Mother Nature’s creatures.
As expected, that first fruit aborted. However, another 5 or 6 male flowers up the stem, another female bud appeared – and it was bigger than the first. In fact, as the vine ascended the trellis, the male flowers began to get bigger and bigger, too! So I was more optimistic about this female flower – but it wasn’t time yet.
Another 5 or 6 male flowers more and a new female bud is growing. It, too, looks even bigger than its predecessors. Will it be the First Fruit? Possibly. However, I’ve noticed that further back along the vine, new developments are taking place – it’s starting to branch out, and I believe I see at least 2 developing female flower buds. So my fingers are crossed that the winter melon vine will finally start being fruitful.