Just imagine that one week ago, this was a blooming fruit flower on the winter melon vine.
And just imagine that come one more week, I could potentially harvest this from the vine!
From my quick search on the Net to confirm the appropriate range, I’ve found that you can harvest the winter melon when it is between 2 and 8 weeks old. Last year, our first fruit remained on the vine for 6 weeks before we were sure it wasn’t going to grow any bigger. Only then did we pluck it.
We were such nervous “parents” with the first baby…
I am naturally watching the development of this fruit carefully. It is growing on a vine that is dangling down from the trellis. I’ve found that the female flower buds seem to be sensitive to movement, because whenever I’ve re-positioned a drooping vine while the female bud was still developing on it, the bud tended to abort. That’s why I left this hanging vine alone. And this is why the fruit is now about a metre off the ground. The tip of this vine is almost touching the ground and I’m wondering if I should let it take root so that the vine can draw more nutrients from a new point – assuming that it will behave like a pumpkin or sweet potato vine. I have to admit that knowing it is rooted at a single spot makes me edgy…
Besides that, I yesterday found a few hard, shiny brown spots stuck to the fruit. Afraid that they were insect eggs or something harmful to the fruit, I removed them immediately. They seemed to be slightly embedded in the skin, and I am hoping we will not find anything other than seeds inside when we harvest the fruit.
Well, we just have to wait at least one more week – although it will likely be longer, if the fruit continues to look healthy – before we harvest it. Stay tuned!