If we were playing baseball, the winter melon plant would have struck out by now. We’ve been anxiously watching each female flower that bloomed, wondering if it would be the one to set fruit. The plant seems to have tested itself, reaching one stage, assessing whether it could cope, then pushing a little further with the next female flower, like the little train that could.
The flower I mentioned in my previous winter melon post looked like it was going to be The One. It was by far the biggest female flower, and even after the petals dried and dropped off, the fruit remained on the vine, growing a little.
However, after a few days, and with the emergence of a new female flower, the fruit started turning yellow and eventually dropped off.
Sadly for that fruit, I was distracted by the newcomer that was even bigger and looked so much more promising. I didn’t dare mention anything here until I was quite certain that this fruit is here to stay, and since I’m now sure, I’d like to announce our first growing winter melon!
This baby started out looking very furry like its predecessors, but as it has grown, the skin beneath has turned a darker green and looks tougher and more shiny. The hairs are gradually shortening, too. I guess, like the cucumber, they will be gone by the time the fruit is ready for harvest.
The fruit has already surpassed gherkin size and seems to be growing bigger almost before our eyes. Each day when I look at it, it seems even longer and fatter! It is currently about a week old and looks to be the elongated (as opposed to round) variety. What fun to have something new developing in the garden!
Once again, thanks to Novice Gardener for the seeds!