How can I tell when to pick my cantaloupes? They are still green at the vine but feel hard. They look good, this is my first with them.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Pete: Cantaloupe is a delicious treat to add to the garden. The easiest way to tell if your melon is ready for harvest is by gently pulling at the vine where it is connected to the cantaloupe. If the stem is easily released from the melon, it is ready to be harvested. This has been termed “full slip.” If it does not separate easily, wait a few more days and try again. Another indication is when the surface below the webbed-like growth, referred to as netting, turns yellow. It is best to harvest your fruit during the early morning hours. Avoid washing the melon until you are ready to eat it. This helps keep the handling down and in return the fruit can be stored for a longer period of time. Keeping your melons in the refrigerator after you harvest them will help preserve them and they will keep for about two weeks.