One good reason for hot weather
I don't like hot summer weather, but melons do, and I like melons. In fact, melons are one of the few things about hot weather that I anticipate happily.
When I had a bigger garden, I grew melons myself. I had my best success with cantaloupe, mainly because it's easy to tell when cantaloupe are ripe. Several years, I grew more cantaloupe than we could eat and Dennis took gave them away at work. This made him quite popular through the melon months of summer.
My favorite cantaloupes to grow from seed were Burpee Hybrids. They are just too delicious for words.
I didn't have enough luck with watermelons to decide that I liked to grow any particular variety. My biggest problem was knowing when to pick them. If I didn't pick them too green, I waited until they were too ripe. After a few years, I decided I had better luck picking a ripe watermelon at the produce stand.
One summer after I gave up growing watermelons, a watermelon seed sprouted in my compost pile. The vine meandered out into the garden, and I decided not to pull it up. It grew one big, delicious melon before frost. It was one of the best watermelons I've ever tasted. It must have been the compost. Somehow, I managed to pick it at the perfect peak of ripeness.
In one of my first gardens, I grew some honeydew melons that were particularly green and sweet. I picked the first one and we really enjoyed it .
When I went to the garden to pick the next ripe one, it had a hole chewed in the side of it. I was disgusted, but I cut off the damaged side of the melon, and we ate some of the undamaged side.
My garden intruder liked his taste of honeydew, and decided to have some more. He wasn't a bit careful about just eating the ripe ones, either. After he damaged a dozen or more, I finally caught him in the act. It was a turtle. I took him up the road a mile, and we had no more holes in the honeydews after that.
Nowadays, we buy melons at the grocery store in early summer. Then, about the first of July, our Mennonite neighbor starts selling homegrown cantaloupe at his produce stand. I bought a couple of cantaloupe there last week, and I'm going to stop by tomorrow on my way home from work and get a couple more. The watermelon will be ready soon, he says. I'm glad to hear it.