A popular summer fruit and a favorite of backyard gardeners cantaloupe, also know as musk melon is a sweet, flavorful and low calorie snack that’s loaded with beta carotene,Vitamin A and C. With its flavorful taste and sweet aroma it has become the most popular melon in the United States. Fresh Cantaloupe can be used to make cold soups, cut into chunks or melon balls and eaten alone or with other fruits and even used to make a fresh salsa. The only requirement is that the cantaloupe be ripe and sweet.To help insure that the cantaloupe that you pick is ready to be harvested, sweet and at its peak here are some answers to some basic questions about when cantaloupe should be picked.
How To Tell When Cantaloupe Is Ripe and Ready To Be Picked
How Long Does It Take For Cantaloupe To Mature?
Depending on the variety of cantaloupe you chose it can take anywhere between 60 and 110 days for a cantaloupe vine to mature and produce fruit that is ready to harvest. Its important to note that cantaloupe’s will continue to soften once they are removed from the vine but they will not get an sweeter than they were at the time they were picked.
How Can You Tell If A Cantaloupe is Ripe and Ready To Be Picked
When cantaloupe is ripe and ready to be picked the rind you see between the netting on the skin will turn from green to yellow or tan. In addition the cantaloupe will give off a sweet smelling aroma. To further check for maturity look to see if the stem separates easily from the vine at the point of attachment. You may even notice a crack neat the point of attachment indicating that the melon is ready to be harvested.
Whats the Best Way To Remove Cantaloupes From The Vine?
To pick a mature cantaloupe from the vine make sure you harvest early in the morning and only when the vine is dry. Harvesting when the vine is wet will damage the plant. You may want to use a knife or sharp pair of garden shears to remove the melon from the vine as pulling on the vine can damage it and any immature fruit still on the vine.
Whats The Best Way To Store Cantaloupe Before Eating and How Long Can You Store It?
If you pick a cantaloupe and find that its not quite ripe you can leave it out on a counter for a couple of days to soften it up and finish the ripening process.If your cantaloupe is ripe and you don’t plan on eating it right away you can rinse then store the uncut melon in the refrigerator for up to a week. However if you cut the melon you will need to wrap the uneaten cantaloupe in plastic wrap or cut it into pieces and store in a plastic container in the refrigerator. Cantaloupe that has been cut can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Watch Your Garden Grow