August is melon month. The biggest problem that many gardeners get is how do you select a good melon. So I’m going to give you a few tips today.
Cantaloupe. Look for ones that are well netted. They should have a tan background color. They should have kind-of a sweet smell to them on the stem end. And on the opposite end, they should feel a little soft when you put some pressure on them. If you’re picking them out of the garden the vine and the fruit should separate easily from each other.
Honeydews and Crenshaw and casabas are a bit different. They don’t separate from the vine so you need to try some other methods to look for them. The feel of the outside skin should be slightly sticky. They should also be soft on the blossom end or on the end opposite the stem and also sometimes they will have some small micro-cracks on both ends of the fruit near the stem or the flower end.
Watermelon. They should be dull in color, not bright. The color contrast should be strong between the stripes. If you roll the melon over it should have a little bit of a yellow buttery color to the ground spot where the fruit was sitting on the ground. If you’re going to pick them out of the vegetable garden you’ll want to look for the little tendril opposite the stem and that should be completely dry.
Enjoy your melons and enjoy your summer. This is Dan Drost, Utah State University Extension Vegetable specialist.