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Chief Bottle Washer
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I would like to thank those who, on the thread about melons a bit back, advised how to tell their ripeness. Each morning for the past couple of weeks I have been hovering over the first cantaloupe in the patch anxiously lifting the vine to see if it would fall off. TODAY IT DID!! I seized it and with great joy fled to the kitchen to get the knife. It was very good and I was so proud.

For three years I have been trying to grow cantaloupe. The past 2 years most of the vines died back before the 'loupes could even develop. Last year a couple developed but were gutted in the night by maruading 'possums. I think I managed to get one, but it was picked way too early and wasn't very good.

Has anyone else ever dealt with squirrels or 'possums raiding your tomatoes? We are having a terrible time with the squirrels so far this year. DH has eliminated several of the nasty rodents, but a friend in a town setting doesn't have the freedom of arms we have here in the country and she has already lost her whole tomato crop to the squirrels. They eat the green ones too; just pull them off and take off with them. So far we haven't seen any 'possums this year but we are just waiting for them to show up. It's maddening.
 

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Congrats on the cantaloupes! I've tried to grow them in the past and failed miserably. I'm trying again this year. I'm just seeing female flowers though, and nowhere near anxious vine lifting :)

Re: the tomatoes. I had chipmunks munching on mine last year. I finally figured they get the low hanging fruit, I get the high. Sigh.
 

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Master Of My Domain
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my last nearly successful attempt was last year or the year before. i had one medium sized lope looking really good. i checked it everyday and i decided it needed one more day to be perfectly ripe. the next day i found it had been savaged by an unknown assailant...most likely a groundhog from the tooth marks. it was only partially eaten, about 25%, so i decided to cut it in half and enjoy my share. it was good, but i would have enjoyed the second half even better.

this year i am trying musk melons and watermelons. i have a few small melons of both, but they are at the edge of the garden and i fear the same thing will happen. i am thinking of covering them with a sheet of chicken wire.
 

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I live near a river and my melons have been being attacked by a painted turtle. She is very pretty but she just takes one triangular bite out of a melon and moves on to the next. I carried her down stream a ways maybe she won't be back?
 

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Just so you know, there is another predator that likes vine ripened tomatoes.

Turtles. You can tell by the Vee shaped bite marks.

Just so you know---cantaloupes growing in a really wet year may not be ripe in the morning, yet when you come home from work in the afternoon they have already fully ripened, split open and are full of ants. Frustrating I tell you.

I hasten to add, a change of variety will often help prevent this. A melon with heavier netting helps.
 

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I have lots of canalopes but something is getting most of mine too.
It is probably a groundhog.
I saw one come up onto my yard right in front of me the other day and I yelled at it to please leave and it ignored my completely! It sniffed all my flowers and decided they were not to its liking and went to the other side of the yard and began eating brush and weeds so... heck... he can stay.

If I fine he is the one in my vegtable garden though he is toast!

My garden is surounded by fence so the culprit either has to climb over or under.
 
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