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Harvesting and Storing Melons

Enjoy the sweet flavor of homegrown melons with proper harvesting and storage.

Harvest watermelons when they’re full size, the rind is dull in color and the portion touching the ground changes from greenish white to cream.  The tendrils near the fruit will start to curl and dry.

You can store watermelons at room temperature for about a week and maintain their quality and flavor.  Or extend their storage life by placing them in a cooler, 45 to 50 degree, location for 2 to 3 weeks. 

Muskmelons are ready to pick when the fruit begins to separate from the vine.  Watch for the formation of a crack between the stem and fruit and pick once the crack encircles the stem. 

Store ripe muskmelons in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to ten days.  Or, try freezing a few containers of melon balls to extend your enjoyment.

A bit more information:   Help reduce the risk of rot by mulching the soil where the melons will rest. Or better yet, elevate them off the ground with commercial melon and squash cradles or an overturned container.

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