July 22, 2017
My husband planted watermelons and last year when they were almost ripe, something bit a hole about the size of a golf ball in then and ate the insides. This year something is biting a hole in them when they are cantaloupe size. Do you think that it could be coons or rats? The garden is next to the woods but is fenced in.
Could be raccoons, rats or squirrels. Animal control can be difficult but you can try to physically deter them by putting a chicken wire (or smaller gauge wire) cage around the ripening fruit and see if that will stop them.
We are a bit stumped at a plant that came up in our garden. For a long time, we thought it was a honeydew melon, but I cut one, and it had the flavor of a cucumber. Is it a squash that has grown larger than it should have? There were only two of these on the entire plant, and both fruits grew very large.
The leaves look more like a watermelon. Did the plant grow from a seed left over from last year? If so, it could be a cross between a cucumber, squash, watermelon, etc. -- members of the cucurbit family will cross pollinate and the resulting seeds can give you some pretty interesting fruits. It should be safe to eat, and you may like the flavor, or not.