The Importance of Labels

In the summer of 2014, I had great success growing cantaloupe. We ended up with three melons, sweet, juicy and delicious. Last year, we had lots of vines and a couple of runty … well, I don’t know what to call them. I simply put it down to last year’s cool, wet weather.

Despite last year’s failure, we like cantaloupe. A lot. So why not try again?

You probably know that a vine will produce two, maybe three melons at best. This year, I decided to buy four plants. Twelve melons. Six to eat and six to gift. Everything was going along swimmingly until we spotted THIS on the vines.


Excuse me. That is not a cantaloupe.

Yes, we did get a couple of cantaloupes. One – almost ripe yesterday – mysteriously vanished off its melon cradle. I found the remains back behind the burn pile. I hope that the thief – two-legged or four-legged – enjoyed my lunch.

And yes, I’m pretty sure that thing in my cantaloupe bed is a squash. It’s a particularly nasty squash with tiny hairs all over it. Jim and I planned to identify it when the first one ripened. But just as it started to turn yellow, it exploded. Gross! These are so awful, even the squash bugs haven’t attacked yet.

So how did I end up with squash instead of cantaloupe? I hate to think that the nursery mislabeled the plant. Maybe I didn’t bother to read the individual labels on the plants and just picked up squash set near the cantaloupe. Or, someone misplaced the squash label and replaced it with one that said cantaloupe.

Which got me thinking about the subject of labels in general. My mother taught that it’s not nice to label people. I wonder what she’d say about the name-calling going on right now. Arrogant, crooked, goofy, narcissistic, immoral, ignorant, loser… Sort of makes me remember what middle school was like. But enough about politics.

I promise not to call names or blame. I’d just like to remind all the nurseries I buy from about the importance of labels.


4 thoughts on “The Importance of Labels

  1. Sorry about your lunch and that you ended up with gross squash instead of melon! Reminds me of my dear old Dad who wanted a perfect white rose and paid $40 bucks-which seemed like a fortune in those days-for one mail order from Jackson-Perkins-the ‘specialists’. Buds finally arrive and he’s so excited and the roses were as red as the usual Mr. Lincoln. Boy was he furious…but he demanded and got his money back!!

    • Great story about your dad! And I’m with him on holding retailers to their advertising. Now if only I could remember where I bought these plants and if only I still had the labels…

  2. I planted what I thought was a husky cherry tomato in a large pot, but it turned out to be…something else–Bigger tomatoes that are now rather deformed-looking. Not too bad taste-wise, but still… This happens nearly every year, somehow. The folks I buy from are small and friendly, so I don’t fuss, but I wish I’d realized the mistake in time, as I know they’d make an exchange.

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