Thursday, August 30, 2012

Garden Maintenance and Carosello Thoughts

When I began vegetable gardening in Tucson I quickly discovered that I was investing way too much time for what little produce my garden produced. Sure – Brussel Sprouts and Broccoli are nice vegetables, but the amount of maintenance required for the meager reward was not worth the effort. With time and experience I learned which plants required a high amount of maintenance and which plants required very little maintenance. I decided that I would have a mixture of crops that required both large and small demands on my time.

Carosello Pollisello Cucumber-Melon Blossom
I wonder why this flower has not been pollinated yet?

With this maintenance scheme in mind I have recently decided that my favorite kind of vegetable is the kind that has a lower maintenance in some areas and higher maintenance in other areas. I strive to grow vegetables that require lower maintenance and greater disease resistance and tolerance to environmental conditions while requiring higher maintenance in relation to needing to be harvested. That is really what has drawn me towards the cucumber-melons. For the hot southern states where heat and disease is a real problem, cucumber-melons (including the Carosello) are great.

A flower is becoming a cucumber! (=

Some dark Carosello Polisello Growing

A tasty dark Carosello Polisello

Some kind of Mandurian Round carosello I grew this summer

My experience with the Carosello cucumber-melons has been wonderful so far. They are vigorous, heat-loving plants that demand fertile soil. The more fertile and composted the soil, the better the plants grow. Their growth pattern is very predictable, and it is always fun to watch the fruit grow. The amount of fruit they produce is relatively high and the colors and patterns the fruit can be bred to produce make the cucumber a beautiful treat.

Some of the Carosello Fruit I harvested this summer

Carosello Polisello harvested for seed
Inside of Carosello Fruit
Carosello Seed and Pulp
Cleaning Seed from Pulp
Cleaned Carosello Seed
Though harvesting seed from the fruit is relatively easy, figuring out how long to wait until picking the fruit and determining how long to leave the fruit in storage before harvesting the seed are still aspects of the growing process I have not yet learned.. Mature carosello fruit do have a slight swetness immediately after the fruit is cut open though the fruit quickly loses its sweetness thereafter. Though the flesh of the mature fruit does have the texture and appearance of sweeter melons the taste can be described as bland at best.

Light colored Carosello

The flesh of this Carosello is very similar to honeydew


  1. So what is the name of the Carosello that tastes like honeydew?

    1. I'm only guessing but I am thinking it may be a Spuredda Bianco di Lecce. The seed I received of the Carosello Polisello was not pure - in fact it had many different variants from the one group of seeds I received.

  2. Jay like you I am trying to find the right veggies for my climate that can tolerate the extremes we have and are resistant to disease and make gardening less of a chore...I'll let you know when I find them ;) These melons look wonderful...

  3. Your carosellos are beautiful. I am not familiar with them. Do you eat them raw or cook them?

    1. Thank you for your question, Deb.

      I eat them raw. I suppose you could cook them. I think they taste better young, as cucumbers, then letting them get big and become melons.

  4. Really nice selection of Carosellos. Thanks for visiting me through Blotanical. I have not been active there lately.

  5. i believe i have round carosello plant. when can i pick them?


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