I was given some French cantaloupe seeds from my sister Kelly and directions on how to plant them. She told me to put a few seeds in the mound and see what grows.
We had some cold weather come through at the start, so to protect the seeds, I put clear bags on top to keep them warm and also let the sun through.
I noticed that there seemed to be two different colors of melon. Inside they looked and tasted the same (like a typical cantaloupe), but their skin and shape were different. There is a dark green variety and a light green variety. The melon that starts with a dark green skin almost looks like some sort of gourd.
They keep changing color the longer they stay on the vine. The dark green melon turns yellow and the light green melon turns a slightly lighter shade of yellow.
I enjoyed picking the melons and eating them. We gave a few away.
You know when they are ready to pick because the vine sort of dries out where it connects to the fruit. However, if climate conditions are too hot and the melon ripens and gets heavy, you may need to cut it off before it rots on the vine. Make the judgment as you would picking out a melon at the grocery store. Heft it, smell its belly button (haha), and knock on it a little (a slightly hollow sound).
If you live in Northern California, consider growing melon! Just remember that you need to water it well. And it loves sun.