I’m pretty sure none of this is legal in Texas.

So today Victor found me in the backyard painting the cantaloupe flowers like some terrible Alice-in-Wonderland and he threatened to call the doctor because clearly I was mad from heatstroke.

But then I explained that I wasn’t “painting flowers” because that’s ridiculous and I explained that I was having sex with the cantaloupes. Then he was more concerned so I explained that the cantaloupe I’d planted was growing like crazy but that the flowers never turned into melons so the internet said that probably the male and female flowers weren’t fertilizing each other and that I should use a paintbrush to scoop out pollen from the male flower and dump it in the female flower, but that I was having a real problem because I couldn’t tell which ones were male or female because none of them seems to have penises or pollen and I explained that I’d found ants in a bunch of the flowers and I wasn’t sure if they were pollinating the flowers or just eating all the penises and I wasn’t sure if I should be getting rid of the ants or thanking them.

Then Victor shook his head and walked back inside as I shouted, “YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE GETTING INTO WHEN YOU MARRIED ME,” which isn’t entirely accurate because it’s hard to imagine you’ll ever find your wife sexing up the cantaloupes in her lady garden but honestly, I’m just trying to feed us and save money on fruit so a little less judgement would be nice.

119 replies. read them below or add one

  1. can a person say they’ve lived until they’ve sexed up their garden fruit?

  2. I did this with my hibiscus plant and it worked!

  3. I had volunteer pumpkins a couple of years ago, and the male flowers were on long thin stems and the female ones were on short bulgy stems. And the plant made a lot more of the male flowers early,and took its time about making any female ones. I have no idea if any of this applies to cantaloupes.

    I use a paintbrush to pollinate tomatoes and peppers in the pots on my deck. When I plant them, which I didn’t bother to this year.

  4. That happens with my cucumbers sometimes.

  5. I was going to initiate sex with my squash blossoms but then the plants all succumbed to a fungus, so I guess it’s best I didn’t get involved.

  6. You’re awesome Jenny : )

  7. If GOOP had a gardening issue this would be in it

  8. In your defense, I too have heard of this!

  9. 9
    Ashlee Fowler

    I’m thinking I may have to do the same things with my tomatoes but so far I guess I’ve been too lazy.

  10. a friend of mine has had to do that with a lot of her plants this year. She is also in Texas.

  11. 11
    Stacey Lunsford

    You never disappoint, Jenny!

  12. You are the greatest person to ever live. Please be immortal. The world needs you. My day always gets better when I read your stuff. I suffer from undiagnosed issues because I am severely agoraphobic and no dr will come to my house. I love your blogs. They always make me smile.

  13. 13
    Lisa Vollrath

    Female flowers have a roundness at the base, which will turn into a melon when the flower is pollinated. It won’t hurt at all to just brush each flower a little bit if you can’t tell the difference between the boys and girls.

    I also tickle tomato flowers with my finger to spread their pollen. And that’s probably TMI…

  14. 14
    ocularnervosa

    Colleges do agricultural internships where students get credit for doing this so you aren’t crazy, you are educational.

  15. Cantaloupe porn!!!
    Seriously though- I’m impressed with your dedication!

  16. 16
    wolfworker

    Cantaloupe you’re already married!

  17. 17
    Littlewolf

    My uncle did that with peaches and ended up slipping and hanging upside down from his ladder! At least your plant-impregnating activities were on the ground? 😉

  18. 18
    Diana Glynn

    I have sex with my vanilla orchids on a regular basis and have found that being gentle and respectful and saying thank you works wonders….sorta like life😂🤗

  19. You will now and forever be The Cantaloupe Fluffer.

  20. Does Martha Stewart know about this?

  21. If we cantaloupe, lettuce marry. That’s an oldie but a goodie, lol!

  22. I sex up my zucchini every year. They are too shy to do it themselves.

  23. Female flowers will have a little bulge at the base, that will become the fruit if fertilized, while males just have a plain stem. Male flowers have pollen while the females don’t. The most reliable way to fertilize is by plucking the male flower, exposing it’s stamens and rubbing them on the females.

  24. The female flowers often have a little baby melon bump under them while males are a straight stem off the plant. Just FYI lol. Do you also get Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On stuck in your head while you’re “helping”? Lol. No? Just me? Okay 😉

  25. Tomatoes are easier to pollinate because you can just touch the main stem with your vibing magic wand. The flowers have mail and female in the same flower and it just needs a little vibrating to combine them.

  26. 26
    Tracy Frederico

    You are the bee’s knees, literally. LOL!

  27. 27
    Bonne Holbrook

    I do this Every year to my cucumbers and tomatoes. This is weird?

  28. I live near a place that grows and sells decorative gourds. While chaperoning a field trip, I learned they do all of their pollination by hand with Q-tips. I think the kids would have been way more interested if the guides explained plant sex better. https://mbgourds.com/

  29. I’ve never sexed up my melons but I have sexed up my cucumbers.

    And that sounded way dirtier than it needed to but sometimes you need to get dirty to make things grow. 😉

  30. well..it is all because of Trump and his elimination of the EPA and using more harmful chemicals which is killing the bees…so you can than him for having to do your own pollinating.

  31. I had no idea this was even a thing and now I’m realizing that not only am I not crazy all by myself but I can learn other stuff here, too. Well done!
    https://www.mrs-completely.com/funnywoman/welcome-to-the-neighbourhood-and-sorry-for-our-cat/

  32. Awesome post. As my dad would say “I cantaloupe tonight because I don’t have a ladder.” Badabumm!! Clearly they need your help.

  33. hahahahaha. when is your next book coming oooouuuuuutttttt??? 🙂

  34. Love this!!! I did that with my zucchini last year. I haven’t even gotten flowers yet this year so… no sexing squash for me yet 😂

  35. Lol i didn’t know this was a thing. Reading all your guys comments made my day. I luv you all Bella

  36. Yep, I know about this kind of thing since walking in my on boss having sex with his tomato plants on the windowsill.

  37. In general with any veggie or fruit the female flowers have mini sized fruit/veggie of that plant. The male have long stems with just a flower. I usually take just one male and peel the flower back so just the pollen is exposed and go to work pollinating! Tomatoes by the way are self pollinating so just give the flowers a tap or shake to get the pollen where it needs to go.

  38. 🤣 I love you so much it hurts. And thank you, I really needed this giggle today ❤❤

  39. 39
    ShirleeSu-ess

    That is a worthwhile endeavor indeed. FYI, you can actually see the tiny fruit almost before the flower even opens on some varieties, at the base of the flower bud. I’m thinking of cucumber, pumpkins, butternuts, pumpkins as I have never tried to grow cantaloupes here is Denver. It is really quite amazing once you see it it will be obvious. If they don’t get pollinated the blossom dies but if they do you can watch it swell and turn into a fruit. One year I tried to get rid of all the males as I was told that would keep my cukes from getting bitter. It didn’t help.

  40. I’m still laughing at the CNN intern asking if her lady garden was OK.

  41. Just trying to imagine if you ever thought you would utter these words (cause i really never thought i would read them in the order you’ve dealt them in)…,” it’s hard to imagine you’ll ever find your wife sexing up the cantaloupes in her lady garden”

    BRAVO – 3 garden gnomes for this entry Lady Jenny!!
    XOXOXOXStacy

  42. I do this every year – with melons, cucumbers and squashes. and I usually use a Q-tip… One year though I didn’t use a different Q-tip in between pollinating the zucchini squash and the spaghetti squash and we got some hybrids… looked like pregnant zucchini but has spaghetti squash insides…

  43. Pollination is a beautiful thing.

  44. You make me laugh out loud and I love it!! 🤣

  45. Oh honey. I hope you’re okay… I’m hoping the yelling was the usual dark-humored joking around which is of course a distraction from all that lies within and… that your cantaloupes aren’t swingers and can get their business done without you having to get intimately involved. You have enough on your plate to get involved with cantaloupes. :)))) xoxoxox

    And… something to distract from plant sex? Rats. 😀
    https://epileptaste.wordpress.com/2020/06/16/rats/

  46. I love your blog, but today’s post made me laugh so hard out loud; I just can’t thank you enough. Laughter and music are two of the things that feed my soul so well. And wow, did you fill me up today. Thank you. Keep on sexing up those flowers and keep writing. We love you so much and you make us feel not-alone when you write, even on your awful days. So, please just keep going and we will too. You are lucky that Victor sees you and accepts you. You are so lucky to have him.

  47. There is nothing weird about sexing your fruit. I’ve done it myself! However, you do seem to make doing that funny! Honestly, I wish I had your humor!

  48. I love your blog, but today I really needed that. You made me laugh so hard out loud!

  49. As a 7th generation Texan, I’m pretty sure that’s how they keep Austin weird. No handcuffs needed, you’re all good.

  50. 50
    Kimberly Collins

    This all makes sense to me! 🙂

  51. I’ve had sex with iris many times. The results are some beautiful hybrids.

    I’ve given a few talks and demonstrations at garden clubs showing the paint brush technique, but you can also pinch of the stamen (flower penis) and use that. That’s more fun at a garden club that includes men, because it makes them squirm and grimace.

  52. To My Dang Blog (#21) – the second line of the couplet is “Weed make a wonderful pear”. The more you know…

  53. My hubby once found me gently stroking my indoor tomato plant with an electric toothbrush, because I’d read something about mimicking the vibration frequency of bees’ wings to help pollinate it. 🙂 That reminds me, I just saw a headline today about scientists trying to pollinate plants using bubble-guns, which is both horrifying (bee apocalypse!) and adorable (scientist with bubble guns!)

  54. I can’t wait for the day when you report that someone thanked you for your kind gift of cantaloupe and you reply,”You’re welcome! I grew them in my lady garden!”

  55. Sometimes it’s hard to decide which is better, the ridiculous and funny post or the amazing comments! Like, this is totally a post I’d expect from Jenny, but then seeing so many people in the comments that apparently do this?! Makes it even better.

  56. I love the plague skills and hobbies that people are adopting and cheerfully developing! Go Jenny and all of you gardners out there! Joy can come from the smallest and most unexpected of places. I’ve had to find my joy in little things especially lately.

    My husband and I moved recently and we found out, to our great dismay, that the apartment we moved out of was completely mold infested thus our things are as well.

    We’re going to have to trash most of our stuff and even had to throw away almost all of our books some of which were treasured gifts from loved ones. I’ve also had eye infections going on for 4 weeks now that are probably mold related, and because of covid no ophthalmologist can see me sooner than 4 weeks… needless to say there isn’t a lot of joy right now in our home except…we hung a beautiful jade colored Chi wind chime outside yesterday on our balcony that was a gift from my aunt (properly Feng Shui of course and a new gift so no mold) and we planted a happy little flamingo pin wheel next to our potted Bougainvillea.

    The chimes sound like the gentle ringing of soothing bells throughout the day and the pinwheel just spins along like an excitable little daisy. Yay, little shimmers of joy!!! I hope everyone here finds their joy big or small somehow 🙂

  57. I’m almost certain that that’s not what tending your lady garden means but who am I to stop you?

  58. Thank you. Again!!!❤I love you

  59. 59
    Wildrider51

    This is what happens when we lose the bees! Without bees we’ll all have to sex our fruit!

  60. Y’all know way too much about plant sex practices. 🤣

  61. My father used to use an electric toothbrush to fertilize his tomato plants. He’d go out every evening to give them a buzz until the flowers set.

  62. That was the best! You are so smart and Victor just doesn’t get it!!! Love you!

  63. 63
    Janet Muckey

    Found this website with pictures and a tutorial! Like Cosmopolitan magazine but for plant sex. Enjoy!

    https://www.towergarden.com/blog.read.html/en/2015/6/flowers_but_no_fruit.html

  64. I saw these deer butt taxidermies and thought of you!
    https://www.sadanduseless.com/assquatch/

  65. I wish any of these sex tips pertained to spider plants. I can never get mine to make babies! : (

  66. Thank you for sharing this. You have brightened up my day which was kinda crummy.

  67. Bees don’t like cantaloupe in Texas?
    Weird …..

  68. 68
    Sue Lindsay

    Yes. This method works!

  69. Paint brush, squash flowers–I knew what was going on before I read a single word! Carly’s got it right–strip the male petals and go to town on those female blossoms!

  70. No cantaloupes to sex. My “sexy” garden moment was trying to determine if I was seeing a squirrel’s lady garden. My mother did not appreciate the text Message and photos. https://possumscatsthingsgnawingatme.wordpress.com/2020/06/17/do-you-need-new-voices-in-your-head/

  71. OMG…this is the funniest thing I’ve read in awhile.

    Good luck with the fruity flower sex! I hope you get hyuuuuge melons. I can’t even keep aloe vera alive and that’s supposed to be a hearty, hard to kill plant.

  72. Not that you’ll see this, but as a gardener, I’ve found that it’s important to plant various flowers near the veggies and fruits to draw the bees. Something as simple as marigolds works well. I’ve also started planting borage, aka bee bread, and that not only attracts pollinators but nourishes them. I haven’t had to resort to hand pollination yet.

  73. I really need to tell you that this happened to my tomatoes in a warm and humid climate, and I was told to use a vibrating toothbrush to help them shake out their pollen. Perhaps you, too, need a vibrator for fruits?

  74. 74
    tia in boise

    thanks–now i’m hungry for cantaloupe…

  75. this is what happens when all the bees die

  76. 76
    Juin TeVrucht

    I tried fluffing the pollen onto the female part of my Christmas cactus but nothing grew. I guess I’m not good at flower sex.

  77. I’m disappointed Victor seems so judgy you sexing your lady garden. He always seems so much more evolved.

  78. This is sort of unrelated, but then in Jenny’s World, nothing is sacred: As I was reviewing people’s comments I remembered (and just now verified) that there are a lot of Google listings for the topic “How to determine the sex of your chicken.”

  79. It is entirely possible that you didn’t get any male flowers. Plants are some of the most fantastically weird life forms.

  80. Never heard of this 😮

  81. True story: my graduate degree work involved doing the same thing with soybeans. Each simmer that we cross pollinated soybeans I would tell people that I was a soybean sex therapist.

  82. 82
    Laura Kaye

    YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE GETTING INTO WHEN YOU MARRIED ME has always been my favorite comeback. lol. I mean, REALLY.

  83. Jenny – you totally get me! I spend a lot of time in our large veggie garden and my hubby will holler out to me…Husband: whatcha doin’? – Me: Yeah, you don’t wanna know but since you asked, I’m playing with my melons and taunting the chipmunks!

    I love that image of you ‘painting the melon flowers’ – love, love, love you!

  84. Look at you – gardening! Victor should know by now your actions have a purpose. One you may or may not share with him.

  85. Reproducing the fruit sounds like a good way to be spending time right now. It will keep you sane.

  86. That fruit will basically be your babies and you are going to eat them.

  87. Jenny, this post is gold…serioulsy! To the person with the spider plants, they reproduce asexually, you should have tiny lil baby spider plants growing when your plant matures, just tuck those lil babies in some soil (still attached to mama plant) and you’ll have more spider plants that you know what to do with, very soon! LOL

  88. This is awesome. As always 🙂

  89. omg I needed that laugh today. You’re the best!

  90. 90
    JenniferNennifer

    I’m another fan of “YOU KNEW WHAT YOU WERE GETTING INTO WHEN YOU MARRIED ME,”

    Though it is probably never completely true, I believe in both our cases at least, they should have had sufficient clues.

  91. Well my pre-marriage preparation included a full disclosure questionnaire with EXACTLY that kind of topic. I mean, it’s just due diligence to find out your prospective mate’s stance on vegetable sex. Among other things. And the bonus comes years later when your spouse is saying, “What the…??!” and you get to say, “Did you not PAY ATTENTION to the questionnaire?”

  92. I totally have done this too with my pumpkins, cucumbers, etc.
    In 7th grade science class we were actually taught how to do this. It was under the guise of studying Gregor Mendel and genetics. We glued a bee to a stick and used that instead of a brush to pollinate 🙂

  93. 93
    Heather Feather

    You need a bee hive! Then you can watch the bees making sex with your plants. The world needs more bees anyways. Just be careful your dog doesn’t eat them. The German Shepard we had when I was little used to eat them with her lips pulled back from her teeth so they couldn’t sting her, and she would chomp off their stinger and then eat them like candy!
    “You knew what I was when you married me” is my favorite sentence to my husband. I tell him I have it in writing in our marriage vows. Ha!

  94. You are a horticultural genius. I think Victor is just jealous!

  95. I am here for the plant porn!

  96. You always find something to make my day better on my worst days. Thank you!
    {*hugs*}
    Sandy/Wynterose
    P.S. It’s infusion week and it always drags me down.

  97. thank you, i desperately needed a laugh today and i’ll be chuckling about this for a while.

  98. I do this all of the time with my pumpkins, but I use my finger. Maybe a paintbrush might be less intrusive to the plant?

  99. Thank you for the laughs. Brilliant. 💕

  100. 100
    le Pookie

    My first tomato patch, I bought some powder from the plant store and fluffed it on every blossom. Every one made a huge tomato that all ripened at once so I ended up carrying them to work in 5-gal buckets. Dunno the name it’s been 30 years ago but I’m sure if you go to the garden store and ask for Magic Flower Sex Powder someone will help you look.

  101. 101
    Anonymous

    I used a q-tip on my zucchini. Hope you have better luck.

  102. I’ve done the same with tomatoes that were celibate. From homeguides.sfgate: “Cantaloupe plants bear both male and female flowers, which are pollinated by bees. Male flowers appear first and can be identified by their long, slender base. Female flowers are larger and have a bump at the base of the flower.” If you tickled everyone, I’m sure they enjoyed it and may reward you later. Good luck!

  103. That is crazy that there are so few pollinators in your corner of TX that people must resort to pollinating their own fruits and veggies. You read about how monarch butterfly populations are down like 80% or more – and I’m sure all their less well known cousins also – but this really hits it home for me. I don’t grow veggies myself so I have no idea if we have the same problem yet in the PNW.

  104. 104
    Storm the Klingon

    Whenever the Vulcan actually notices that I’m doing something weird enough to compel him to ask about it, it’s usually when I’m REALLY busy concentrating on doing whatever weird thing it is, so I just put on my best, haughtiest Patsy Stone voice and shout “DON’T QUESTION ME!” Also works well when I’m in a hurry and don’t feel like dealing with explaining myself; “Wait, what’s that? What are you going to do with that brush?!” DON’T QUESTION ME!

    Cheers, sweetie! Cheers, darling!

    Storm the Klingon

  105. In Australia cantaloupes are called Rock melons, slang phrase for sex “getting your rocks off” perhaps this is what they meant😁

  106. 106
    Emily Cassidy

    I just had to do this with my Venus Fly Trap, Hermie, a few weeks ago! My husband judged me too but says he loves me none the less. My Mom told me I needed to dress the part and get a bee costume haha

  107. I read Let’s Pretend this Never Happened last week and almost died. Seriously, like I couldn’t breathe and my eyes were watering so badly that I had to keep a hankie in hand as well as take breathing breaks. I have never laughed so hard in my life. Immediately upon finishing it, went to my local bookstore and bought Furiously Happy and read it light speed. The same laughter induced conniption fits ensued all over again and now I am gonna die if I don’t get another book! Fortunately, I have now discovered your blog. YOU ARE MY FIRST BLOG READ EVER! THANK GOD THIS EXISTS! Well, thank god YOU exist!
    Now I’m off to kill big ass carpenter ants ( like, literaly BIG asses)in my garden who are living INSIDE the artichokes! Yes, we ate artichoke ants for dinner. They must die now. Thanks for the sexing up your produce tip. I’ll be doing that to my cucumbers next.

  108. 108
    Amanda Hearn

    I appreciate your raw openness with us. It makes me feel a little more awesome when I can share your posts with my husband and he just responds with, “I totally feel for Victor.” I would love if you did a podcast! It would make my drive time so much more fun!

  109. 109
    Deborah Darsie

    I never thought I would EVER read about assisted melon masturbation …until today.
    Having read both Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend this Never Happened

  110. 110
    Bagian Kepegawaian UMA

    YOU ARE MY FIRST BLOG READ EVER! THANK GOD THIS EXISTS!

  111. It’s true. I’m old! I guess it took the zany brilliance of Jenny to inspire me enough to get on the blog train!

  112. asoy Gan

  113. thanks for sharing

  114. You’re one of the reasons I am so happy to be blogging again. This is hilarious!

  115. “I’m just trying to feed us and save money on fruit so a little less judgement would be nice.” that’s the point

  116. Drux says “if you have ants, then you have aphids and the ants are protecting the aphids (because they like the sticky sweet poo aphids drop). So, you need bigger bugs to get rid of the aphids. He recommends ladybugs (they’re not all ladies).

  117. This is pure Gold to me I’ve been wondering why my squash wasn’t making much fruit & only some of the flowers had fruit & if there were male & female flower! I am so excited now 😂😂😂

  118. nice

  119. good article

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