Sunday, August 17, 2014

It's Melon Time!

Step into my backyard and the scent hits you. It's melon time. This is the year of the melon in my little garden. So far we have harvested 12 honeydews, 7 cantaloupes and 2 Crenshaws. Today I counted 23 more on the vine that are fist-sized or larger. Many more thumb-sized ones are scattered about. That's amazing to me considering they are grown in one 
4 ft x 12 ft bed with a spread of about 14 ft x 14 ft.

I am growing 3 types of melons (honeydew, Crenshaw and cantaloupe). They are planted in four mounds and the mounds were planted in succession starting in March. You can see the melon mounds on the right side of the bed, planted next to the strawberries and parsley. Each mound has a different variety of melon and the soaker hose is looped over each mound. For details on how/when I planted the melons, you can read about it here.


The melon bed is next to an empty area so the vines have room to grow. Here are some pictures from May. The melons are in the foreground on the right, spilling into the empty area.
May 23, 2014
May 30, 2014
Here are the melons in July.

They have filled the empty area and are climbing up and through the little fence and onto the pavement. My dad's dog came to visit and helped herself to 4 cantaloupes that were growing on the pavement so I added a little fence to keep her out and the melons safe.
Now I'm training the vines to climb that new fence. Next year I think I'll run fencing down the middle of my melon bed and train them vertically. 

I have been spraying them weekly with Epsom salts to help with chlorosis (1-2 Tbsp per gallon of water). I sprayed with soapy water when the aphids were bad last month (1 tsp per gallon of water). A few weeks ago I found some powder mildew on one section so I removed the affected leaves and started spraying every 10 days with baking soda which has really worked 
(1 Tbsp per gallon of water). The mildew is gone. I have leaf miners but haven't done anything to try to control them. They are happily tunneling through the leaves but their activity has seemed to slow down lately. I have been feeding the melons only with compost tea although I added compost before I sowed the seeds. Mine are watered deeply by soaker hose every other day. 

We have been eating melons everyday. I'll share some ideas later for tasty melon treats.

For now, here are some more pictures.
Cantaloupe 
Cantaloupe
Honeydew
Honeydew
Crenshaw
Crenshaw
Cheerful blossom
Furry baby melon
Tendril
I think I'll go have some frozen melon slices...such a refreshing treat on a hot summer day!



3 comments:

  1. They look delicious! How flavorful are they? I've grown some tasteless melons in my time.

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  2. Sue, they are the most delicious melons I've ever tasted! Some are almost too sweet. The melon fairies blessed this crop!

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  3. Come on people, you need to participate as much as you can to be part of melon, thanks for sharing amazing recipes with us.

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