Friday, September 9, 2016

Watermelon Vines Cover the Desert Floor

Watermelon vines have taken hold in my backyard and I couldn't be more delighted. The fabulous fruit is a personal favorite and to have it growing live in my garden is a sweet event. I'll say this in the dear old southern granny voice, "It just makes ma heart swell!"

Last week's count of established and newly forming fruit numbered over two dozen. The monstrous patch of leaves is covering a former corn bed that is seven feet by seven feet and furrowed like real farm rows. The channels allow for deep watering and saturation to direct moisture to thirsty roots. These wonderful fruits require a lot of water, especially during the very hot months. The melon plants are hearty, cool leafy strings with bulging striped fruits. Their beginnings were just a few seeds in a couple of small pots. What I have now is the equivalent of a mini-jungle.

The flowers are tended neatly by bees and flying nectar loving things. The flowers on the vines are abuzz with bee activity early in the mornings just after sunrise. Attracting these important creatures is key for any successful planting. Once the bees know that you have these sweet flowers they will visit faithfully. Their presence means healthy fruit!

Watermelon Plants - Starter Pots

Recent Garden Tour

Allow me to introduce you to my backyard urban farm. 
Walk along with me and my chickens as we inspect a few things around the garden beds. 
The watermelon patch is highlighted for bragging rights. 

I believe these watermelons are Sugar Babies, but I may be wrong. They look more like the Crimson Sweet watermelons below. There are a wide variety of the fruit vines on the market. Plant them in late April in Nevada and watch the melon magic begin! Watermelons take up a lot of space so be careful where you plant them. The vines will need to stretch 15 to 20 feet all around the planting area. They will climb over and around everything in their path.

Order seeds for your next garden here at Direct Gardening. Most of them are under a dollar for the basics and quite affordable for more exotic varieties. Once these get going, collect the seeds from the melons and save for the future crops. The ideal seeds are the darker, mature ones. They are usually fatter than the rest of the seeds in the fruit. This is true of most seeds in fruit and vegetable varieties. Ask people to be considerate that are eating the fresh melon and spit the seeds in a pre-planned watermelon area so the yard doesn't end up with wandering vines. 

Crimson Sweet Watermelon