Thursday, September 6, 2012

Melon Failure

Melons are harder to grow than I anticipated.  I thought they would take the same care as pumpkins, which I have grown successfully in the past, if not this year.  No.  Melons are pickier!

1) I am pretty sure the soil is completely wrong in both beds.
2) I have obviously over-watered at times.

I planted Charentais cantaloupe and Sugar Baby watermelon.  I started them indoors, from seed, in April.  Then I directed seeded more in May when the transplants weren't doing well.  The cantaloupe was heavily damaged by hail in June, but the plants came back well.  The first fruits set on both melon varieties nearly two months ago, or at least 6 weeks, much longer than the average date on the packages from planting!  The remaining melons are still very small, and don't seem to be growing a bit. 

Watermelon Bed - September 5 (yes, those are Boo's legs...)     
I have one cantaloupe left, and 4 or 5 watermelon.  The rest of the cantaloupe and several watermelon split from over-watering.  I can see it.  Too much water, and the excess goes to the fruit, which can't handle it, and splits open. That makes sense. But, the soil would dry out quickly in the raised beds, so I would water!  Watermelon can take the dry soil, so I was not caring for it so much as killing it. 

Watermelon - split from over-watering

Cantaloupe - split from over-watering
Oh, the cantaloupe smelled so good inside! 

The melons were not a good use of garden space.  The watermelon had their own 4 x 4 bed, the cantaloupes shared an 8 x 4 with the pumpkins, which were also a failed crop this year.  48 sq. ft. of garden space which yielded three pumpkins, and maybe a small watermelon.  I have manure and potting soil to amend the soil in the beds.  I might get a sack of peat to throw in too.  What a disappointment...

Last Remaining Cantaloupe (with Boo squinting in the sun)

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