My Watermelons are Giving me the Fits!
I love watermelons. They are sweet, juicy, messy to eat, and remind me of summer like nothing else does. But growing my watermelons in a vegetable garden has proven to be a challenge for me.
My watermelons were planted as seedlings in June and by the time I returned from my vacation in Maine in August it was at least 10 feet wide and growing more every day. BUT…there wasn’t a watermelon in sight, or even a hopeful. You can also plant your own watermelon seeds, but you will have to start them early. They have a long growing season.
My German Shepherd dogs Ashleigh and Sassy have been trained to keep out of the garden, and seem to obey fairly well – with one big exception. Ashleigh loves to roll over right in the middle of the watermelon patch. I think she loves the fresh compost that was liberally added to the mound that it is growing in.
The watermelon patch is the lushest thing in my garden. No yellow leaves. TONS of flowers. But nothing in the way of fruit. I searched every day to see if there were any hopefuls or hints of hopefuls. I was about to let it become Ashleigh’s new back scratching tool last week and just give up on it, thinking that it must only have only male flowers. (I’ve seen lots and lots of bees in there pollinating too!)
Yesterday, not to be outdone by a simple plant, I went searching through the miles of leaves and lo and behold, my hate relationship with it turned to LOVE. There are 5 melons on it….count ’em – FIVE. (I think there is another one in there too. I thought I saw a hopeful last week, but can’t find a melon in the area where the hopeful was….dang melons are the same color as the leaves and the vines are growing out onto my lawn which is also the same color.)
Now, my dilemma is “do I start cutting off the ends of the main stems, or do I go for a record number of watermelons from one plant?” I’ve heard that trimming the vines will make the watermelon ripen up what is there and the fruit will be bigger and better. But I do like a challenge too, and most watermelon plants only produce 3 if you are lucky.
Here are my “babies.”
The silver aluminum foil is supposed to keep the melons from bugs and soil based problems, and is said to help with ripening, but I like it because I can see where they are when I approach the patch.
Did I mention that I love growing watermelons?
Have you had luck growing watermelons? Please let us know in the comment section below.
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