This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

sports, melons and seed catalogs ....

Yes, that was me. Out in the bleachers reading my seed catalog at the high school wrestling tournament. I'd look up now and then and cheer. Then, back to the heirloom melon section. Nothing like an all day sporting event to catch up on my catalogs.

I think I can do better at growing melons this year. I'll remember that the seedlings need to stay very warm. Sand Hill Preservation Center reminds growers not to start seedlings indoors more than 2 weeks early. The seedlings should not have more than 2 or 3 sets of true leaves prior to transplanting. The roots don't like to be disturbed. And the soil must be fully warmed before transplanting out. Last year it seemed like my seedlings were stunted and never grew well. I ended up with mini watermelons.

This year I'll give my squashes and melons more compost and more fertilizer. They like rich soil. And I'll remember that my neighbor's sun chokes grow to 10 feet tall and block the sun on south side of my garden. The sun will be better for melons toward the north.

I think I'll order three varieties of melons. I'll grow two or three plants of each and see what does best for me. I circled Anne Arundel (a pre-1800 Maryland heirloom with sweet bright green flesh) Charentais (a grapefruit-sized cantaloupe variety with flavor so strong you can smell the ripened fruit in the garden hundreds of feet away) and Crane (a Crenshaw type with speckled skin and delicate mild flavor).

With another big sporting event tomorrow, I bet I can get my last seed order finished and mailed out! (Go Arizona!)

Melons (Cucumis melo)
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)



Blogger Gina said...

Kathy - I made it through the entire Seeds of Change seed catalog during the time-outs at the Chicago Bulls game the other night. This will be my regular seed shopping protocol for years to come!

January 31, 2009 7:32 PM

Blogger Fiona said...

Charentais is supposed to be insanely good. They were very much in demand at the farmer's market in LA when I lived there. Hope that one works out!

January 31, 2009 7:35 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Don't know if I should read my catalog during the commercials or the game tomorrow.

Wow, 'insanely good'! - I'll look forward to this.

January 31, 2009 7:42 PM

Blogger Peggy said...

I am looking a starting my plants that tend to not like to be transplanted in peat pots this year. I thought I would try this to get a jump on harvest!

January 31, 2009 8:07 PM

Blogger Dan said...

I'm growing Charentais this year, I have also heard they are supposed to be a very good tasting melons. I am hoping they will grow on a trellis as that is the only space I have available.

I am willing to trade some of my charentais seed if you are interested. I have to mail a seed trade this coming week to the southern united states, it would be no problem to mail out another.

January 31, 2009 8:45 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Dan that would be super. Let me know if there's any seed you're looking for that I could trade in return.

January 31, 2009 10:03 PM

Anonymous Dawnie (CT) said...

Hi Kathy! I know this is off topic from your blog entry but thought this would be useful to you and others. I went surfing to see if there were veggies that I could NOT plant near each other. I came across this very informative site with COMPANION PLANTING info:

~ Dawnie

February 02, 2009 12:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know of any small space melons? The ones I've seen are always very large and I don't have the space to make the production amount to much of anything....

February 02, 2009 4:42 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Maybe you want to try this one. Photo at Seed Savers Exchange.

Minnesota Midget: 70 days. Small, shallow ribbed fruits that ripen 1 to 2 pounds and are very tasty. Extra early variety. Vines seldom over 3' long. Round 3-4" fruits, thick golden yellow flesh. Edible to the rind, high sugar content. Resistant to fusarium wilt. Introduced by Univ. of MN in 1948. Small fruited varieties will grow on a trellis.

February 02, 2009 10:58 PM

Anonymous Farmer John said...

I laughed out loud when you said you were cheering one minute and reading the melon section the next. I can't tell you all the places I've taken seed catalogs. I think that is the mark of a real gardener. Dreaming the dream of wonderful fruits for next year while our feet are still in the snow!

February 04, 2009 11:05 AM

Anonymous kelly said...

I will be growing the Savor Charentais variety this year. First time growing melons. Thinking of trellising them on my deck since it is the sunniest spot. I purchased those wall-o-water bags and a few cloches to help keep sensitive plants warm. Hoping the sun and cozy beginnings will allow me to try at least one lovely melon. Ahh, dreaming of summer.

February 10, 2009 9:40 AM


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