Couldn’t resist any longer, waiting for the stem to turn brown. I found another info source that said the test was when the bottom of the melon, the side that lays on the ground, is yellow. That was more important or indicative than the brown stem. So I picked the biggest one and cut it in half – half for us, half for George and Barbara. The melon weighed at least 20 pounds so that was plenty for all of us. We gave it a little taste test and it passed with flying colors. Barbara confessed that she had bought a seeded variety very early in the season and had pitched the carcass etc in the compost pile. I’m fairly sure we only bought seedless watermelon this year so her seeds were probably the parents. I estimate there are at least 10 more that will be ready to harvest this month. No telling how many small ones are hiding in the lush foliage but the vine is still producing loads of blossoms and keeping quite a few bees busy so maybe we’ll have watermelon for Halloween and Thanksgiving instead of pumpkins.
Also, I have another runaway renegade crop in the making. Last year I planted some New Zealand Spinach/aka Tetragonia. I’d tried to grow this plant several times because it promised to survive high temps and provide a source of greens all summer long but with zero success. For whatever reasons, last season it took off and grew prodigiously before eventually dying off with the onset of summer. At the height of it’s growth, I was providing several large bags of greens a week to Nancy’s bridge friends and using it in my green smoothies. Well, I guess it self seeded at the end and has started sprouting a new crop. I’ll get on it much sooner as far as bringing it to table but I can already see by the number of plants sprouting and the size of those that popped up last month, that it has the potential of totally taking over a large portion of the garden. I’m seeing a trend that says crops that pop up on their own without my TLC, do better than those I nurse along from purchased seeds. I guess that makes sense when you think how well weeds do as compared to fancy grass.
One thing I plan to do this fall is fight the bugs from the get go using a sprayed on soap solution. Everything I read says that should work and doesn’t count as chemical warfare. I’m using Dawn as the super agent. Nancy uses that on dishes so it must be good. I’ve tried this half heartedly in the past, usually after the bugs have found the crop and started feasting. This season I’m going to get ahead of it and start spraying weekly as soon as the seeds germinate and before any signs of critters. My major focus will be on the squash, beans, and cucumbers which seem to be high on the list of desirable meals for the bugs.