Jim’s Garden Adventure 2017 Chapter 7 “Watermelons…Watermelons…Everywhere”

Oh, My Watermelons!  A Melon Patch to be Proud of…

I took a few pictures of my melon patch over the last several months to give you an idea on how it has progressed over the summer.

Here’s one I took just before July 4th weekend.  The plant on the upper left is a Crimson Sweet watermelon…and, the plant on the upper right is a Jubilee watermelon.  The plant in the lower center is a Hearts of Gold cantaloupe.

Jim's watermelon patch in the making.

This is truly a patch in its infancy!  It doesn’t look like it will create any melons, does it?

 

Showing Some Promise, Now!

A month later, I took a few more pictures.

Jim's watermelon patch is gettin' there!Jim has his eye on this watermelon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The plants are starting to take hold and thrive!

You can see that the vines are beginning to spread out more rapidly and some of the watermelons are starting to form.  All I could think of at this point was…CAN’T WAIT !!!

 

Labor Day Weekend Update!

Now, the last true summer holiday is here.  And, I thought I’d take a few pictures to show you how much more the patch has grown and spread out!

Jim's watermelon patch on Labor Day weekend.

This picture looks like Kudzu out of control!  But, actually, it is my melon patch.  In it are just two watermelon plants and one cantaloupe plant…and all their vines intertwined and spreading…taking over my backyard!

That’s right!  That’s all!  Just three…count them…three total melon plants in the entire patch!  Now you understand why, in my page on growing watermelons, I stress dedicating a plot outside the regular garden to grow melons!

Arrows pointing to watermelons hiding in Jim's melon patch.

Jim has another small watermelon growing next to a bigger one.

Can you see this little melon in Jim's melon patch?

It’s like a hidden object game trying to discover the melons in the patch!  Arrows are pointing out some hard-to-see melons in the pictures above.

And, there are about a dozen melons growing so far throughout the melon patch!  That doesn’t include the ones that are hiding too well for me to see.  As big as some of them are getting, 20 to 25 pounds, the melons are still very expert at hiding in plain sight!

Matter of fact, here’s the nice big, juicy one I’m going to pick today.

The first watermelon picked out of Jim's melon patch!

I chose this watermelon because:

  • It was heavier than the other similar sized ones.
  • The bottom had turned mostly dark yellow.
  • The spoon leaf (A short leaf that grows at the point where the watermelon stem attaches to the vine.) has dried up, turned brown, and fallen off.

Look close to see the brown tendril for this watermelon.

  • The tendril connected to the melon at the stem/vine interface has dried and turned brown.
  • The watermelon stem that attaches to the vine is just beginning to dry out.
  • And, I gave it a good thumping and got a very hollow sound.

 

All the Key Indicators of Ripeness Have Been Satisfied.

So, I got out a pair of trusty garden shears, my Gonicc 8″ Pro Pruning Shears, cut off the melon, and headed for the kitchen to refrigerate it.  I wanted it to be coldcoldcold…for tomorrow’s picnic!

Once I took a bite out of that Crimson Sweet, I thought I had died and gone to heaven!  There just isn’t anything better than that!

 

Watermelons and Memories…

Every time I eat a fresh, sweet, homegrown watermelon, it brings back memories about when I was a youngster helping my father in our backyard garden watermelon patch.

I remember one summer morning, I discovered several half-eaten watermelons in the patch.  I talked with a few of my neighborhood buddies and found out that several neer-do-well kids from down the street had bragged about sneaking into our garden in the middle of the night and helping themselves to a few of our ripest and sweetest watermelons.

My father had an idea!  He put a sign in the garden that read:

Warning! One of the watermelons in this patch has been treated with rat poison.

We figured that would scare off the young rascals that were freeloading off our watermelon patch!

For about a week, there were no more watermelons missing or chewed on.

Then, one morning, after assuring ourselves that no watermelons had been stolen or eaten during the night, we saw another sign sitting next to our WARNING sign.

Apparently, the watermelon bandits decided to make their own sign which read:

Now, there are two!

 

Smart kids, huh?

 

How’s your watermelon patch this year?  I would like to hear about it!  Comment below or email me some pictures: jim@perfect-vegetable-garden.com.

 

Jim

8 thoughts on “Jim’s Garden Adventure 2017 Chapter 7 “Watermelons…Watermelons…Everywhere”

  1. Helen Reply

    hahaha what a planty adventure! Your patch looks heavenly, I am soo jealous!! Watermelons are one of my favorite foods and everything tastes so much better when it’s grown at home in the backyard. I would love to have a big vegetable and fruit garden some day. As of right now, I live in a cramped little college town with nary a square inch of soil to myself. One day!! A dream of mine is to have a rooftop in nyc where I can start a community garden (:

    I love the memories! haha what smart booties. Did you ever eat those watermelons??

    xx

    Helen

    • Jim Reply

      Thanks, for the compliment, Helen!

      I must say that this has been a very good year for our watermelons.  At our family picnic today, we ate the watermelon that I picked…shown above in the article.  It was sinfully sweet and as juicy as a watermelon could possibly get!

      Good luck on achieving your rooftop garden dream in NYC!  But, even now…with a container or two…and a window close to sunlight…you could still grow a few veggies.  You could call it your secret garden!

      By the way, the “summer of the rat poison” ended ALL watermelon eating until my police chief uncle brought those two scoundrels over to our house…at which time they admitted that they just put up the “NOW THERE ARE TWO” sign and didn’t actually poison the watermelons.

      Since we did not completely believe them, we had them turn their backs while we picked a watermelon at random and directed them to eat it…to prove they were being truthful.  Then, we knew they were being straightforward…and the melon patch was safe again for consumption!

      Glad to have you visit The Perfect Vegetable Garden!

      Jim

      • Helen Reply

        You’re so right about the window. I work at my campus greenhouse currently and naturally I have plants all over my house where any drop of light hits. They’re taking over! haha I’ve never tried growing any vegetables indoors before but I do have basil and parsley growing right now. I’ll definitely have to give it a go!

        hahah glad all ended well! What muskrats.

        (:

        • Jim Post authorReply

          It sounds like you are a true gardener at heart, Helen! If you read my “About Me” page, you will see that I, too, have been through the same period in my life, living in an apartment, where I could only grow veggies and herbs indoors…and every window was lined with containers holding cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, rosemary, basil, lavender, coriander, and anything else I could squeeze in! Some plants even lived in my closet with grow lights!

          I even grew a small lemon plant that produced enough to make lemonade in the summer.

          Jim

  2. Candice Reply

    I love watermelons!! I wish I thought of this idea earlier, oh well there’s next year. It’s fascinating how fast they grow. Beautiful pruning shears too. Great pointers to finding a watermelon that has ripened, most of us don’t know how to figure that out. If I do try to grow them, I will start with one now that I see how wild and fast yours has grown. That story got me laughing, smart kids is right. Have you tried to make watermelon wine? If you have, I’d buy a bottle or two. Ever since the song came out i’ve been wanting to try it. Thank you.

    • Jim Reply

      Watermelons will definitely surprise you with how fast they can grow once they get a foot-hold!

      Tom T. Hall knew how to sing it…”Old dogs and children…and watermelon wine.”

      My father was an avid wine maker and watermelon wine was a favorite of his…and so was the Tom T. Hall song!

      My friends and I used to sneak a few sips now and then.  “Chug-a-lug…chug-a-lug…makes you wanna holler hi-dee-ho…” as Roger Miller used to sing!

      But, alas, the wine making knack is one I never acquired from my days toiling in our family garden.

      Thanks, for stopping by, Candice.  Y’all come back now, hear?

      Jim

  3. Jeff Reply

    Great Post on growing Watermellons, Jim. I have never grown these succulent fruits before but thought I would give it a try. My normal crops I love to grow are Rockmelon and they growth pattern is very similar to your Watermelon. Although I don’t have any problem with rodents attacking my Rockmelon, did the rat poison do the trick in ridding the pesky group of rats?
    Thanks for the info, Jeff.

    • Jim Post authorReply

      Hi Jeff,

      It is great having you visit my watermelon page. Rockmelon is the Australian version of the American Cantaloupe…which I enjoy growing, too!

      I use a combination of rat poison, rat traps with a little peanut butter for extra enticement, and some Victor Out O’Sight Mole Traps to rid my garden of a bunch of pesky little critters!

      Thanks, for stopping by!

      Jim

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