|Project by DS||posted 07-23-2013 08:14 PM||1403 views||0 times favorited||10 comments|
Since melons are in season, we’ve been buying lots of fruit and making lots of fruit salad.
I got the idea to see if I could start the seeds from some of the melons we bought and see if I couldn’t get them to grow in an underutilized corner of the yard. Local grown Cantelope and Mexican Honeydew melon seeds were relatively easy to remove, clean and dry in preparation for planting.
I’ve never saved seeds before, though I usually start my garden from store bought seeds.
When I started, I had some leftover potting soil in the trays from last year that I re-used. Then, a couple days later I went to the local garden center and picked up a bag of Miracle Grow seed starting soil.
The seeds started in the MG soil appear to be more robust than the rest, but that could be because I re-used old potting soil from last year.
In just over a week, the first shoots came out of the soil. The cantelope sprouting faster than the honeydews.
Still, I got a prety good yield from the seeds. About 85% of the cantelope seeds started and about 65% of the Honeydew melons started.
It’s been about six weeks since I first put the seeds into the starting trays and just yesterday I transplanted them into the soil in the corner.
The corner of the yard had turned into one of those catch-all corners. It had leftover irrigation lines and a pile of weeds that I was too lazy to scoop up into the trash bin. Finally, as the seeds neared time to be transplanted, I decided to clean up the corner and turn the soil.
I added two CF of Miracle Grow garden soil and turned it in, creating a mound down the center of the furough. The seeds started in the old potting mix are on either end of the plot and the starting soil seeds are in the center of the plot.
In the foreground is a naval orange tree that is still too young to produce, however, I have high hopes for next year’s harvest.
The first flower buds have appeared on the cantelope plants!
There is a noticable difference in the plants started in different soils;
The plain potting mix side lost four or five plants to the transplant shock and the severe heat we’ve had recently. The first couple feet to the left are cantelopes, then you can see where the honeydew begin since they are faring slightly better than the cantelope in the potting soil side.
The plants in the seed starting soil (retains water very very nicely) all survived the transplantation and seem to be thriving. The general coloring and size of the plants seems more robust as well.
I wonder how it will translate at harvest time.
Here, the right couple of feet are cantelope and to the left are the honeydew, again, faring slightly better.
I’ll continue posting updates as they grow. (Unlike the Lumberjocks projects, these Gardentender projects seem to take a lot longer, heheh)
The Melon patch has offically taken over the corner of the yard. The silly things are trying to climb the block wall already.
I was very pleased to see a bumblebee perusing the melon blossoms, but, he got really camera shy when I tried to take his picture.
I’ve been keeping the soil fairly wet so that they don’t suffer heat damage, but now I am seeing some green algae on the soil.
Is this a big problem?
I know I should let things dry out in between watering, but with the heat lately I am afraid it will all turn to dust in a day if I don’t.