Late July Status Report

Summer is about to get HOT! and we have exciting news from the garden: WATERMELON! The first one was picked, at the correct time, weighed in at 10.2lb, cut open, tasted GREAT and when given away received the comment of “That Watermelon is the wrong color!” But it tastes better than any watermelon I have ever tasted. Mmmmm.

A mostly solid color light green fruit that has yellow flesh and big black seeds, here is Desert King:

Want to see the Step-by-step on picking a Black Diamond?

Step One:

Make sure tendril opposite the fruit is withered brown.

Step Two:

Observe yellow patch on underside of the fruit.

Step Three:

Cut the fruit from the vine.

Here is the 17lb Watermelon with the rest of the harvest.

Desert King is top and central, (Going Clockwise) Paul Robeson with Blondkopfchen, Orange Strawberry with Oleron Yellow and Garden Peach, Box Car Willy with Hillbilly, Mystery Tomato with Cayenne, Serrano and Chocolate Pepper, Yellow Perfection and in the middle is Julia Child’s.

Other harvests in the garden have been the square of radishes and, of course, more tomatoes.

In the colander are Sweet and Genovese Basil with Summer Savory. The two plates in front are Lemon Basil on the right and Thai Basil on the Left. The tomatoes include our first Black Zebra, they look great, and deserve detailed pictures in the near future.

So far most of the watermelons have been maturing on the ground. Apparently slings are necessary when the melon is supported vertically. This baby (presumably a Desert King) fell and got cracked. Nearby ants and flying Japanese Beetles went crazy.

Here is the first garden sling to prevent such a massacre in the future:

Problems in the garden right now include:

Aphids in the greenhouse: Peppermint, and Peppers
Aphids outside: Watermelon, Corn, Chamomile
Ants on the Eggplant and Corn. (These are eating the plant, not harvesting the Aphids)
Gopher in the Eggplant bed, sometimes the Bean and Corn bed, and trying to get at the Tomatoes.
Outside Watermelon seems to have decreased growth, with some vines simply dying off.
Inside Watermelon need more support and will likely need hand pollination due to lack of pollinators in the Greenhouse
Some Tomato plants have leaves that are dying faster than than acceptable

Concerning the Aphids, affected plants have been sprayed with Armor

For the decreased vigor of the Watermelon and the state of the Tomatoes, the garden as a whole was foliar fed a combination of Dominion Organics’ Volcano, B-29 and. It looks like we need to pay close attention to keeping nutrients available for the plants, which means more regular feedings for the needy plants.

The gopher has been spotted munching on the Eggplant. Somehow he got through this barrier in about a months time:

We’ve tried throwing the indoor cat at it, but since he is an indoor cat, it really doesn’t work so well.

Unfortunately the gopher was scared away by the cat who in turn was distracted, being outside with birds and bugs and all.

Perhaps we can make a cat house over the area and keep the cat in it for a while.

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One Response to Late July Status Report

  1. Anonymous says:

    Last summer I got a yellow watermelon from the farmer’s market that was so sweet and delicious, I almost never want to eat traditional watermelon again. I can’t tell if yours is yellow or orange, but if it was as good as the one I ate, who cares what color it is??

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