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Friday, 5 August 2011

Watermelon!!!





[image: Sugar Baby Watermelon, weighing 4.04lbs - not the best photos, my kitchen doesn't get as much light as it could]

It tastes better than any watermelon I've ever had - super sweet, refreshing and juicy. Never buy these suckers out of season, you're just looking for disappointment.

Things I've learned growing watermelon:

  • giving them their own bed is a pointless waste of soil and space. Grow them in the same bed as tomatoes (prune your tomatoes to leave the bottom 6-8 inches of stem without leaves and there will be plenty of room) or any other vertically growing plant maximises the space you have while requiring very little extra water and zero extra soil.
  • a caterpillar-beetle larvae type bug will, if left to their own devices, strip the skin from the exterior of the fruit, but not damage the interior.
  • directions on the internet to help you gauge when the fruits are ripe aren't as clear as they could be. When you read "it's ripe when the tendrils around the base of the fruit have dried up", that's a great way initially, but it helps to know what a ripe watermelon sounds like compared to one that's still growing. Even then, it's guesswork, so it helps to keep an eye on the fruit as it grows so the changes are obvious.
There are two more fruits out there (I suspect they'll be ready next week), but that's all there will be from the yard when it comes to 2011 melons. In retrospect, I wish I'd planted more of them and had the "below the tomatoes!" revelation sooner. Next year I'll add another type, possibly something larger, possibly planted on the ground of the hops patch. 

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