Thursday, September 27, 2007


Are there any melon experts out there? Yes, melons, not melones. I guess those would be experts of another kind. Here's the issue. For years, we planted watermelons, cantaloupe, and honeydew melons (mostly seeds) in our 50x50 home garden. And every year we would get a small or nonexistent return. We would fertilize, water, take special care of the plants, even burp them, but at most we'd get tiny melons that could hardly be called melons. This year, fed up with the lack of harvestable produce, I threw seeds everywhere, ignoring the info on the seed packets (you know, six seeds to a hill, hills three feet apart . . .). I threw in squash plants too just to add to the mix. I figured, what the heck, maybe the more the better. And despite a long drought from July through August, the plants produced copious amounts of melons, and large ones too. And the squash plants went to town as well, probably one of the best crops of winter and summer squash we've ever had.

So, is that the secret? Throw in so many seeds the vines grow on top of one another, crushing the weeds and intimidating the insects? It seems to have worked, but for the life of me, I don't really know why. We didn't water them any more than in a typical drought summer, and we didn't add buckets of fertilizer. If anyone can enlighten me on this, it would be greatly appreciated.

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