Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Planting Pumpkin and Watermelon

I remember as a kid we would walk across the road to my Grandfather's house to pick a watermelon after dinner.  The watermelon was always a sweet ending to a great home cooked meal.  My Grandfather could grow the sweetest and largest melons.  Many of my childhood photos have watermelons in them.  My Grandmother even has a photo taken with of my Grandfather, his Father's day gift of rocking chairs, all the Grandkids and of course a huge watermelon we all ate that afternoon.  I have yet to purchase a watermelon that taste as good as his.  Maybe this year will be different. 

The little monster, his Grandpa and I planted a few watermelons yesterday afternoon down by the pond.  We used Crimson Sweet Seeds. These will make 20 to 25 lbs melons full of sweet juices and small seeds to save for next year.  Germination averages six days with an average of 88 days to maturity.  We planted only eight seeds.  This will produce more than enough for us to eat if all things go as planned.

We started with one square foot of soil.  Dug a it out about one inch deep, then placed four seeds (three inches apart) into each area to begin germination.  We repeated this five feet away with four more seeds.  We covered both areas up and the little monster grabbed his water to give the seeds a good shower.







The soil is a mound that was made when the pond was dug.  It looks very rich and the watermelons will look amazing trailing down the small mounds.  When the watermelons were finished, we moved onto something I have always wanted to plant, pumpkins!

My favorite time of year is Halloween and the little monster loves a good pumpkin pie.  This fall we will be able to pick our own pumpkins for carving, decorating and eating.  We planted these exactly the same as the watermelons.  Placing the seeds one inch deep with four seeds spaced out every three inches.  Then we placed four more seeds to germinate five foot away form the first four.  Water and finished. It will take these Jack-O-Lanterns 110 days to mature.  They will be the perfect size for carving without having to pay the high prices at the pumpkin patch. 



The mounds we used will help keep the melons dry and prevent rotting.  The soil is very rich, but if your soil needs a little help, dig the hole deeper and add a little compost before planting.  To help with preventing fungus once the vines start to grow, mix up one part hole milk with one part water for a leaf spray. (this is also helpful with roses and tomato plants)  Always water the roots and not the vines to help prevent to spread of fungus.  Only water once a week in dry weather to prevent over watering.  You can use a plant stake of other marker to mark the center of the sowing area for a deep root watering when needed.  My little monster did not want to use stakes, so he made a line with rocks to mark the area.  The rocks will be painted in glow-in-the-dark paint this weekend with the name of the plant written on top of the paint with a marker. 




Now the long wait begins but is well worth it.  Maybe my little monster will have great memories in the garden too.  I know he will love watching the ten foot vines grow from these seeds.  Hopefully he will eat watermelon this summer.  This is the only food he refuses to eat.  I do not understand how he could not like watermelon, but love fuzzy pickled okra, mushrooms and pumpkin.  My child is a strange eater.  He loves everything that most kids hate.  He has the perfect diet with plenty of variety and fresh veggies while most kids do everything they can to avoid veggies. 

6 comments:

  1. I am also growing pumpkin and watermelon. This is my third year, I think, of growing pumpkin. We not only eat pumpkin but also the leaves and stalks. Do you know that they can also be eaten, taste delicious and can be cooked in variety of ways to enjoy :-). Best of luck with your growth. I will be monitoring your blog to see updates.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No I have never tried them! This is our first year with pumpkins. I can not wait for fresh pies and cute Halloween decor.

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