It was a busy weekend in the garden spot. The weather turned a bit cooler for a few days….almost fall-like with low humidity and nights in the 50s. Although great for gardening chores and wonderfully comfortable sleeping weather, the cooler night temperatures we not enjoyed by the melon patch. It is beginning to look a bit ragged. I gave all the melons a shot of fish emulsion. The weather is supposed to return to hot temperatures this week, so I hope the melons hang on and continue to grow into fall.
We have had such a warm summer. Overall, the garden is thriving as a result. The melon patch has produced numerous fruit nestled among the zealous vines.
Fastbreak Melons are a favorite in the garden spot. They are a muskmelon that appealed to me because of the fast maturing rate of about 70-days. The fruit are about 5-inches in diameter and taste like a sweet and small version of cantaloupe you would purchase in the supermarket. One melon is a perfect for breakfast for two.
Sugar Baby Watermelons are a new melon in the garden spot. It is an 8-inch average watermelon that matures in 80-days and is described as having a crisp, mouthwatering, sweet rich flavor.
Charantais Melons are new to the garden spot as well. They are a true European cantaloupe that has a thin, smooth skin with light green stripes that advances to creamy yellow. Charentais melons typically take 70-90 days to mature and may grow to softball size, weighing about 2 pounds:
Black solar mulch was used in the melon patch to help keep down the weeds and increase the warmth. The vines quickly intertwined in the patch as they grew.
I could easily recognize the Sugar Baby Watermelons vines because their leaf shape was different, but the Fastbreak and Charantais melon’s foliage looked similar. As the melons formed and grew, they were easy to identify. Not surprisingly, the Fastbreak Melons were the first to form fruits:
In the past few weeks I have recognized the Charantais Melons among the vines. They were late to the melon party, but are catching up quickly:
Sugar Baby Watermelons were forming fruit only a few weeks after the Fastbreak Melons. Their dark rinds cause them to stand out in the melon patch as silent sentinels:
As shown in the Harvest Monday post, the first Fastbreak Melons were harvested this week. I know from experience that the first melon is no prize as it has struggled to grow in cooler conditions in its early life. The first melon harvested is much smaller and slightly deformed than the others growing in the patch. The rind had turned a slightly yellow color and shown as a beacon among the green vines. When I reached for it, I found that it had already separated itself from the vine:
The second was quite a surprise. The melon shown brightly in the patch the following afternoon having turned to a golden color in only a day. I reached in to adjust its position so I could see the stem and it effortlessly slipped from the vine. It was ripe and ready for harvest:
This one was larger than the first, about 6-inches wide and tasted sweet and fresh. There are many more to follow.