Last year was the first time growing several varieties winter squash. They have held up very well stored in our basement. We still have a couple delicata, a butternut, and a spaghetti squash left.
The freezer is also full of pureed pumpkin ready to be turned into pies, breads, or soup. As it turns out, we don't really eat a lot of winter squash. Unless it is in pie form, K doesn't really like winter squash and I can be satisfied with a small serving every now and then.
After thinking it over, I decided to reduce the amount of winter squash grown in the garden this year. I am keeping delicata because I love it's sweet flavor, small size, and ease of preparation. The other squashes are plentiful at farmers markets if I have an urge for one.
Instead I can utilize the garden space for more melons, which we can all enjoy. Melons are tricky in my garden but can be grown with great success. I have to consider quick maturing varieties, utilize black solar mulch to keep things hot, and start seedlings inside for best results. Then hope Mother Nature provides us with some heat.
I am considering Yellow Petite Watermelon because of its smaller size and quick maturity (65-80 days). I tried this variety last year grown on a trellis, but didn't have much success. I think it will be happier sprawling out over the solar mulch.
This year will see the return of the Fastbreak muskmelon. We loved Fastbreak because of its fast maturity (65 days), sweet flavor, and the fact that it lets us know when it is ripe by slipping off the vine. It is an F1 hybrid that has proven itself in our garden by producing numerous fruit.
I am really looking forward to growing Banana Melon, a recent Seeds of the Month Club surprise. The unique shape and promise of sweet, salmon flesh have me intrigued. I think I am pushing it though with the 90-day maturity but it will all depend on the weather this summer.
|Fastbreak Melon Harvest from 2010|
So it's back to the garden plan for a bit of modification. I also need to shuffle some things around to accommodate extra items that I started under the lights this spring.