Tag Archives: melons

Compost and Cucurbits

You’d think, this time of year, that all I’d be doing is sowing seeds and transplanting small and large plants. I am. But I’m also turning compost piles, getting ready to use that “black gold” this autumn. Why now? So the stuff has time to mellow and to make space for new compost piles that will be built from now through autumn.

Here’s my compost routine: All summer and into autumn I fill empty compost bins with hay, wood shavings, horse manure, weeds, kitchen waste, and old garden plants along with some sprinklings of soil, limestone, soybean meal (if extra nitrogen is needed), and sufficient water to moisten the ingredients. When a bin is full, which means loaded up about 5 feet high, it gets covered with a sheet of EPDM rubber roofing material to keep excess moisture out and to seal in whatever moisture is within. A …

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Melon-ic Efforts

I like to keep my vegetable garden trim and neat and intensively planted. Melons have a different perspective on life. They like to sprawl every which way, tumbling across garden beds and latching their tendrils onto whatever they might come across to pull themselves up. Can ever the twain — homegrown melons, here — meet? Yes, and especially this year.

First, let’s look at the melons I planted in the garden. Seedlings a few weeks old went into the center of columns of concrete reinforcement wire 18 inches in diameter by 2 feet high. The idea was that the wire cage would contain the vines by letting them grow around and around the cylinder in an upwardly spiral fashion. Ripe muskmelons, the varieties Hannah’s Choice and Jenny Lind, could drop to the ground, the 2-foot maximum drop causing no harm.

My melons evidently weren’t in on my plan. Hot weather …

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