Saturday, August 15, 2009


Out in the yard, melons are ripe and ready for eating!

The Schoon’s Hardshell melon that we ate earlier this week was lightly sweet and nicely cantaloupy. So far, none of this variety have split. Since we haven’t had any big rainstorms up from the Gulf yet, I’m not sure that this summer has been a fair test of the variety’s sturdiness in my yard, but I am happy with it so far!

The Sakata’s Sweet melons are not having a good year in my yard. For unknown reasons, the plants were much slower in getting established than the other melons, and the vines have not been especially fruitful. The biggest melon from this variety in my yard is small, just a bit bigger than a softball, and I noticed yesterday that it had split open around the stem even though it wasn’t all that close to being ripe. I picked it to bring into the house anyway. The other melons on these vines are even smaller —baseball size— so it is unlikely that I will grow this variety again, even if they turn out to be delicious. I really want more standard-size melons.

We’ve also eaten a Sugar Nut melon from the yard. This variety is greenish on the inside and so sweet it is like a little sugar-bomb in your mouth. Sadly, I found a split Sugar Nut melon in my garden early yesterday morning, but this variety had never split in my garden until now.

The great irony is that, this year, I recommended that we try growing Sugar Nut at the Plant-a-Row-for-the-Hungry (PAR) garden where I am a volunteer, because the other varieties that we had grown split so easily. We just have never been able to take many small melons to the donation center where we drop off our veggies, because so many little melons exploded before they were completely ripe. I had hoped that the Sugar Nuts would stay intact, like they had in my yard for the previous several years.

However, at the PAR garden yesterday morning, we found two Sugar Nut melons that had split. Of course, one of the Athenas had also split, and more dramatically than the Sugar Nuts, but I am a bit disappointed. The good news is that we were able to take 17.5 pounds of good, sweet, unexploded melons to the donation center in Marietta.

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