Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Our Green Nutmeg Melons Like It Hot!

Stuck in the teeth of this unrelenting drought, we try each day to find something in the garden that is going right.  The picture of the green nutmeg melon patch was taken late afternoon on this clear 96 degree day.  Under these conditions some wilting of the leaves is normal.  These plants are the first to be watered each day.  Only some plants receive water and these are among the chosen few.  Sweet melons require high temperatures.  This summer may be our best chance at heat sweetened melons.

We have never had any real success growing melons.  Our summer is too short and our nights are too cool to produce a decent melon.  Their demand for plentiful water was never met as irrigation is not part of our normal routine.  Still the seed catalog description of an old time, spicy sweet, short season melon separated us from our cash.  Mid May found the seeds in sizable pots looking for a jump on the season.  Conventional wisdom describes melons as difficult to transplant.  We figure that if the pot is large enough the plant need not know that it is a  transplant.

We seem slow to understand that the purpose of a seed catalog is to sell seeds.  Reading their promises of delectable fruit while stuck in midwinter does not grow rational decisions.  A recent Internet search of green nutmeg melons turned up many tales of disappointment with the flavor of this selection.  It is way too late to turn back now.  The daily measure of 10 litres of water will continue to be delivered here.  We will soon sample for ourselves the taste sensation produced in our garden.  There has to be a reason why this melon has been grown since before the Civil War.

This is another bright spot in the midst of this sweltering day.  Sent as a free gift with a plant order several years ago, the label identified it only as a green daylily.  Its light fragrance, faint yellow petal edging and rather clear white color deserve more than status as a nameless free gift.  Planted at the end of one of our vegetable beds, frequent watering helped produce flowers.  It never hurts to keep good company.  Much favored oriental lilies are planted behind the daylily.  The water was brought here for them but some was given to the daylily.

We are ready to harvest the garlic but I am not going outside in this heat.  Early tomorrow morning, before the sun clears the ridge, some garlic will be brought inside.  It may cure in an hour given the nearly complete lack of soil moisture.  


Kimberley said...

Did the rain today bypass you as it did us? We were on the very northern fringes of one system, but got not so much as one sprinkle! Looks like we may have a fighting chance for some moisture on Friday, and I'll certainly be happy for the cooler temperatures.

I grew garlic for the first time ever this year, but am not too pleased with the results. The plants are about 2/3 brown, so I dug on up. It's awfully small. Doing some reading, I found that it doesn't like to compete with weeds, and I was rather negligent in keeping that area weeded. I had been worried because everyone was talking about their garlic scapes, and I never got any. Turns out my garlic was the softneck variety that doesn't get scapes. It may also have suffered from inconsistent moisture. Oh well, I'll try again next year and see if it comes out any better for me!

Indie said...

I love reading seed catalogs as well, and wonder how the results measure up to the descriptions! I hope your melons turn out good! My kids got to each pick out a pack of seeds for their garden. One picked out zinnias and one picked out watermelon. The watermelon plantings were doing well until a bunny got to them - at least they still do get a little pleasure from 'sharing' with the critters!

Angela said...

I think this will be the first year I will have mature melons. I am growing Sugar Baby.