Each year I like to try and grow something new. This year I thought that I would give watermelon a try. I did some research and discovered that there are quite a few varieties which claim to grow quite well in northern climates. I chose "Early Moonbeam", a yellow fleshed melon. It is described as "early, productive, very sweet and delicious". How could you go wrong with that?! Even better, it was hybridized by Dr. Alan Kapuler just 30 miles to the north of me. If it could grow well there, it ought to grow well for me.
I started four seeds in the green house and set out four healthy starts in some rich compost in May. They grew well. Our weather turned warm and the vines were off and running. But sometime in the month of July, the leaves started to curl. They no longer lay flat. I researched this on the internet and all I could find was some nutrient deficiencies described. So I have been fertilizing the plants with a liquid solution regularly now for over a week and I can't tell any difference. I can tell that some of the vines have quit growing and the tips of them are turning brown. Hopefully this won't affect the vines that have melon already set on them.
I am excited to have some small melons. Right now there are three growing and another that just set. I decided to weight the three tonight and then weight them each once a week to see if they are still steadily gaining.
So here are the August, week #1 results
- Melon #1 7.2 oz.
- Melon #2 4.9 oz.
- Melon #3 1.5 oz.
They have a way to go to reach the catalog description of 5-8 lbs. We certainly are having the perfect weather for watermelon this year. I can't remember a Summer with any more day over 88+ degrees like we have had this year. Paired with warm nights, it ought to be just perfect for them.