This year, Nancy and I tried to grow watermelons in the garden. *Tried* being the key word. We didn’t know if we had the climate or a long enough season for them, but we figured why not? The plants have been so-so the whole season. They were slow to sprout (veeeeery slow) and there have only been a couple melons on the vine all year. The first couple baby melons we had dried up almost right away, and one of the three that were looking to get decent size decided a couple weeks ago to rot from the ground up.
I was asking my coworker (who gave us a couple of the seeds to plant) how we would know when the melon is ready to be picked, and he said that they almost pick themselves (something about “slipping” from the vine). Well, our biggest one (even that one isn’t too big, these are the “sugar baby” variety, which yields a small melon a tad smaller than your average cantaloupe) hasn’t shown any signs it was wanting to be free of it’s vine, and it’s been a beautiful green this whole summer. But I noticed a day or two ago a small bit of yellow coming on the top of this one. So I figured, it’s time to pick it and see what it’s up to.
I plucked it (okay, I cut the stem with my pocketknife) and cut it open. It looks and smells like a watermelon! I tried a little bit of it too, and it tastes watermelon-y, but I think I should have picked it last week. It’s a bit soft, especially toward where the yellow on the rind was.
The interesting thing is, there are a couple more small melons that have started (does this lil plant realize it’s September? I won’t tell if you won’t!) and there’s still the one that was on there the most of the season as well. Perhaps we’ll get a chance to pick another, earlier so it’s more firm and as it should be. There’s so much to learn when gardening new things!