watermelons

I feel like a watermelon virgin. Oh I’ve been around the block a few times over the years, and even made it to home base on occasion. But I don’t feel confident around watermelon vines.  They don’t naturally love Michigan weather, and honestly…I don’t really have a good understanding of what keeps them thriving.

This year I dropped the ball again. I figured I’d just plant whatever they had in stock at the local nursery instead of planning ahead and starting seeds of my own choosing. The vines grew fine for a while, but then got hit with something that caused patches of the leaves to wilt. In the end there were two melons.

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The truth is that if I’m growing something the takes up as much space as watermelon vines, I want a seedless end product.

Seedless watermelons require planting a pollinating variety nearby, or else no fruit. A couple of years ago I bought a pack of seedless watermelon seeds from Burpee that came with seeds of a pollinating variety.

Unfortunately all of the seeds were in the same package, and I couldn’t distinguish for certain which were which. There wasn’t room to plant the whole pack in my garden, and I evidently picked the wrong seeds. No melons.  And kind of a rip (in my view) by Burpee.

Next year (isn’t that a wonderful gardening phrase?) I plan to order seedless watermelon seeds and pollinating seeds separately.   But first a long winter.  Plenty of time to hunker down and focus on watermelon growing and culture.  And hopefully to come out the other side a little bit better gardener.