Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Dad's Watermelon Patch

Last winter Dad created a whole new garden there on his Okeechobee estate by tilling aged wood chip mulch, fifty pounds each of 16-4-8 and 10-10-10 fertilizer plus dolomite into a virgin patch of lawn area. He then mulched the area deeply with wood mulch, soaked it in good, and let it all mellow for several weeks, then planted watermelon seeds. He's had a blast watching the vines erupt into vibrant growth and sending Lee and I near-daily pics of the melons as they increased in size dramatically. He's had his eyes on one in particular, and bought an $8 bathroom scale to weigh it......30 pounds! He took it to last Saturday's weekly barbecue at my cousin Mike's and was delighted to find it perfectly ripe, and deeply colored and super sweet. Folks scarfed it down. Plus he has 19 more on the vines I think! About 2 weeks ago he gave the patch a foliar spray of Alaska Fish Fertilizer and Dipel per my advice to insure ample micronutrients while insuring he have no caterpillar problems. Enjoy the pics of this monster melon! 

Dad is also growing African Jack Beans, Dow Gauk Thai Long Beans, Molokhiya and "Clay" Vigna beans I gave him seeds of, plus has started a new watermelon patch. Dad has always grown things and  I am sure that he and my Great Aunt Ella with her incredible gardens in Charlevoix, Michigan are why I began gardening as a child and have ever since.


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