Saturday, August 8, 2009
Yes we have always enjoyed Growing Tomatoes for Health and Wealth,
but the time in the Garden would be too short if we just did Tomatoes.
Melons, of Several Varieties, have always been part of our Crop plan.
Melon Patch 2009 Ambrosia and Crenshaw
When we had our 20 acre Truck Farm our Mix was Ambrosia Melons, Crenshaws,
Honey Dews Icebox Watermelons, and Charleston Grays. Since we sold on site
and to Local Farmer's Market, Chico California in the 1970's,we always favored
the easily Vine Ripened varieties, which most consumers don't see in the Supermarkets,
because they don't ship well.
A 1/2 acre of each would NET of several Thousands of dollars. And our Neighbors were Happy
Today we grow the varieties in a small patch of Garden area approximately 20x30, and we do use Trellises (we use Horse Panels 12' long 4 rail, because they are Sturdy and portable).
Our yield still exceeds our need and we "sell" the surplus ( usually $3-5 per melon) to anxious neighbors who don't have time to Garden.
I usually start planting seeds 1st week in April here in Orland California and also start a few Plant sets at same time for earlier yield (Mid-July). The Ambrosia is an 84 Day melon (2 1/2 months)
I put 2 plants (or six seeds) on a raised hill of Organic Compost mixed thoroughly with the already Rich, well drained soil. (cost $3.75)
For melons, I encourage finding a well drained piece of ground, with adequate Sun.
Al of the seed catlogs mention full sun, but I have good luck with 70-80% sun which helps cool in our HOT 100+ summer days.
I set up a simple drip nozzle to each Hill and that helps in monitoring the water usgae and keeps the Vine area Drym, and mitigates Fruit dampening and Rot on Maturing Fruit. (cost $7.98 and usable for several years)
The rest is easy, addition of Annie's Green Manure Tea ( I apply with watering can on the hills) and a few application of Calcinate (Calcium Nitrate)
With the Ambrosia Melons they are Determined ripe when they,
almost overnight, turn from a green netted Color to a beautiful golden tan and slip from vine at a touch. The melons to the right were harvested 08-08-09. These make this years total to nine with 2 dozen still on the vine. Market value at $4.00 each ($36.00) so far a nice return on my Less than $10.00 Investment. Can't count my TIME because that is part of my Day and Growth in Mental and Physical Health
I will report later on the Crenshaw Melon. They are a few weeks always from being Ready. We harvest then at Full Yellow Color. Many in the stores are picked early so the melon can be shipped. A vine ripe Crenshaw is all Yellow and has a very Short Shelf Life
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