The ups and downs of growing melons

  • I was so sad to find my lone watermelon had a big crack in it. I have heard that too much fertilizer can cause cracks in fruit and vegetables. That possibly was the problem. A few weeks ago I discovered some small black spots on a honey-dew so I placed it on a bed of straw. This morning I rolled it over to discover that the black spots had expanded and cracked. The third blow was a hole in a honey-dew on the ground that had teeth and scratch marks. Erggg! Squirrel!

    I was beginning to feel that growing melons just might not be for me when I saw three new melons hanging from the vines! Maybe the best way is hanging? The squirrels can’t find them and they wont be sitting on dewy wet ground. I was so intrigued to see a black bee in my melon flowers. I haven’t seen this type of bee before. I usually see the yellow & black honey bee. It picked my spirits up to watch it. In the beneficial bug category I also have a tiny lizard in my sweet potatoes. He is usually green but today he was brown and I was happy to get a picture of him. Lizards eat aphids and bugs that eat plants, so it is great to have lizards in your garden. I used to jump when I saw them, but now I am used to them and finding the baby one means I just might have a family!

    Even though sometimes growing things doesn’t turn out perfectly, I still love trying, finding new things and seeing nature happen in my garden.














    July 12th, 2013 | 14 Comments |

14 Responses and Counting...

  • Ellen Peavey 07.12.2013

    I have lost all of my melon here in north east Georgia, I think it has to do with all the rain has been raining for a month. The only thing really growing are the weeds, the grapes and blueberry’s are full. My tomatoes and peppers are at a stand still waiting on the hot weather to return. I found one little black watermelon attached to the vine, the vine is still alive nothing on it. Ellen from Georgia

  • Ellen,
    Sorry about losing your melons there in Georgia – it’s funny how the vine is great but the real test is in the fruit. I have found that fertilizing is usually well worth the effort so I am not sure what caused the crack in mine. So exciting about your grapes and blueberries! Thanks for leaving me a comment – I love to hear about what everyone else is growing.
    Wishing you the best and hoping hot weather will return soon.

  • Mel Bartholmew (Square Foot Gardening) says that when melons hang from a vine, their stems grow strong enough to hold them. But for extra protection, you might consider putting the melon in the toe of a stocking and securing the stocking to the trellis. For gourds, I have seen experiments with placing them inside a carton so it grows in a square or rectangle shape.
    I’ve also been doing some reading about beekeeping. There was an article about a variety of bee that is more effective at plant pollination than a honey bee, but for the life of me I can’t remember which variety they mentioned. They don’t make as much honey, so I didn’t commit the info to memory. (It’s not because I can’t remember squat anymore. Nooo!.) So perhaps that’s the variety you have visiting your plants.
    I have been so disappointed with my efforts at fixing our north central Florida sandy soil that I was just giving up on planting anything. I have been re-inspired to give your method a try and will have thing ready for planting in Sept or Oct. Thanks for taking us along on this journey!

  • Barbara,
    I love Mel Bartholmew with Square Foot Gardening! I didn’t know he said that about melons. Thanks for letting me know. Ha your memory sounds about the same as mine! I only hope yours is better. Where I live we have a thick clay soil that is very hard to grow in, so I have loved starting with great soil and reusing it over and over. It takes the worry of weeding out for sure. Good luck to you. In Florida you should be able to have a nice winter garden just like me. I prefer the winter more than the summer too.
    Best wishes and thanks for the comment!

  • Your pictures are perfection. And this is great information. I also, enjoy all the beneficial insects. Thanks for sharing this valuable information. Happy Gardening.

  • Cindy,
    Thanks for being kind and leaving positive words! Happy gardening to you too!
    enjoying lizards,

  • Hi,

    Sorry about your melon issues. I don’t really have good results from any attempts I’ve had. Here is a link to some melon growing info.

    Not sure if you listen to podcasts, but this comes from a good one:) You bet your garden, produced by WHYY in Philly. It is a call in show, so people from all over call in with gardening and plant issue.

    Hope that helps.


  • Doug,
    Thanks for the website resource. I enjoyed reading it. It is great. It’s a never ending process learning what and how to grow things, but I love it.
    It does help and thanks so much for taking the time to tell me about it! I will try to listen to the show.

  • 2 of our melons got the same dreadful crack, think ours have to do with the extreme heat we have been having + reflective roof. I found that if I hid them more in shade (as best as I can) the cracks stopped. Good luck!

  • Pamela,
    Heat totally makes sense and for sure we have had the heat here in Texas. Thanks for the idea about shading!
    best wishes,

  • Lovely garden & pictures, u have a green thumb, hope your melons do better. Thank you 4 your help Patricia.

  • Patricia,
    Thanks for the kind words. I used to say I had a black thumb and am surprised at how easy it is to grow things now. I know that by taking out the worry of weeds has helped me tremendously.
    Wishing you the best in your garden!

  • What do you do if your yard has a deer path and tons of squirrels.I don’t want to offer a buffet.

  • Oh I am not sure…I guess get a big high fence!
    Good luck!

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