Melons are something I didn’t think I was very good at growing, as last years melons never got bigger then the one in the photo above. This year, I’ve changed three things: Manure, Water and Weed Cover. These changes have caused the plants to grow much more rapidly, and set fruit far earlier then last year. We used black weed cover, which helps prevent weeds, but also heats the soil up. I’ve also made it a point to water huge swaths of the garden daily due to the high tempuratures. I usually get started around 7:30 and finish up well after 10.
I’ve been adding composted Rabbit Manure to the last portion of the garden, where we’ve planted winter squashes. The plants in this area were all started from seed, after everything else was planted, and they were a bit slow starting. I’m hoping to encourage them to grow faster with some good old black dirt. This manure has been cooking for about 6 months, and I had to wheel it by hand from the other side of the valley where it was piled up. So far the plants have responded quite well.
For the most part, I spend a good amount of time in the garden alone weeding, watering, and turning the soil, but every few days I get a whole bunch of helpers at once. Many hands makes short work for sure ! When I get all of these helpers weeding at once, I can relax easy at the end, knowing we’ve put forth a huge effort in the war on weeds. The garden has very few weeds this year. I should find some pictures of last years garden… I was a bit lazier then…
I’ve had a few tomatoes affected by some sort of affliction. I’m not sure what this pest is, but I’m fairly confident it is not Late Blight, as the whole tomato patch would surely be in ruins if it were. I’ve ripped out three plants, all of the same variety that showed damage. I’m not taking any chances this year, after loosing several hundred plants last year. If you can identify this affliction, please leave a comment with it’s name.
The rest of the tomatoes are doing great. I have Not been watering them, since I do not want to foster the conditions for blight. The tomatoes seems to be getting enought water though, as their leaves show no signs of need. If they begin to look wilted, I’ll definately give them a sprinkle.