Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Did It! Where's My Prize?

Holy cluckin' crap, I did it! I freakin' grew a melon! Sure, it's only one melon and it hasn't made it to harvest yet, but I'm sure as hell going to crow about it. For those of you who do not live in San Francisco, you may not fully comprehend the magnitude of this feat. Our summers are cold and foggy, creating abysmal conditions for the heat seeking melon.

How did I do it? With my ultra fabu hoop house, of course. That little tunnel of polypropylene genius has added enough heat factor to eke out what would otherwise only grow in more torrid environments. Like this delicata squash:

I only got one of these too, but could have grown more, I'm sure, if that damn powdery mildew hadn't been so prolific this year. Here is a glimpse of the aftermath on that blight.

The tomatoes are another matter. They are growing like weeds, having planted them in straight compost and given them a warm, windless area to thrive in. This plump beast is called Rose De Berne (I grew this as a shout out to my Swiss heritage), which I purchased from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Never before have I grown a handful sized tomato. Cluckin' amazing!

And the tomato plants are still thriving. I can barely move around in the hoop house it is so thick with vines. The pungent scent of tomato foliage makes my heart swell every time I enter.

I was also able to get some summer squash, though it, too, was crippled by the mildew. Eh, next year.

Right now, I am babying my prized melon. Not sure what variety it is - in my exuberance I forgot to label things. I made a cheesecloth hammock in hopes that "my precious" will make it to the table.

One thing I realized about my hoop house was that once the plants began to reach maturity, overcrowding and damp conditions had become a serious problem. A few of the tomatoes have molded from being squished within the deep recesses of stalks and leaves. Sometimes less is more. I must remember that more often.

Any special growing techniques that you had to use this year to accommodate your unique climate?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. Um, you are a Goddess!!! I hope you will, someday, be posting a how to for the hoop house you made? I def need one for next year!

  2. That is something I'd be crowing about too. Our summers aren't long and hot enough for melons either where I live. More people are using polytunnels here too. I hope you get it to maturity

  3. I'm in south Florida. I planted tomatoes too early and the heat killed them. I had blossoms but no fruit. I started all over again in August and I've had success so far.

  4. This was my first year growing watermelon (in Phoenix, where it gets plenty hot enough).I had two personal sized ones and one good sized one growing. One of the small ones split right in half. I'm guessing too much growth too fast in the heat of the summer. I was watching my big one closely and wanted to pick it but the hubs wanted to wait until 4th of July. I wanted to cry when a week before the 4th the big one split in half too. It looked like it would have been wonderful. I picked the remaining personal sized one immediately and it was great. So next year I'll be picking early.

  5. Nothing survived our Dallas summer. I'm hoping for a better outcome this fall.

  6. I have a friend in Dallas who has essentially given up gardening because everything seems to die in the summer heat. Did you try shading your plants?

  7. milk mixed with water and sprayed over leaves of melons etc will kill off the powdery mildew:)