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?
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