Watermelon 2011


Hope and our Georgia Rattlesnake Watermelon

We had excellent success growing watermelons this year. In fact, it was our best year ever. We got three the size of this beauty plus a big sugar baby. All were grown with seeds from Burpee. Had I dared the frost and planted in the beginning of May instead of June they would have been even bigger.
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This beauty was grown at the south west end of the house end shed where the finisher pigs had bedded for the winter. The soil was rich, the orientation was full southern sun, as much as we get on the mountain, and the glazed roof of the shed trapped the heat. The overflowing spring waterer provided plenty of water for the plants. I poked holes. Hope poked seeds in. We never weeded. They fended for themselves, competing with the few weeds that came up in that area and the beets & turnips we had also planted there.

My resolve for next year is to plant every single week as soon as the soil is bare. I’ll waste some seeds but after watching the volunteer tomatoes, tomatillos, sunflowers, squash, pumpkins and other veggies I think that is the right way to go.

Update: About a week later we found an even bigger watermelon in the patch! Yowsa! A very good year for watermelons at Sugar Mountain Farm. Realize that normally we’re lucky to get one or two softball sized melons. Out on the plateau in the south field there was a large number of small fuzzy melons. I don’t know what they were. I don’t think they got to full ripeness but the pigs did enjoy them.

Outdoors: 78°F/41°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 70°F/67°F

Daily Spark:
What are you thinking?
Nothing said zero.
How odd one wondered.
We’ll get even declared two.
They tried said three.

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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12 Responses to Watermelon 2011

  1. Trey Jackson says:

    Man oh man I wish I had that watermelon…

    FWIW, try to find a ‘yellow doll’ watermelon seed, they’ve got to be my favorite watermelon.

  2. Jeff Marchand says:

    Impressive Walter, Vermont is nt exactly watermelon country. Weldone!
    I do nt think I have ever seen you post pictures and blogs just about your garden. You should when you get the time share some pics. I’m sure its even more impressive than that watermelon. By the way how did it taste?

    • There are a few posts about my gardens in the Garden tag section. Here the gardens vary from intensively managed planters right around the cottage to rich compost bedded more traditional gardens to acre size winter paddock gardens to our wild forage gardens for fruits and nuts on the mountain. All the bounty of the warm seasons.

  3. Nance says:

    yum! good job. Was it as good as it looks?

    • It was sweet but I think that if it had another month of growing time it would have been even better. Thus my goal next year to just start planting early and expect I’ll lose some to frost. We direct ground planted the seeds rather than did transplants. I have tried to do transplants for watermelon for years but they have never done well.

  4. terry says:

    WOW, what a watermelon! I wish our garden would produce like that when we don’t weed and let mother nature take its coarse. We usually have great squash and tomatoes. By the way the butcher shop looks GREAT!!!!!

  5. Enough about the melon So fun to see your kids growing up Walter. The years are running by aren’t they ?

    OK, I’m sorry. The melon is lovely as well..

  6. Nance says:

    What a sweetie, Hope. Don’t you just love little girls? I have an 8 yr old and a 9 yr old granddaughter (plus 3 more older/younger granddaughter!)

  7. Nance says:

    for years, i planted cucumber seeds in hills in the ground (after the last frost — oh yeah? how am I ever sure?) now I buy sturdy plants from the local nursery and have great results. Okay, great results, weather permitting.

  8. Patricia says:

    Do your chickens stay penned up during planting time or later during growing time, or do you let them run free range? Mine ran freerange and even when I fenced off my garden, the little buggers got in there and ate every single seed I planted, and scratched up even the grown plants. I want freerange chickens, but not at the cost of my garden. I have an acre to work with and I want half of it in produce and the other quarter in critters. Or something along those lines. I may have to pen up my chickens now, doggonit, because what little eggs they are laying are getting laid under my house and under my hay barn, where I can’t get them. LOL But they are good escape artists, too, so this is going to be an ongoing venture, too. Chickens aren’t supposed to be smarter than humans. Or at least THIS human. LOL

    • We fence the gardens to keep out the chickens and clip feathers on one wing of the chickens if we don’t want them to fly. Then they are lopsided. One must re-clip periodically as they grow back just like hair or finger nails.

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