There Will Be Watermelons!

What a difference a week can make. Last week I was unsuccessfully scanning the watermelon plants for tiny melon babies, and now this! This one is bigger than my fist and growing quickly.

There are two types of watermelon planted at my McComick Community Garden plot - this is the larger of the two, Mountain Sweet. There are more than 10 of these little suckers that have successfully pollinated, and if all goes well they'll ripen into 20-35lb super sweet yellow fleshed melons. I'm not counting my melons before they're ripe, however - raccoons, rabbits, and other critters can do a a lot of damage, not to mention that these are in a community garden where human theft is always a possibility. Regardless of what happens, I'm happy that they've made it this far!

This is the second, smaller variety - Blacktail Mountain. We've got a good number of these coming on too, and they'll ripen at a petite 6-12lb. They should be ready before the big guys, giving us continuous melon goodness for hopefully a month or so.

The Pride of Wisconsin melon is stretching out with tons of flowers and little melons-to-be.

Awe. Isn't it cute?

One of the squash plants has died, I'm not sure why.

We'll get at least a few squashes though. I can't remember the variety - a Hubbard type from the looks of it.

The okra at McCormick has started to produce, thanks to the hot muggy weather we've had. Aren't the flowers beautiful?

This isn't a good picture, but it gives an idea of how the pods grows on the plant. It's really neat. I'm planning for a decorative/edible garden in front of my house next year, and okra will definitely have a place in it.

OK, now over to Main Street to see how things grow. Broccoli in the foreground, potatoes in the middle, and the tomato jungle in the back. We've cut all the big broccoli heads, and we're now just waiting for the little shoots that grow off of the main stem. These should keep producing small amounts for a while.

The potatoes don't look so hot, but that's actually a good thing, it means harvest time is coming soon! The red potato plants in front have died back almost entirely, and the purples in the back are getting there. I've been digging little bits here are there for a few weeks, but it will be time to do the big harvest soon - maybe next weekend....

Compare this scene to this picture, taken just two months ago. What a difference. We've had such a hot, wet summer that things have just grown like crazy. I haven't even had to water!

One of the OxHeart plants has blossom-end rot, which is a physiological disease caused by a lack of calcium. I've been picking off the fruits that look like this, hoping the plant will pull out of it. Even if it doesn't, I'm not too worried. We'll have way more tomatoes than we know what to do with very very soon.

Check out the size of this unripe CandyStripe!

Here's an OxHeart that's free of rot and beginning to turn color. So close.....

Ben and Erica's plot is incredible right now. So different from two months ago when we planted most of the seeds and starts.

The tomatoes over there are even more jungle-like than at my little plot.

There are a lot of green tomatoes over here as well, but no ripe ones yet - except these pretty little Sungolds. These are some of the sweetest in the cherry tomato family. Wonderful.

The summer squash is going bonkers, and throwing off way more squash than anyone can eat. It doesn't help that I live in a household of non-squash eaters. I'm still doing my part though, and sneaking them in wherever I can.

The greens on the onions have become more or less worthless, but the bulbs have grown to a nice size. We've been eating the little bulbs, thinning them so the remaining onions can grow to full size.

The beans are mostly on hiatus, but Mom (a much more experienced bean grower than I) assures me that they will be producing again soon. The trick, she says, is to make sure you keep them picked clean, which we have done. They're starting to flower again now, just as she predicted.

Grapes on the left, pole beans on the right. It's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. This is what it looked like a few months ago....

There are tons of Concord grapes forming. I'm going to attempt to take a cutting from these vines to plant at my house. They're so good, and incredibly vigorous. The grape vines were completely taking over the cherry tree beside them, so I cut them back today as brutally as I could without taking too many unripe grapes off.

OK, last stop on the tour is the house......

The potted peppers are doing decently despite the lack of full sun.

These three look especially good. Can you see all the little peppers coming in on the plant to the left? I don't know the variety of any of these since they came in a seed mix called "mixed heirloom hot peppers." I'll just have to wait and see what they do. Exciting!

The tomatillos are going to produce well, although they're a lot leggier than the tomatillos at the Main Street Garden due to the partial shade. As you can see, the chickens love to dust bathe under them. Luckily that plants are big enough that the girls don't do any damage.

Mmmm.... salsa verde.

Even my basil, which I almost wrote off as too sickly and bug eaten to do much good, has decided to start growing. We're having pesto tonight!

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