The great Watermelon saga!

We planted watermelon for the first time early in November at the Happy Patch. We were too late to grow from seed so picked up some seedlings at the local nursery. We planted two at the Patch and two at home. The plants at home didn’t grow due to lack of sun, but the ones at the Patch thrived.

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In the middle of January we found our first baby watermelon lurking in the foliage.

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Within a week it had grown to football size and we had found another three melons.

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At the end of January the first melon was huge.

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We researched when to pick and learnt that watermelons make a dull thud when whacked and that the bottom should be creamy yellow. On 5/2 we decided that the melon fit the criteria and picked it. We proudly took it home in the car. As you can see it was very big!

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Weighing 9.8 kilos we were very impressed with our baby.

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Then came the moment of truth!

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And… failure; the melon was not ripe 😦 We were gutted.

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Still, there is another three to come 🙂

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Not to mention the others that could be lurking in the patch.

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Let’s hope we get the next ones right!

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About A Kailyard in Adelaide

A Kailyard in Adelaide! We are working hard to be domestically sustainable in the foothills of Adelaide. As we both work fulltime this is not an easy task, but we do our best growing much of our own produce in our yard and in our community garden plots. We reduce, recycle and reuse as much as possible and try hard to not consume mindlessly. We have 5000 l of rainwater, a 5 kw solar system, and use a green energy provider for all our excess needs. Rachel: Mother, partner, teacher, writer, reader, crafter, cook, gardener, artist. Jamie: Father, partner, lecturer, therapist, would-be-politician, gardener, photographer, music lover.
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9 Responses to The great Watermelon saga!

  1. Erin says:

    Oh wow, you poor things! I would have been gutted! I have been doing the same fretting over the butter nut pumpkins. Many of them look ready to pick but the stalk is still green. I want to be able to store them for winter but am worried leaving them out in all this heat we are having. Any advice would be appreciated?

    • Rachel and Jamie says:

      It was awful! Now, of course, we are worried we will leave them too long and they will be mushy! As for pumpkins, I think you should pick them when the vine withers, but always leave some stem. That way they last in a cool place for months. That said, we picked our green buttercup pumpkin before the vine died because it was turning orange! the weather is certainly creating havoc.

  2. Tracy says:

    Melons are hard to judge for ripeness. I hope the next ones don’t disappoint.

    • Rachel and Jamie says:

      The next biggest is huge! And it has a yellow spot and it sounds hollow…but we are nervous! Leaving it till the weekend and hopefully it will be perfect.

  3. Bek says:

    Oh no, how cruel! I have only had one watermelon success, which I wrote about on my blog if you wish to check it out, but have some late plants in the garden this year. Don’t know if I will get anything worthwhile, but I like trying. I hope the others achieve perfect ripeness.

  4. What a gorgeous garden you have Rachel and Jamie. I loved following your watermelon progress, the first one every season is the hardest to determine for ripeness. The vine has to be quite withered, a loud hollow sound heard when tapping and more pronounced colour. When you cut them, leave them overnight on the ground outside. One friend in Albury leaves his overnight for a couple of nights which helps the sweetness (apparently). You are lucky to have had such a hot summer which must help your melons. What a divine garden you have created. Good luck with the remaining three melons. 8)

    • Rachel and Jamie says:

      Thanks so much for the advice. That is the first time we have been told the vine should be withered. The garden is hard work but we love it.

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