It is that time of year again…you have a ton of pears and apples on your trees and they are getting bigger by the day! Thinning your crop is a necessary task in order to make sure you have a good harvest year to year, reduce opportunities for pests and prevent limbs from breaking. I hate doing it myself because those small little fruits go into the compost bin. At least when you thin seedlings you can give them to a friend! First of all lets go through the risks of not thinning before we go into the how! (more…)
We bought our first house almost 5 years ago and one of the first things I did was start planting fruit trees! I now have a total of 8 fruit trees on my little city lot in Seattle! Fruit trees in the city are becoming more and more wide spread.
The very first tree we got was a Craigslist special. Someone wanted to get rid of it and was giving it away free. So I convinced my husband to go with me to dig it out of the persons yard and transplanted it into our parking strip (grass between road and sidewalk). (more…)
The other day I was happily admiring my blossoming fruits trees when to my horror I found a web trembling full of caterpillars! Who were these fruit tree caterpillars all over my apple tree???!!! They were the dreaded tent caterpillars!
I picked my last two watermelons from my garden…yes in November. Last year I picked my last watermelon at Thanksgiving and we ate it on Thanksgiving day!
Most people believe you cannot grow watermelons in the Pacific Northwest or that they are difficult to grow in most areas…I would like to prove them wrong 😉 This is my 3rd year growing them and we harvested melons from early August to now. What are my secrets?
1. Full sun helps a ton. My front yard has no trees nothing so my plants basked in the sun 100% of the time in the summer.
2. Lots of water or if you can mulch mulch mulch so you can get away with minimal watering saving yourself a big fat bill. You might get some snails visiting….they can leave cool imprints on your watermelons…
3. If you have a rockery plant the watermelons right next to it…the rocks will keep the melons warm at night. No rockery? You could experiment with putting down some pavers/bricks, they should absorb the heat during the day and release it at night. If you have a rockery make sure they don’t grow in the cracks or hide behind plants like these gems below!
4. Knowing when they are done- this one is hard. Some say it is when they sound hollow. Others say it is the sound and when they turn yellow on the bottom. I have waited for both and picked unripe melons! So I error on the safe side and wait a little longer but before the vine dies. If you wait til the vine dies typically they are a little overripe. I also pay close attention to the seed pack as to how long it is supposed to take to mature. Maturity varies greatly.
5. If you want to enjoy watermelons for a few months plan 2 different varieties. I planted Seed Savers Exchange Organic Moon and Stars which takes 95 days to maturity. Then I chose a shorter maturity plant Seed Savers Exchange Organic Petite Yellow which matures in 65-80 days. Seed packets should last you a few years… my 3 year old Moon and Stars germinated just fine this year.
Now back to the watermelons I picked today…unfortunately I was about 3 days too late picking….temperatures dropped to freezing and I didn’t think about the melons starting to freeze! See pic below. Luckily only part of the rind froze- the part that was not resting on or against the rocks…yep those big ol’ rocks kept my melons from freezing completely. Haha 🙂