Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sugar Cube Muskmelon

I picked my sugar cube muskmelon today. I really wasn't sure if it was ripe enough. The skin wasn't yellow but was starting to turn pale. And the stem was still firmly attached. But I figured since it had been out there well over a month and the plants were starting to look like they were ready to shutdown for the year, it was time to try and pick it. I pulled at the stem and it popped right out of the melon. It really didn't take much effort. Maybe it was ready after all.

It weighed a little over 2 lbs. Inside it looked like a good melon. It smelled like a good melon. And it tasted like a good melon. Not overly sweet but just right with a nice cantaloupe flavour. I was quite pleased with it and I will definitely be growing more next year. There is another one on the vine outside now but I don't think it will reach maturity. It probably needs another three weeks and I don't think the plants will survive that long. Temperatures are starting to fall and the sunsets are drifting towards the south. Winter is coming.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Not Over Yet

I still have peppers on my pepper plants. They've survived through the aphids and look under nourished, but they're still going. My tomatoes are almost done. I think I'll have the plants down before the end of the month. And my melon plants gave me a surprise this morning. I found four new melons growing out there. This late in the season they have no chance of growing to maturity but it was nice to see.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Need More Kale

The three dwarf blue curled scotch kale plants I started last month are doing well. But I wish I had planted more. I think there is still time and I have some free space in the same container. Next to the kale is a single radish growing: a china rose radish.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Bad Beans, Good Melon

I gave up on the beans a while ago. Stopped watering them and stopped adding nutrients some time ago. The spider mites didn't help either. Without beans on the plants I didn't feel the need to keep them going. Although now that the foliage has died back a bit, I can see a few beans: a couple that are picking size and a dozen or so that aren't.

So what was keeping these Scarlet Runner beans from producing? I had lots of flowers all season long. Good fertilizer application. Other than spider mites which didn't show up until the end of the season, the plants suffered from nothing. I even had quite a few bee and bee-like insects constantly visiting the flowers, not that I think that mattered to these plants. It was a hot summer but so what: every summer is hot. I've had no problems with pole beans in the same container in the same spot using the same methods in previous years.

Why did these plants wait until the end of the season to start setting fruit? Was it just timing? Are these Scarlet Runner beans a late season plant that has to sense shortening days before it sets fruit? Or was the right amount of water too much? Maybe I had to let the plants suffer for a while to make them want to set fruit. I don't have the answers yet but I know one thing for sure: I'm not growing them again next year.

My muskmelon plants are growing well. Or at least they are trying to. There are two plants and one is supporting this nice size melon. And it's starting to look like a proper muskmelon. I just need the plant to stay healthy long enough for this melon to ripen. Problem with that is I'm not quite sure how to tell when it's ready.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Pulling Leeks and Onions

The tops of the onions were starting to brown. They all bent over some time ago. And the leeks looked to be about as big as they were going to get. Some of the leaves were starting to yellow a bit. So I decided it was time to pull them to see what I had.

The leeks grown in a bucket on the floor of the balcony didn't get very thick but the lack of sunlight meant they grew taller. The one leek I grew in a container in the sun was much thicker and better looking but wasn't very tall. Next time I'm going to grow them in a sunny spot with proper support and some kind of sleeve around them or something to block the sun so they get longer and whiter. I guess I could also pile up soil around them, or maybe plant them in deep holes that I can fill in once they start to grow.

The onions turned out ok with the largest being tennis ball size. I kind of wish they had been bigger. Not enough sunlight perhaps. Maybe the soil could have been better. They look nice but I have no idea how they taste.