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.