Saturday, June 2, 2012

Garden update: Tiny little melons!

Looks like a tiny watermelon, right?  It's actually a Rich Sweetness 132 Melon that's as big as it's going to get, but nowhere near ripe yet. When these tiny little melons ripen, they turn a vivid yellow-orange color with red-orange stripes. It's a rare heirloom variety from the former Soviet Union, and I have to say it's exceeding my expectations in the garden. I planted it because it can be grown in containers and trellised. The melons are only about a quarter pound each, so they don't have enough weight to pull themselves off the vine before ripening. Also, I read that they're good for hot areas and are drought tolerant. The temperatures are already in the 90's and we're not having much in the way of rain. I have 8 vines going, four each in two large pots. I put a tall square tomato cage in each pot, and trained a vine up each side and then onto the fence they're sitting in front of. Each vine has at least one fruit on it. There are about a half dozen at full size, just waiting to turn color and several more tiny ones, the size of olives or so. They'll supposedly produce all Summer and into the Fall, barring some kind of insect or disease problem. So far, so good though. A few leaves here and there look kind of scuzzy, I need to trim them off this weekend.

The reviews on the flavor are mixed. Most people say it has a very mild generic melon flavor. Which I might like, so I'm lookin forward to actually tasting one. If nothing else, they'll make good additions to fresh fruit salad, or maybe cubed up and drizzled with a little bit of Midori and then chilled. I still have seed from the original pack. It lists as having 15 seeds per pack, but there were probably twice that. And being an heirloom, I can save the seeds (which I probably will) .

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