Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Our Garden- Orange/Yellow Flesh Watermelon

One of the problems with mass marketed gardening advertising and seed/plant selection at garden centers is that your choices are limited on what you can get.  New generations of gardeners aren't aware that there is more to plant than just what you see in the produce section of your grocery store.

When I choose plants for my garden, I like to go back into my memory bank and try to remember what was in Grandma and Mom's gardens when I was a child.  Those veggies are comfort food for me.  Of course I grow other plants too.  I don't remember ever seeing lettuce or carrots in a garden when I was a child.

Today, we are going to talk about watermelon for a moment.  Orange (or yellow) watermelon to be exact.  A lot of people that live in the northern states like Indiana have never had the privilege of tasting one of these watermelons and may not even know that they exist.  You poor neglected souls.  Lanie is here to rescue you from your seclusion.  It's not your fault that the major seed companies, Walmart and the home improvement stores have deprived you of this beautiful melon, but we are going to fix this tragedy right now.

Orangelo Watermelon in the starter tray.
My mother's side of the family is from Arkansas.  I haven't been to Arkansas in probably 30 years but I do have vague memories and for some reason, most of my memories of Arkansas involve orange watermelon.

I remember a few times when my grandparents returned from a trip to Arkansas, they brought back at least one of these melons.  The melons were good.  Actually, they were beyond good.

If you have never had an orange fleshed watermelon, you haven't tasted watermelon... yet.

To me, this watermelon has more meat to it.  It's still juicy but if memory serves me correctly, the orange/yellow flesh has more substance.  It still cools you off in the summer time but with the different texture, well, it's just an experience within itself.

This year our garden will have 6 of these wonderful orange watermelon plants.  Baker Creek seed company sells them and 6 of them have already been put into the starter tray.  These were last year's seeds.  Since I have so many left overs from last year's seed stash, I decided not to order any more of these this year and just use what I already have.

They failed miserably because of the lack of pollinating honey bees last year.  This year, I'm more confident about them but will also be keeping a close eye at the blooms.  If I notice any issues with no melons, I'll resort to hand pollination.  It's a must because I MUST have these melons this year!

So far so good with the seed process.  I'm extremely excited about these little guys.  In July, you'll see photos of us sitting in lawn chairs with butcher knives carving these suckers straight out of the garden.  That's a little bit of heaven right here on Earth.  The chickens will enjoy the left overs.  I can't imagine what eggs will taste like that are laid by a chicken that has been feasting on watermelon.

Orangelo Watermelon seed packet from
Baker Creek Seed Co.
If you plant ANY kind of watermelon in your garden and are also planning on growing cucumbers or cantalope too, you'll want to make sure that there is a LOT of space between them.  These three types of plants will cross pollinate and it's never good.  The fruits are just a foul science experiment gone wrong.  I planted watermelon and cucumbers right next to each other years ago in my very first garden.  It was ugly.  VERY ugly fruits with a nasty combo taste.  I just thought I'd throw that out there for you so you don't repeat my mistake.

Later today I'm going to be building a raised bed for the watermelon plants that are in the starter tray.  I know it's a little early but I'll cover the tender seedlings with mason jars to create mini-greenhouses for them and they should be just fine basking underneath the glass jars until we hit 70 degrees air temp again.  I just can't wait!

Anyway, I highly recommend these watermelons.  For me they are memories.  A comfort food that takes me back to the hot summer days of childhood at my grandparent's house.  For you they will hopefully be the beginning of a pleasant summer.

Happy Wednesday!



1 comment:

  1. Such sweet melons. I love watermelon because they are sweet and easy to eat. Thank you for posting your ideas to us about watermelons.


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