Paisley Plant of the Week: Rich Sweetness Melon

Paisley Plant of the Week: Rich Sweetness Melon

“Why don’t melons get married? Because they can’t elope.”

When we moved to the Flint house, there was already a small garden in place. It was very small, but I really did love it. I loved it so much that I could completely forgive everything I gave up to come here. A soaking tub, gone. Marble counters, cherry over sized cabinets, history. My beautiful, glorious, sink down in neck deep water every single stinkin’ day soaking tub, a memory.

We arrived in East Texas, I immediately love the idea of being so close to my relatives. We’re less than an hour from all of the Parsnips immediate family and most of the extended. We’re close, but not really too close, if you know what I mean.

We live on a peninsula of the lake, there is not really a reason for anyone to “just drop by”. You wouldn’t be “in the neighborhood” unless you were taking the jet ski out, in which case you’re welcome to drop in first.

Then I saw the garden. Let me tell you, it was love at first sight!

It’s not that it was something special, it really wasn’t. In it’s entirety it consisted of six tomato plants, five sad strange peppers and two crookneck summer squash. What I saw in this hodgepodge of scraggly vines and makeshift cages was my favorite thing, potential. I could see the area that would become a cucumber section, I could imagine the melon bed at the bottom of the slope so it could catch the rain, should we be allowed to have any. I could envision where I would put the chicken house, the corn rows, the pumpkin hills, the eggplant, the herbs etc. etc. etc. It’s a little house in the country with a great yard for plants and boys to grow and because of that, I love it.

Hey. Weren’t we going to talk about some kind of melon? Yes. Yes we are.

Rich Sweetness 132 to be exact. Melons take a little planning, and a little room to do their thing. I had a few melon vines at my Grampa Wilson’s house but they were somewhat of a novelty I was indulged. In truth, Grampa had some English Ivy removed from the pool area and I asked if I could put some melons there. I think we had 6 melons that summer. It was fun, and they were delicious, but the next year I didn’t live there and Grampa planted Gardenia.

When we got to our Flint house, as I’ve said there were already some plants here. I didn’t know what everything was because I hadn’t planted any of it. There were some funny things that happened, like waiting for the tomatoes to turn red and then realizing they were pink tomatoes and weren’t ever going to be red.

A more exciting serendipity was the day I found what I thought was a cucumber growing next to a crookneck squash. The squash had played out and I was pulling it for the compost when I spotted a very healthy vigorous vine that looked like a cucumber vine. I didn’t want it snaking all around because I wanted to put some herbs in where the squash had been, so I made a very quick, somewhat flimsy, trellis and up it went.

It climbed the trellis, fell over the back and snaked around beautifully. I was so excited to see what kind of cukes they would be. I’m a cuke fan. Imagine my surprise when the fruit began to set and they were round. And they got bigger…

And bigger…

This cucumber keeps getting bigger and rounder?

And, you’ve guessed by now, the cukes were muskmelon. I had to scramble to make a heftier trellis and I used old pantyhose to support the melons so they wouldn’t pull the entire vine off as they expanded. One vine had about four good size, out of this world delicious melons. I’m hooked! Melons are my new friend.

One of the Muskmelon we had in 2011

I came up with a new trellising system that I’ll be using for my melons and squash that will use thick pvc to support the fruit. I’m most excited about the Rich Sweetness 132. This bright orange striped melon is a wonder to behold, aromatic and delicious! You can’t go wrong with this.

Green on the vine Rich Sweetness 132

Kids love them almost as much as me. Almost.

Ripe on the vine

The melons don’t get terribly big, which is great for a trellis system. If you have them in a bed it really doesn’t matter as much. I’ve just chosen to put them all on the trellis so I’ll have more room for tomatoes and eggplant in the main beds. I also have to admit, I love the way vines on trellis’ make a curtain of green, with yellow flowers. It’s like getting new drapes for the yard. (I can hear the Parsnip saying, “You are a dork.”)

Rich Sweetness 132 is a great little melon and I do hope you’ll give it a try. You won’t be sorry. I’m growing Jelly melon next to the Rich Sweetness 132 this year, but that’s another post. Have a Rich Sweetness Paisley Day!~KeriAnne

P.S. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. My Patrick said, “I wouldn’t call myself a Saint, but I’m pretty glad they made a whole day for me.” Patrick Gunz~(Age 8)





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