Wednesday, May 25, 2011
May Rainy Weather
These are my luscious melons. Love that world luscious! As surely luscious is the best way to describe the wonderfully verdant green of these seedlings.
I have them planted 3 or 4 seeds to a 3" by 3" peat pot. They have germinated on a heat mat and grown under lights for 10 days. Then, on trusted reports from NOAA, I placed them on my deck in the shade of my Artic willow to harden off.
When temperatures threatened 37 degrees on Monday night, they came inside. I placed my young plantlings out again only to have them greeted by pretty windy conditions, even protected as they are by the willow.
Out again they went to harden off.
This afternoon I came home with my car thermometer showing a mere 47 degrees (this our "high" for the day) accompanied by a driving rain that felt more like sleet.
Some of these seedling are a 100-day pumpkin named 'Big Max'. Others are heat lover cantaloupes 'Delice du Table' (a French heirloom), 'Charentais', and 'Earlichamp'. I also have some Honeydew in another tray, which I have read do better in cooler, wetter conditions-- which describes Wisconsin this year. Our temperatures are easily 20 degrees below normal and it surely feels like it rains every day.
I have never done melons as transplants. They do germinate in just a handful of days provided the ground is warm. Given the much cooler than normal temperatures and very rainy conditions, this year I thought I would attempt to outwit Mother Nature. I have planted cucumbers directly in the ground in the family garden (on May 20). The area I have designated for melons though has had black landscape fabric covering it for two weeks already warming the ground as much as is possible and is ready in anticipation of being slit so as to place these seedlings in warm earth. growing them in the peat pots and setting them pot and all into the ground pot and all will avoid any root disturbance, which melons dislike severely.
As it is, the melons will vacation a couple more days on my counter or on my foyer floor in the evening; and they, and I, will keep dreaming of warmer days.