Rosey the Riveter

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lookin' Good!

You might remember me mentioning the muskmelon that popped up out of nowhere in the compost pile. 

This is what it looked like on May 11th.  Cute, huh?

This is what it looked like like just 2 weeks later on the 25th (you can see a second plant sprouted, too):

And this is what they look like one week after that, taken today, 6/1:
"Feed me!"

I am afraid!!!!  "Suddenly Seymour, is standing beside me...."  (that's a Little Shop of Horrors reference for those of you who weren't in Show Choir, or its pit band, in high school...)

My original debate was whether or not to let it grow.  Most melons are hybrids and won't bear fruit true to the original.  Some are sterile and their seeds won't sprout (obviously not the case here!).  Some will grow, but not bear fruit.  I decided to take a 'wait and see' approach... after all, it's not like there's anything going on with the compost.  So what if I can't turn it every other week.  Melons like their roots warm, and the soil has been at 80 and climbing for awhile (I know because I left the compost thermometer in the pile.)

A few days ago, I noticed it was loaded with male flowers.  The flowers were connected directly to the stalk.

But I didn't see any females and I began to worry.

However, look what I spotted today!
Can you see how the bud (which isn't open yet) has a baby melon between it and the stalk?  If the blossom gets pollinated, it will grow into a melon.  If not, it shrivels and dies.  A little internet research reveals it's typical for male flowers to emerge about a week ahead of the females.

I don't anticipate any problems with pollination (we have tons of bees, and some of them might even be my own!) but just to be sure, I think I am going to hand pollinate.  I REALLY want melons off this baby!


  1. My mom has potatoes and onions growing in her compost :) She too is waiting to see if she gets anything from it!

  2. I had some potatoes there, too, but I moved them to make room for the melon. They are in pots, and I started with about an inch of soil. Then I added more when the plant grew (to simulate hilling).