Thursday, July 19, 2012

Daily Watering Is Incredibly Annoying

But ultimately worth the effort once the harvest starts rolling in!

One more fruit for the melon wall, I'll add a hammock once it gets a little bigger.

Some of the melons have changed color from gray-green to yellow-green. This is my first time growing a charentais melon so I'm not sure when to harvest them. I've read in several places that charentais melons are ripe when they turn light yellow or light tan so I harvested one to check the flavor. The flesh was very soft, borderline mushy, and very sweet, which made me think I waited too long, but the flesh was also still completely green, not orange, so then I thought I haven't waited long enough. Charentais melons should have orange flesh right?

Ultimately, I decided to go with my taste buds and not by appearance. I prefer firm flesh over soft flesh and light sweetness over heavy sweetness, so I'll pick them soon after the skin turns color and forget about waiting for the flesh to turn orange. I harvested 4 melons that turned light yellow so now 5 are left on the plants. Two more flowers look like they have been pollinated, but I'll wait until they get a little larger before I add them to the tally.

Flexum Hybrid peppers changing color. Last week I voiced my doubts about getting any more fruits out of these plants, so once these peppers turn red I'll rip out the plants and seed something else in the container.

Summertime Green tomato waiting to be plucked. These do not change color when ripe so I do a squeeze test every day to check ripeness.

I'm not very confident in my squeeze testing ability so I figured out an easy cheat. I pluck a ripe tomato from the Mountain Magic or Black cherry plant (it's easy to tell ripeness on these plants since their fruits change color) and hold this ripe tomato in one hand. With the other hand, I hold a green tomato still attached to the vine. I squeeze both tomatoes at the same time, if the green tomato has the same response as the ripe tomato then I know it's ready to be harvested. If the green tomato is firmer than the ripe tomato I try again the next day.

The Black cherries are utterly delicious, this variety is definitely going on the greatest hits list.

July 12-18:

Cherry Tomato (Black): 9.1 ounces

Charentais Melon (Hakucho Hybrid): 2 pounds, 10.8 ounces

Pepper (Flexum Hybrid): 9.0 ounces

Pepper (Giant Aconcagua): 3.9 ounces

Tomato (Mountain Magic): 0.8 ounces

Tomato (Summertime Green): 8.4 ounces

This Harvest: 4 pounds, 10 ounces

Running Weight Total 2012: 6 pounds, 4.12 ounces

Subscribe and learn more about growing food:


  1. Greetings from across the East River! Most of my bucolic Manhattan garden is doing well, although I'm learning that I probably don't get enough sun light for some of the fruiting plants. I have only one Charentais melon at the moment, but a couple of others look like they may be on the way. (I'm excited to see if the taste lives up to the buzz.) I noticed that a couple of my tomato plants dropped many of their flowers in that last heat storm we had. Since I'm new to gardening, I'd love your thoughts on whether to wait them out or replace them with something else.

    1. Hi Jay, did they lose all their blossoms or just some? Are there new blossoms growing and has any new fruit formed since the heat wave? Basically, does it look like the plant has "recovered" from the heat wave and fruit production has resumed. If the plant has not recovered then you have your answer.

      If it has recovered then I think your decision should be based on your fondness for whatever variety you're growing. Do you like the flavor enough so that it's worth the wait or does the prospect of growing something else hold greater appeal?

      Next year I'm going to try avoid all this angst and plant only early season or heat tolerant varieties.

    2. It looks like it's only some (in some cases...most). I think I'll wait it out to see. I've put a lot of love into these little guys. Fingers crossed.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!