The Watermelon Are Ripening. It’s Time To Cut Back on their Water

The watermelon are ripening. It’s time to cut back on their water. They will be sweeter and less mushy if you do. The first cantaloupe got picked yesterday. Don’t ask me how it was because I didn’t get any. I left it on the counter so my wife could see that we had a ripe one, and the next thing I knew half of it was in the refrigerator. The next time I opened the fridge door it was gone. You snooze, you lose is what I remember from life’s lessons. I’m actually exceptionally glad that my hobby can bring joy into her life. She thoroughly enjoys all the produce I provide, attested to by the fact that she takes great care to cook them all perfectly. We typically have three veggie servings at dinner and they are all prepared with that special ingredient of love. The older I get the more I realize that your purpose has much more meaning when focused on others than on yourself.

The direct seeded cauliflower row is almost ready for transplanting. They are almost 4″ tall and have been thinned to 4″ apart. I needed to find room for them so I picked the last of the first planting of bush beans and pulled up the bushes. Now I know where all the slugs have been hiding in the summer garden. The beans and bushes were not eaten so the slugs were eating the mulch. Another good reason to use hay or straw mulch. Feed the slugs what they prefer so they leave your plantings alone. I think leaves don’t work as well because they are tougher. The bean bushes lined up nicely on top of the cabbage leaves to add another layer of mulch.

If you were to plant kale seeds now, the plants would probably be large enough to survive a cold winter. Fresh early spring kale is always a welcome treat. It’s sweeter when early in the season, and prolific after overwintering. It has a large root structure that let’s it flourish. Swiss chard also overwinters in our zone 8b, but if I get it covered with my portable cold frames it grows twice as fast, and the birds don’t get it first. Little mini greenhouses or Reemay, a row cover cloth, work well too. Spinach can be overwintered too. I’ve been both successful and unsuccessful, so not only is timing critical, but the climate must cooperate too. You get to ignore your winter beets, but carrots shouldn’t be allowed to get tough.

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