Watermelon and Blueberries

 

I’m not sure if it’s stupidity or determination, but I keep trying to grow things that just are not supposed to grow here. I’ve been called a “bulldog” when it comes to my tenacity in trying to accomplish the impossible. So this post may be an admission of my defeat – or of a temporary setback.

My “Cuz’n Don” in Mississippi sent me some heirloom Moon & Stars watermelon seeds that originally came from Willie Edd Jones in Hurley, Mississippi – another Mississippi Jones relative. The note on the envelope from Don said he had received the seeds from Willie Edd’s watermelons last year. Willie Edd died on June 22, 2008. That’s all I know about the seeds at this point.

Here is another site that talks about these “seed-spittin’ melons.”

Please check out this Google site to see some great pictures of the Moon & Stars watermelons.

So after I received the packet of seeds from Don, I planted them exactly the way I remembered planting them when I lived in Mississippi eons ago. First, I soaked only a few of the seeds overnight (didn’t want to use them all up!), then I made three mounds and planted three seeds in each. I carefully tended the plants, and eventually one vine showed up (out of the nine seeds). This photo was taken on August 10, 2009.

 

I put something around the fragile plant to protect it from the local Mouflon sheep. Twenty days later, the sole surviving plant had grown a little. On a full-grown melon, there is one large yellow spot and many small yellow speckles, giving it the name of “Moon and Stars.” Even on the leaves of the vine, you can see the yellow speckles.

 

That’s all I ever saw of my watermelon planting efforts. The only one that sprouted simply shriveled up and disappeared!

Of course, in the rich Mississippi soil, Cuz’n Don had much better luck!! You can see a few melons hiding beneath the leaves.

 

 

 

Don sent some pictures of his granddaughter Hannah tending his watermelons.

 

 

Yes, I’m going to try again next summer. I still have seeds left.

But I have yet another ongoing attempt to produce alien food here on lava. I’m trying blueberries. I was given three blueberry plants that are bred specifically for semi-tropical climates. They are grown in Southern Florida as well as Southern California, so we thought that surely they would grow in the cooler climate of Ocean View at 2300 feet.

 

 

 

Then disaster struck!

 

I have no idea why these plants suddenly died. Only one blueberry plant in the middle survived. But then I was given two plants to replace the two that died. As of this morning, one of those has died also, and now I have only two healthy blueberries. We shall see what happens!!

Of course, Cuz’n Don’s blueberries in Mississippi fared much better. Here his family is picking blueberries . . .

 

. . . and eating them.

 

There are at least two secrets to growing healthy, productive plants It takes good soil and it takes occasional rain – and I don’t have either one.

But I’m not giving up!

A hui hou!

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