[This article was written by Darrel back in January and intended for winter publication. Since we took a hiatus from putting out the newsletter over the winter, you’re getting the article now, on the verge of spring. While the inspiration comes to you from the winter months, the relevance is strong for your spring gardening beginnings. ]
Now that the holidays are behind me, I can start looking toward the spring and planning my next garden adventure. Thankfully seed companies have timed their catalog releases to coincide with my longing to get my hands in the dirt. Since it has been very cold lately here in NY, I can’t actually start digging but can start dreaming about where the cucumbers are going to be planted and which kind of tomato to plant to placate Mary’s ever increasing demand for more. (More cherry tomatos for drying,more plum tomatos for canned soup, more tomatos for homemade sauce, more, more, more! AAAAGH!)
All I really want to do during this time of year is plan for the best watermelon patch ever. ( I wonder if Charlie Brown has ever heard of the Great Watermelon?) After two hours of reading about the various types of watermelons available, I finally settled on Tom Watson. You see, last year I was able to grow a 42 lb pumpkin with seemingly very little effort. So, I figured I should be able to grow a comparable watermelon. The Tom Watson can reach up to 40 lb and still retains “that old time watermelon taste.” I’ve got lots of ideas on how to use the various pieces of junk from around the farmette to aid my endeavor. I’ll have to let you know how it turns out.
Some of you may be wondering about this variety of watermelon. As it turns out, I needed to look to Baker Creek Seeds (Rare Seed.com) to find such long forgotten types. Fortunately this company specializes in only open pollinated, non-gmo, heirloom seeds. And they are not the only company doing this. Seed Savers Exchange and Hudson Valley Seed Library are two others that focus on these types of seeds as well. If you are thinking of planting a garden this year, even as small as one tomato in a bucket on your deck, seriously consider getting heirloom seeds. These are seeds that are not owned by giant corporations and can be saved for next year from mature fruit, unlike hybrids that only grow fruit for one year forcing you to buy new seeds every year.
If you are interested in finding out more about this, check out one of the websites I listed above. In the mean time, who wants to have a party with a 40 lb watermelon? I’m thinking next Sept!