One of the odd things about gardening in Minnesota is just as the weather starts to change to fall, the signature summer fruit (watermelon) is ready to be harvested! My mom told me stories of growing up on the farm, sitting on the front porch in September wearing sweaters and eating fresh picked watermelon – because watermelon was a summer food, darnit, and you must enjoy it on the front porch!
We’ve grown cantaloupe and a few other smaller melon varieties before, but this is the first year we’ve had nice big watermelons in the garden. There are a half dozen or more of them out there, and from the looks of them they still have a couple of weeks of growing left. Actually, technically the watermelons are growing in the grass – I thought it would be a great idea to plant watermelon on the edges of the garden and let them trail out into the yard (since they take up so much space). So there’s a really nice section of un-mowed grass in front of the entire garden where the watermelon grows.
The rabbits have cleared out our beans, and the squirrels made sure that our sweet corn harvest came to a sudden end. So far, nothing has touched the watermelon yet – though every morning I walk out to the garden half expecting to see a juicy slaughter in the grass. Knock on wood!
Summer is winding down. It’s time to start pulling out plants, and getting the garden ready for winter. We have gotten very little rain this last month, so there isn’t much of a fall crop coming in this year. The tomatoes and peppers should still hang on for another month – maybe even two, depending on how low temperatures drop this fall.