14 July 2011

No Lemon, Yes Melon

If someone tells you he is environmentally conscious, would you assume he grows his own fruits and vegetable in a backyard garden?  If that is the requirement, then I am not much of a green person, but I really am.  I walk or use public transportation, instead of drive, most of the time.  I recycle and re-use everyday.  I turn off TVs, lights, computers, etc. when they are not in use.  But gardening so far has always eludes me.  My first attempt at gardening was many years ago when I lived in Long Island City.  The group Astoria Residents Recycling Our Waste (ARROW) just turned a vacant lot into a Green Thumb park, with a section set aside for gardening.  I helped setup the plots and got one assigned to me.  I lived just two blocks away from the new park but weeks then months pass and I never planted anything in the plot.  If there was any plot thickening, it was just weeds taking advantage of my absence.

Years later I have my own house with a backyard.  Long periods of time would go by and I would not spend any time in the backyard.  Last year I decided to maintain a compost bin, even though I did not know what I would do with the stuff once they are made.  From a friend in ARROW I got two more containers for composting and spent more time in the backyard turning and messing around with the bins.  By chance someone my wife knows has some extra melon buds (?) to give away.  The things would normally go to my in-laws but this year they already dedicated their front yard to growing string beans.  I do not recall what got into me but I decided to take a shot at growing them melons.

I do not have much soil area in the back yard so I grew one in a large pot while others went into the soil elsewhere.  Maybe in the future I will share my un-handyman's trellis but this time I just want to show off the potted melon.  As shown in the first two photos, the melon plant has grown large and spreading all over.  The tall photo is a Photoshop composite of three photos.  I may not have properly merged the photos together, but you get the idea.  I just water it everyday and guide its vines so it won't end up in the neighbor's yard.   By the way, I actually used some of the compost, made mostly from last year's autumn leaves, in a pot to support the melon vines as they spread onto cement floor.

I have not read up much about growing melons and just play by ears, so to speak.  I know these things like to climb but never having grown them before I was amazed to see first-hand how the process is done.  The vines themselves have sticky hair to cling on whatever they come across.  Then there are these other things that crawl ahead and coil around poles and such for support.  I definitely need to read up on melons to know the proper terms.

In case you wonder what's with the title of the blog post, it is a variation of the phrase NO MELON NO LEMON, which spells the same from left to right and from right to left.  I love palindromes and cannot pass the chance of using them, but in this case since I grow melons, it is NO LEMON YES MELON.  Of course the phrase is not a palindrome any more.

1 comment:

  1. Based on the photos, I would say you do have "green thumb" - haa haa
    As you could see, I don't have much in my yard either - only the peppermint growing nicely (no thanks to me).
    After a few days of 100+ temperature, today is sunny and comfortable (high 80s).
    I will email an update on my status - don't worry - I am ok.
    Be safe and be cool :)