Mighty Melons

Seed List, MelonsPOD’s had mixed results with melons, but loves, loves, loves them. Last year just a few melons were harvested, but oh, how rewarding those melons were. Plus, fancy cucurbits are ridiculously expensive and difficult to find. Last year’s charentais was heavenly. But there was only one of them. Not one plant (well, that too) but one melon!

So this year:

Kiara F-1: “High quality true French charentais with authentic flavor. Strong vines provide excellent fruit protection…resistant to fusarium wilt 0, 1, 2; intermediate resistance to powdery mildew.” ARRRRRGGGG! And, the folks at Seeds for Change are totally letting POD down. Not available. Back to the drawing board. So annoyed. Since POD’s become so attached to the notion of charentais flavor in the sturdy form of a disease-resistant hybrid, Park Seeds answered the call: “Measuring about 4 1/2 inches in diameter, French Orange Hybrid is a superb eating experience and a great change of pace from cantaloupes and honeydews. The vines are very disease-tolerant for even bigger, healthier yields.”

Sprite: Hey, Diana, wanna’ trade? Lemme’ know and we can work something out.

These beauties will be started inside about 3-4 weeks (say, late April-ish) before being transplanted into light, well-drained, warm 65 degree soil with a pH of 6.0 and above.  Mulch well.

The Magical Fruit

Seed List, BeansEach year, POD vows to grow buckets of beans. And each year POD fails. So this year, we’re going all in; with three varieties in two locations.

They’ll be direct seeded in moist soil that’s had a few weeks to warm (to 60 degrees or so) and they’ll be dusted with a smattering of rhizobium bacteria to help convert airborne nitrogen into nitrogen the plant can use. Then, they’ll be left alone to germinate before getting too much water, to avoid seed rot.

Beans prefer a light, fluffy soil with a pH of 5.8 or above.

Provider Snap: “Productive, early, round 5-8″ bean. A favorite because of its upright growth, virus resistance, and high productivity in a variety of climates.” Sounds perfect, no? Here’s hoping this bush bean works well in some of POD’s 1-gallon buckets.

Black-Seeded Blue Lake: “This stringless 6-7” green bean has a dedicated following. Exceptional for fresh eating as well as freezing or canning, the vigorous vines produce abundant yields of straight beans. Far more productive an any bush beans.” Grrr. So, these weren’t available. Thankfully, due to a really obnoxious web error yesterday, POD’s order never got placed with Burpee. So, back to Burpee, then, for their Romano Heirloom “Pole beans yield much longer than bush beans, right up to frost… Distinctive, full flavor and very heavy yields. Vines are loaded with long, stringless, flat-podded green beans. Delicious fresh and terrific for freezing.”

Scarlet Emperor: Vigorous climbing vines with stunning scarlet flowers attractive to bees…produce an abundance of stringless, fleshy pods full of savory purple-and-black mottled 1″ beans delicious eaten at any stage.” Sounds about right for the “flower” container garden out front.