Thursday, March 26, 2009

The last of the Honeydew

Usually when I tell people I grow honeydew in my garden, they look at me with a stern disbelief and disappointment that I'd let my moral fibers slip to the depths of lying. No! I honestly grow honeydew. Yes, in Sydney. People have such preconceived ideas about what you can grow, based on where the commercial producers grow it. Oh well, it makes for good conversation.

Being march, the plants are still hanging on - but it won't be long (probably a few weeks) before its all over for another year.

Honeydew are one of the big winners of my garden. They need little care, and really put out. While everything out of the garden does taste better because its fresh, I think the difference between shop-bought honeydew and home-grown isn't, say, as big as sweet corn. But when I've got a big space under my Citrus trees to fill, it is more than worth the effort spent.

The seed I've grown so far has come straight from the shop - in early spring we bought a few honeydew, and took seeds from ones we liked. I put a few in a propagator and let 'em go. If you've every grown cucumber or pumpkin before, its much the same here in every respect. I try not to water them in the evening (and to show for it, no powdery mildew this year...), and feed them some Seasol when I remember (Hey, I'm a busy person, ok?). Earlier in the season we had a few big ones (1.5 - 2kg melons), but as I became slacker in feeding them, we've ended up with a number of 1kg melons towards the end of the season.

This is ok; because I've found the smaller fruit are much more flavoursome than their larger brothers. In fact, the first year we grew honeydew was completely by accident - and the seedlings didn't come up until mid-February. Before the cold set in we only managed to get two tennis-ball sized honeydew, and I almost threw them out thinking there'd be no way they'd be worth eating. Well, I was happily wrong.

But back to the main point. I've honestly spent next to no time growing these delicious melons this year (I'd estimate all up, around 1, maybe 2 hours of time over 5-6months) - for what probably amounts to 12-15kg of fruit. And it cost me next to nothing. Winner!

And the whole family loves them!

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