This week’s most exciting garden development: the melon is making melons.
A friend gave me some seeds for Montreal Melon last year; it was too late to start them, so I designated them this year’s project. I had never considered growing melons. I grow all my veg in containers, and pack the containers fairly close together to maximize my tiny yard space; I wasn’t sure a melon plant would be happy under such conditions, as they require a lot of room. I decided to partly address the problem by growing my melon on a tomato cage, so it could grow up instead of out.
The plan is to create little hammocks, out of old tights, for the fruit as they get heavier. Not sure what I’ll do about the raccoons, but so far they haven’t been a major nuisance this year; I will consider constructing a cage as the melons mature, but I might just take my chances.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, the Montreal Melon was a hugely popular garden fruit and considered an exquisite delicacy. However, it was labourious to grow and did not ship well, and so all but disappeared until recently, when, starting with a few forgotten seeds in an American seed bank, one intrepid gardener managed to grow a plant and harvest the seeds. Since then, local supporters of the melon have made a project of bringing it back. You can read a detailed history of the Montreal Melon here.