We just finished planting year two of our melon patch! Last year’s patch was experimental and about seeing what would grow out here in our little part of the Hill Country. This year, we expanded the patch fivefold by planting sixty, 100 foot rows (a full mile of melons) of cantaloupe and watermelon.
Two-thirds of the patch was planted with Passport, Scrumptious, Sugar Queen Hybrid, Super 45 Hybrid, Charentais, and Israel (Ha’ogen) cantaloupe. One-third of the patch was planted with watermelon varieties including Diablo Hybrid, Legacy and Truck Buster (our early favorite based on the name alone).
We also seeded the patch with a cocktail of white proso millet and flowers. The flowers are a variety called Alyssum — Carpet of Snow, which is a companion plant to cantaloupe and watermelon, will provide ground cover for the melons to rest.
In order for the melons to grow hearty rinds, we enriched the soil with a healthy dose of phosphorus, a nutrient commonly found in traditional fertilizers but also exists naturally in other sources. Instead of using fertilizer, we opted for the more natural approach by using bone dust (or bone meal).