Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Garden update


The watermelon seedlings. Wibb and Kholodok germinating more quickly than Blacktail Mountain and Wilson Sweet.

Kholodok is a melon that can be kept in cool storage until December to extend the season. I think the pattern on the rind is attractive. Wibb has deep red flesh.

Butternut squash seeds. I started them 3 full days after I started the watermelon seeds.

I also planted 12 butternut squash seeds out in the garden in 6 hills.

I did a little grafting today but it was not very successful. I was sweating profusely and everything got covered. The grafting rubbers got wet. The masking tape would not stick to itself. It will be a miracle if the two AU Rosa grafts take. I not only believe in miracles, I bank on them.

Tomorrow morning should be much cooler. I plan to graft some shellbark hickory varieties over some seedling pecans and seven Lehman's Delight persimmon over some root suckers. The root suckers should have a high percentage takes but are a bear to transplant. Some growers suggest mining down at a diagonal and cutting the tap-root to encourage feeder roots.

Bonus images

A moth got stuck in the condensate on the outside of our livingroom window. I assume it was an Indian Meal Moth (because the writing looks like Sanskrit).
Something to share with the Drama Queens in your life.


  1. When I was a child I kinf of liked watermelon but hated the seeds. Maybe I just liked the salt with the sweet of the melon. as I got older I enjoyed watermelon less. Now I only buy a slice every two or three years. and when I eat it it reminds me a bit of Styrofoam , no sweetness but they sure did away with the seeds.

  2. I’m planning to plant a small hican orchard this fall. Have you experimented with those?

  3. Anon... unless you've got lots of space for unproductive trees, I'd warn you off the hicans. I have over a dozen different hican clones grafted and growing here - some shellbarkXpecan, some shagbarkXpecan, a couple that are complex hybrids of (shellbarkXpecan)X(shagbarkXbitternut). While all are vigorous growers, they are shy bearers, and most years, 90+% of nuts are unfilled 'blanks' - or are weevil infested, as the hicans are real weevil magnets. I'm still grafting an occasional new-to-me hican selection, hoping to find a good one ('Etter' is currently riding a wave of popularity... we'll see if it pans out)...but I have over 100 acres of open ground to plant them on. Good scab-resistant pecans adapted to your area will outproduce hicans many times over. Even grafted hickories will probably outproduce the hicans, too. YMMV.

    1. Thanks for the insight. I have two acres of pasture (farmed since the 1850’s) that I’d like to make more productive. Looked at chestnuts but that just didn’t click. Two acres of northern pecans would hit critical mass and probably be easier to market. Hickories are too slow growers for me. Already have a small apple orchard and as I eradicate honeysuckle in the wood lot I plant pawpaws and persimmon to take its place in the understory niche. Trying to get the best use out of my marginal lands

  4. How many seasons have you been growing Kholodok? Looks interesting. Where did you get seeds for it? Is it true to seed or a hybrid?

    Love butternut squash. Interesting to read about hicans from the comments. I was pondering what to plant in my zone 5 New England.

    Proverbs 27:17

    1. This is my first year growing it. I got the seeds from Lucky in Kentucky. He grew three kinds of "winter melons" and he liked this one best.

      I will be grafting shellbark hickories today: Garnet and a Fayette seedling. Unlike shagbark, most shellbark nut meats are not locked into the shell with convoluted sinuses.

      There should also be some hazelnut varieties that do well for you.

  5. Have you ever grown potatoes in a compost pile? After finding volunteers in mine, I started just planting them. Very productive if you keep adding to the pile to hill them. As I wasn't turning them that compost pile stayed cool. Still makes decent compost as far as I can tell.

    LOL, I found an article in my new Backwoodsman were someone else was actually building purpose built compost piles for that very reason. One way to avoid nightshade viruses from building up if you start a new compost pile somewhere lese each year.

    As it's not too late to do more potatoes in NE I think I'll do one this weekend.

  6. I have not planted potatoes in a compost pile. Several folks I know have grown volunteer pumpkins, though. They thrive if they can get enough sun.


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