Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Mighty Midget

I planted a number of different pumpkins and melons this year in my new patch.

  • Musquee de Provence a beautiful green and orange fluted pumpkin
  • Baby Blue - provided by Bek
  • Buttercup -  again thanks to Bek 
  • Australian Butter - and again
  • Tigger - provided by Bek
  • Minnesota Midget
The choice of pumpkins was obvious - I wanted to grow some things this summer that I could store for winter and, as the climate here is dry and hot ( in summer at least) it is great for avoiding that nasty mildew on the leaves. And the melons? Well I like a good melon and on a hot day a juicy melon is just the ticket. 

I had prepared lovely beds for them - nice piles of organic material along with a large dose of free sheep manure for each. I mulched and mulched, including with the good stuff - lucerne and, all have failed. No doubt this is because of two main factors -  the damn record breaking heat we have been having and the fact that we don't really have any shade. There just hasn't been a way to keep water up to them. 

The exception as been the Mighty Midget from Minnesota (I think this sounds like a wrestler's nom de grapple don't you?).

Let me introduce the Minnesota Midget. Tiny little thing, small leaves, lots and lots of flowers that are bee magnets - no need to get the paint brush out for this little fellow, oh no! Pollinates all by himself!

The fruit are swelling each day. So far I can see about 5 little fruit forming.

As you can see from the photo above, the Midget has even survived being sampled by the Wallaby...few have survived that encounter.

Amazingly too the Midget is probably in the spot in the garden that gets most afternoon sun. I am assuming because its leaves are a little smaller that it is a little more accommodating of the heat? Certainly the pumpkin with the largest leaves - the show girl Musquee de Provence with her enormous leaves looked pretty shabby each afternoon with all her leaves wilted - not so for the Midget.

I guess one difference is that I planted the Midget quite a bit later than the other pumpkins and Tigger the melon and after the other poor little fellows toughed out the fire threat day. Perhaps the Midget got the less testing part of the season?

Now I know one shouldn't count melons before they are ripe, but I am hoping that the Midget keeps on and yields a juicy melon or two. If we do get fruit, I'll be saving this little fellow's seeds.

Do you have a melon or two in your patch?


  1. I have never managed to grow a melon. I have tried on a couple of occasions only to have them either swamped by pumpkin vines or suffer from being in a spot that was just too shady for them.
    As a result I am super impressed with melons of any size - your Minnesota midget is larger now than any of mine have ever got.

    1. Time will tell if I will be successful or not. I am just fearing that summer might have one more thumpingly hot day or two on offer. That will likely stuff up my melon dreams!

      BTW, the Bureau of Meterology report for January is pretty harrowing reading. We had temps here 5-6 degrees hotter than average. Let's hope its not the new normal!

  2. How wonderful! My rockmelons have had lots of flowers but as yet no fruit. My early sown one's died off in the heatwaves we got earlier, but I had sown some extras in December so they are all I've got. But my self sown watermelons have 3 fruits.

    1. So we have had a very similar experience. That horrible heat really did knock quite a few things over didn't it! I am impressed with watermelons - the Lad's favourite. Do they need lots of water to grow successfully?



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