This year I was blessed to be able to grow a 30 gallon container of Carolina Cross watermelon. I highly recommend this variety if you are planning a large family gathering in the future. I started by filling my large containers more than half full of rotted down stump grindings. Then I used a container mix of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 Black Kow, and 1/3 garden soil product. I also added a few big handfuls of perlite and organic fertilizer. I added a top dressing of fertilizer around the drip line of the plants at 8 weeks along with weekly liquid plant food feedings. I controlled insects with organocide and soap as long as the temperatures were not over 85 degrees. I would say the Carolina Cross is disease resistant since it survived on organic remedies and grew some nice-sized watermelons in my harsh rather humid environment. I have to give it an A+ for its crisp texture and flavorful sweetness.
Garden Journal Update for Late September Before and After the Storm
I was enjoying my garden after the storm watching honeybees visit my sunflowers before the storm hit. The storm destroyed almost everything except the Purple Asian sweet potato vine. I was able to harvest some bell peppers, scallop squash and tomatoes. The scallop squash is very good baked or steamed. Once it gets big enough the make seeds, it is better to peel the skin, but it is still yummy.
I thought my garden might be OK right after the storm. A week after the storm, the leaves on many of my vines started dying. I soon realized the pumpkins and sunflowers were quite damaged. One sunflower broke off, and the other didn’t bloom because the bud was damaged.
The cucumber and watermelon vines will make seeds for me. The Asian Purple sweet potato vines are blooming and starting to bulk up. It is time to clear things for fall planting. The good news is the Goldendew vine is doing well, and dragonflies are everywhere. I noticed fewer pesty insects hanging around thanks to these predators. I also was able to snap some good pictures of zinnias, moss roses, and Red Waterlilies.