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.
I am checking the moisture levels of the purple sweet potatoes. The weather has become hot and dry, so I need to turn on the irrigation. I also must keep an eye on the condition of the soil. There can’t be too much or too little moisture for optimal production of the tubers. I have been picking off a lot of army worms as well.
The pumpkin is doing well so far. This year I am using spot application of organic garden dust on the non-blooming plants to avoid the destructive cucumber beetles, squash vine borers, and powdery mildew, which caused my pumpkins to fail last year. Let’s see if the garden dust and copper spray help out.
I am allowing the okra to set some seed pods, and I have cantaloupe planted in the containers. The Sugar Baby watermelons produce very quickly.
The watermelons are looking so much better. Mulching the openings in the fabric with dried grass clippings is helping regulate the moisture and suppress weeds. I did give them fish emulsion and mineral supplements to help them recover from the constant rain washing away the nutrients.
The cucumbers are growing well. I planted two kinds of beans yardlong and Kentucky Wonder. The Kentucky wonder was not doing well in the constant rain, so I replanted those in buckets. The yardlong bean doesn’t mind the wet soil and has performed well. I picked all the beans, and now I am waiting for more. I am hoping for some fall tomatoes.
I have giant watermelon seeds, pumpkins, and sunflowers planted in containers to experiment and see what I get. I mixed the soil using 50% of my kitchen compost mixed with garden soil from the store. I also added some perlite and reasonably priced balanced organic fertilizer. I will update later, so stay tuned!