zeborah: Zebra in grass smelling a daisy (gardening)
[personal profile] zeborah
It may not be quite worth quitting my day job just yet, but so far so somewhat successful!

Late last year I ate a supermarket rockmelon and, on a whim, planted some of the seeds from it. (I do this from time to time with various supermarket foods. The roots from spring onions are very prolific. Mandarin and persimmon seeds both turn into small trees, but it may be some more years before I find out whether or not they'll ever fruit.)

To my delight, the seeds sprouted. I gave a couple to a sibling (who planted them in an enclosed patch which was promptly intruded upon and the seedlings nommed by an anonymous animal) and planted a couple out in my own garden. One got smothered by weeds I think. The other started putting out little yellow flowers, similar to other cucurbit flowers but smaller and a little paler.

And then I noticed a baby melon. Now I am familiar with the ways of cucurbits (particularly tricksy pumpkins) and fully expected this to almost immediately be reabsorbed by the plant. But instead it grew. And grew. And...

Well, look, it was March by now so it didn't grow a lot. It was just surprising that it grew at all. I figured I'd leave it on the wee vine for as long as I could and then see what could be salvaged.

Cyclone Cook struck (much attenuated in Christchurch, but still very wet) and when I went out to inspect the garden I discovered the melon was scratched - I suspect an animal, exacerbated by rain. There wasn't much sign of leaves left to help it grow so I called this as good as it was going to get and brought it inside.

Small rockmelon

And cut it open and - it was nearly ripe!

Small rockmelon halves

Obviously there wasn't nearly as much flesh was you'd expect from a rockmelon, but it proved perfectly edible. I scooped it out like I would a kiwifruit or tamarillo - there was about as much of it as one of those too. :-)

Small rockmelon shells

Next season I'll plant some of the seeds I reserved from the supermarket rockmelon earlier in the season and see if I can grow a full-size melon - or two. :-)
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