Crop - Seed to Table, Grow Your Own

Watermelon: seed to table

Yesterday I decided to share the results of our watermelon experiment; Last year we sourced seeds from our snacks during the holidays which made wonderful Seedlings, but due to late sowings they did not have time to produce fruit.

Last Easter we repeated the project, saving seeds and planted around forty seeds. With around twenty plants set at the allotment I was amazed to see the plants already setting fruit in our new ground bed.

As with all cucurbits, the seeds are ideal for planting with children and transplant easily as they are strong. Once potted on until the plant is well established they have taken hold and are growing well in the freshly manured ground.

These seedlings were down early but only began to germinate in June once the temperature levelled off, however I will still sow them around April as each year is completely different when it comes to germination.

As you can see this week we have several varieties setting fruit, these were again seeds sourced from our food, this week I plan to set some more to see if we can extend the growing season. Once pollinated the fruit forms at the base of the flower, swelling until it is eventually a fruit, courgettes, pumpkins, strawberries, apples, pears and plums all produce fruit from pollinated flowers.

The flowers which are a vibrant yellow can be fried in batter, edible additions. I am sure omelette recipes, summer salads are readily available, but adding bacon(if your non-vegetarian), onions, peppers with them to a stir fry or omelette would taste fantastic… I shall have to experiment.

Additionally I find it satisfying to grow on from seeds that we all eat, fair to say I buy melons and pineapples to stretch fruit until the weekend, as our children love them, they vanish quickly. So if you grow your favourite fruit and vegetables they will never go to waste… they will  require a lot of water though to produce good fruit but hopefully well worth the wait!

The allotment is set for a break in the heat, so after a day bringing water in as the heat wave continues, or in our case buying a shallow pool including fabulous inflatable creatures and play balls, today was due to be adventure day, but as it was too warm to venture far. I cringed momentarily at the Hawaiian skirts and flowers, but all in all my husband did well and they all had a great day, which will end with me cooling my feet in the water.

Happy propagating!

Cheryl

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