Melons remind me of hot summer days when the first ones were ripe in August. I grew three types of melons this season, Watermelon, Ambrosia and Sweet Granite Cantaloupe. This was the last week of the Ambrosia and Cantaloupe so that started me thinking of fall. The Ambrosia melons were a sweet dark orange fruit. I enjoyed the last one as breakfast and a melon-mango smoothie. The cantaloupe was not sweet, even though their name was sweet granite. They did have nice light orange honey fruit that paired nicely with some raspberries or strawberries to add the sweetness. They were also smaller melons and I could eat one as a serving.
The melons were grown in my side yard inside of feed bins. These were the most cost-effective, large containers to use for gardening. They are large enough for two tomato plants, enough kale to feed a hungry family or melon plants. Each bin had one melon plant that was allowed to expand its vines throughout the bin and over into the rocks below. The bins are about two feet high so it was not unrealistic that I had about four vines in each bin that grew over the side. The funny thing was finding out the best place to grow melons was actually behind the bins, out of the direct New Mexico sun. I had about six of each type grow this year. The bins provided a great place to grow the melons and watch them become ripe. I learned that the day that a melon is ripe is the best day to eat it. If you wait one day too long, the melon will turn a darker shade of orange and become watery. We ate those melons as smoothies and they were great.
The last melon to grow is the watermelon. It is about 4″ wide and still growing. The vines grew out of the container and along the property wall to find more shade. I had tried to plant the watermelon in the tomato container garden (3′ x 9′) to have shade under the tomatoes, but plants do what they want and it had a different plan for growing.