Thriving Watermelons! How'd That Happen?!

No way!!!  They're actually thriving!

I stared at my watermelon vines in complete disbelief.  You probably remember that when I first planted my watermelon seeds, around three weeks ago, I didn't expect much.  I thought I'd be lucky if they made it very far in their growth.  Having planted them at the very tail end of the planting season, and knowing that they thrive in warm weather, I thought I was totally crazy.

This gardening project, I thought, was doomed to failure.

When I first planted them, they were itty bitty things, still confined to the mound that I planted them in.

young watermelon plants in mound

Now, however, the watermelons have taken off in their growth, and one vine in particular has grown over the retaining wall that's roughly 3 1/2 feet away from the mound!

watermelon vine growing over retaining wall


Ok, but I said the watermelons were thriving.  Naturally, this means that simply producing long vines isn't enough.  Yes, the leaves are huge and healthy, but there's more to it than that.

This gardening project has begun to produce blossoms!!!  Beautiful yellow ones!

yellow watermelon blossoms

Now, there's always a chance that the blossoms will drop off and produce nothing in the way of fruit.  I fully realize that.

Especially since the heat wave in our city has ended and we're back to normal southern Minnesota temperatures.  This means that the nighttime temperatures dip into the fifties.  Brrr!  For a desert rat like me, that translates to freezing!  Well, at least for August, that is!

I honestly believe that the whole reason for my success thus far is that the region has been warmer than usual.  Watermelons love warm temperatures, and require a lot less water for growth than any rational person would expect.

Indeed, I watered the mound only a few times, and even then, I used much less water than I did with, say, my tomatoes that are still quite happy in their spaghetti garden.

I consider myself lucky.  These watermelons are really doing much better than I expected.  I'm hoping to get some fruit from them, but even if I don't, I'll be quite content.  Just seeing the large leaves cascading down my retaining wall, accented with spots of yellow, fills me with joy.

And if it does produce?  All the better!  If I'm truly lucky, it'll grow enough watermelons for me to be able to share with the neighbors.  That, after all, is one of the results that I most want to achieve via my edible garden.

Have you ever had an edible plant whose maturity mattered to you even more than the resulting nutrition?