Here’s the deal… Being the self-respecting intensive veggie gardener that I am, I’m always looking for more space to grow another edible plant. There were tomatoes and eggplants in containers, cucumbers and beans up a trellis, and an assortment of herbs growing in a planter or strawberry jar.
Intensive Growing in a Cold Frame
So this year my bright idea was to use an empty cold frame to grow a few extra vegetables and fruits during the summer months when the cold frame usually sits unoccupied waiting for the fall growing season. In went a couple of Sunburst summer squash, Japanese cucumbers, heirloom muskmelons, and a watermelon plant or two.
Everything worked great and I even harvested a few cucumbers and squash from the plants sprawling all over the inside of the cold frame. I haven’t harvested any melons yet, but those plants are growing rapidly as well. That’s were the dilemma comes into play.
This evening I noticed a dark green, half-grown, muskmelon growing between the side of the cold frame and the rails of the deck. I was excited about the discovery and figured I’d just slip the fruit under the rail and let it rest where it could finish growing and ripen on the deck.
What I Wouldn’t do This Season for a Ripe Home Grown Melon
Well, there was no such luck. The fruit had already grown to the point that it was lodged tight, with no chance of setting it free from its cell between the side of the cold frame and the rails of the deck. Normally the situation wouldn’t cause much anguish, but this has been a difficult season for melons thanks to the groundhogs who decided the green ones were good eating.
There are a few melons still growing in the garden that have a good shot at maturing and ripening, but I’m treasuring every cantaloupe that’s left standing, including the unfortunate fruit that’s trapped on the deck.
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