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David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: davidzanemason ()
Date: March 05, 2008 01:41AM

I would like to race anyone to grow watermelons this spring and post pictures of progress once every week or two. I'm starting early in Florida this year on about March 15th.....since our frosts should be just about over by then. The plants take between 60-80 days to harvest, so anyone that's into it...follow me as I grow my own Watermelons, Canteloupes and Honeydews this year! Let's have fun!

I'll grow the watermelon in fenced in areas on the ground....and the melons on trellises! The pictures should be exciting.

-David Z. Mason

WWW.RawFoodFarm.com

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: perpending ()
Date: March 12, 2008 03:19AM

If I can get my digital camera to start working, I'd be happy to compare. I grow several varieties each year in my community garden. In fact, I am getting set to harvest the rest of my greens and do some planting myself. I will not, however, get mine in before March 15 ;o) My week is set for the 24.

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: frances ()
Date: March 12, 2008 02:37PM

I think I may grow some watermelons this year, but since in New York I wont be able to put them out until May I officially forfeit in advance any growing race. Still, if you do post your photos I may add mine one I have something to show.

I'm looking forward to any photos you guys have to post in the meantime!

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: angie1 ()
Date: March 13, 2008 01:39PM

LOL! I'm IN!

My dear dear dear husband just bought me a GREENHOUSE for our anniversary.

Zeee plan is....

1. Dig up rocks from down by the creek - GREAT loamy soil! Use to make wall around growing area. The greenhouse will be removed later in the season, and then old fencing will sit atop the wall and be weighted down by large rocks.

2. Erect greenhouse over growing spot

3. Plant melons!

4. Kill deer that try to invade! Make delicious raw jerky! OK - just kidding!!! I wouldn't really do that, but seriously deer are a huge problem - cute as all heck but they destroyed my ENTIRE garden last year, along with the neighbors ducks and geese. This sping has been more about creating better garden infrastructure (such as higher fencing, double-protection - raised covered beds within the higher fencing)

Our last frost is April 30th... so I probably won't win but I have never grown melons before and am anxious to see how it will go!

The great thing about the green house is that it is portable. So once the weather gets going I can use it to dry herbs. Oh I love my husband! I am so thankful he bought me that greenhouse.


Me (30), Joseph (24 mo.) Jeremiah (4 mo.)

We are enjoying spring and being outside!!!

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: perpending ()
Date: March 16, 2008 07:03PM

So David, are you starting your plants from seed? I am just starting my seeds today, so they will not be in the ground for a few weeks yet? Which varieties of melon are you growing?

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: davidzanemason ()
Date: March 17, 2008 11:51PM

Yup. Once the possibility of frost has passed in Central Florida (after the middle of March)....then its fine for me to plant seeds directly in the soil....and just prune down to the strong sprouts. I've already got the sprouts coming up for most of them. I planted about 8 or 9 days ago.

-Lessee....I've got Jubilee, Crimson Sweet, Charleston Grey.....and I planted some great Moon and Stars watermelons too! I hope I don't have to fence off the area due to rabbits or some other animal! Ha! ha!

-David Z. Mason

WWW.RawFoodFarm.com

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: lovekk ()
Date: March 20, 2008 05:45AM

I'd like to do it too, as I am just getting in to planting in the last week or so. I am in 110deg. hot Las Vegas Nevada, so I don't know if anything will survive. I barely survive myself!!!
Do I have to do anything special to the soil, or do I just buy a packet of seeds, drop them into the soil, and wait?

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: davidzanemason ()
Date: March 20, 2008 11:24AM

Melons will grow well with plenty of sun. If they look like they are getting scorches though or wilting...then you may want to shade them during the hottest parts of the day...and keep them well watered.

-Just build large mounds of composted soil...about 2 feet high. Plant about 12 seeds around the hill....and then prune it down to the best 3 spouts around the mound. These will be your primary vines. Just let them run...and keep them well watered until they do start to run.

-Keep me updated! Mine are all sprouting now....so I'm going to prune down to 3 or 4 vines per hill this week...and take pictures! smiling smiley

-David Z.

WWW.RawFoodFarm.com

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: lovekk ()
Date: March 20, 2008 03:25PM

The seeds around the mound, are they down in the dirt, or just laying on top of the dirt? And also, do they need to be planted in an area by themselves, I heard that melon roots can spread far and wide, and I don't want them to choke my tomatoes, greens, etc.

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: davidzanemason ()
Date: March 21, 2008 01:16AM

Right. The mounds should be well away from each other...and the seeds planted about 1 inch down and covered firmly...but not packed down. Keep the soil moist (but not damp) until the vines start to go running. You should/can direct the vines away from your other crops - if you like.

-David Z. Mason

WWW.RawFoodFarm.com

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: perpending ()
Date: March 21, 2008 04:27AM

I think I will still be participating, but I just learned today that the community garden I have been running will loose the land to development. Since I live in an apartment, not sure how many watermelons I will be planting. I will need to see when development begins. If it begins this summer, then alas, all of the transplants I have started will be donate to others and I will just have to enjoy the contest longingly from afar.

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: angie1 ()
Date: March 21, 2008 02:13PM

Argh. For the last 3 days it has been snowing. pppbbbbttttt.


Me (30), Joseph (24 mo.) Jeremiah (4 mo.)

We are enjoying spring and being outside!!!

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: lovekk ()
Date: March 21, 2008 03:37PM

What are the mounds for if you will be planting in the flat soil around the mound?

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Re: David Z. Mason Challenge! (It's a friendly one)
Posted by: davidzanemason ()
Date: March 22, 2008 11:45AM

Imagine making little mountains that are 2 feet high. Then imagine looking down on it and cutting into 3 equal slices. Plant 6 seeds in each slice....then prune them down to 1 spout in each slice. Make sure those vines shoot out in opposite directions. You can also do this in rows...by making smaller mounds every 2 feet...and planting 6 seeds per mound....and pruning down to 1 vine per mound....and shooting them off at right angles to the row...alternating left and right....left and right.

-David Z. Mason

WWW.RawFoodFarm.com

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