Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tuscan Cantaloupe Experiment

Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Date: 8/22/2015

Yesterday evening I had a delicious Tuscan Cantaloupe. I saved around 50 seeds from it and dried them overnight.

Today I pulled back the mulch in the orchard and laid a 7 foot 1/4 inch soaker tube attached to the orchard irrigation. It will get about 20 minutes of water each morning. I scattered the seeds evenly along the length of soaker hose.

The seeds have a few inches of mulch on top of them. I also gave the mulch a good initial soak with the garden hose after I put it back.

Date: 8/26/2015

It's been 4 days since I put the seeds down. Today I noticed the first signs that they germinated. I'm guessing that the stem must be a few inches long because they were buried under a few inches of mulch. I counted 21 in total.

Date: 8/27/2015

Five days after planting the germination count is 53.

Date: 8/28/2015

Six days after planting the germination count is 94. I guess that my estimate of 50 seeds wasn't very accurate.

Date 8/28/2015

Eight days after planting. Germination count is 124. That doesn't include 5 to 10 that appears to have collapsed from heat exhaustion. I've thrown a shade cloth over the plants to protect them at this stage. We're still experiencing 110F days and they are tiny and not able to handle this heat.

Date 9/14/15

They've done really well over the last couple of weeks under the shade cloth which I've just removed. The leaves are large and the plants are growing quickly. Will allow them full sun now.

Date 9/19/15

Noticed first flowers. About 20% of the leaves have been eaten by the desert cottontails. I'm hoping that as the leaves become more mature and prickly that they'll be less palatable to the rabbits and will be left alone. Theory is that the young succulent leaves are what they wanted.

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