Thursday, July 13, 2006

ART for melons

I'm trying to grow melons this year for the first time since moving to this chilly climate. As with my tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, melons need to be grown under cover to have any chance bearing fruit. But the problem with the greenhouse is that bees are reluctant to enter, or at least bees are reluctant to enter mine, even with the doors thrown open wide, because they can smell the spray I used to take out a wasp nest in there, weeks ago. At any rate, I got tired of seeing female buds form:

And then shrivel and drop off:

I tried using a camel hair brush to transfer pollen gently from the male blossoms, but that didn't work. Clearly my reluctant melons needed a more aggressive approach, assisted reproductive technology, if you will.

Notice the tiny green stem protruding from the center of the female blossom in this photo? It's a male blossom, stripped of its petals and literally stuffed inside the female.

I feel like such a perv, doing this over and over. . .
But 48 hours after this adventure in fertility, this one hadn't shriveled up yet.

And 4 days later, it's looking real good:

Stay tuned. I'm off to breed more tasty little melons.


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