Regrets, disappointments of a failed cantaloupe grower
By Reggie Ponder
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Many of you have asked about my cantaloupe plants.
The short answer is they’re dead.
The longer answer is I tried but failed. At the start I was worried about giving the plants too much water (this was before the torrential rains stated) so I tried to water modestly.
In retrospect I believe I watered way too modestly. A little brazenness would have been a step in the right direction in this case.
I wasn’t sure how fast the plants should be growing so I didn’t realize until too late that the plants weren’t really thriving.
Eventually I grew concerned that the plants were not yielding any fruit.
I was right to be concerned. It was well past time for the plants to have borne fruit.
Also, I don’t think I prepared the ground properly before planting.
The more I think about it there wasn’t much I did right in the entire enterprise.
It started off well enough. I bought the plants and got them in the ground at the right time.
From there, though, everything was downhill.
Over the weekend I officially gave up and mowed the plants down while I was mowing the grass.
So I guess the real answer is I killed them. I killed my cantaloupe plants. I killed the plants I had hoped would yield platefuls of delicious fruit.
That means I also killed the plants some of you were counting on to yield a cantaloupe for your own plate.
That’s a lot of disappointment.
Certainly it was terribly disappointing for me.
And mowing over the plants was not an easy choice to make. I had really wanted the plants to prosper.
I especially wanted fresh cantaloupe from my backyard.
There’s next year, though, and I plan to learn more about the care and cultivation of cantaloupe plants between now and then.
Knowledge is power, after all.
I know plenty of expert gardeners I can ask for advice and I should do fine as long as I take their wisdom to heart.
That’s really where it breaks down much of the time. Often we know better but we just don’t do better.
I know some of you have taken an interest in my gardening experiment this year and I appreciate your comments and questions throughout the season.
Hopefully this disappointing report won’t get you down.
In fact, feel free to have a laugh at my expense. That way at least I’ll have something to show for the effort.
Reggie Ponder is a staff writer for The Daily Advance.