Regrets, disappointments of a failed cantaloupe grower


Reggie ponder lifestyles chowan herald


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.