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Regrets, disappointments of a failed cantaloupe grower

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Reggie ponder lifestyles chowan herald

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By Reggie Ponder
Columnist

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.

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