Last week Vince finished two new 4′ x 8′ raised beds. One is already planted and it has snow peas and some of the transplanted rhubarb. Everything is going great in that bed.
The second bed is for garlic and I will not plant that for another week or so. We have two 97 degree days next week and garlic isn’t so fond of that kind of heat. Probably by this time next week or a week from Saturday I’ll be ok with planting the garlic.
But, last week Vince filled that bed with dirt and I’ve been watering it because I want it to settle before I plant so I can add more dirt if needed before planting.
Monday when I was out watering, something was popping up in the soil. It was green and that’s all I knew for sure. By Tuesday, there were about 20 of them. Wednesday, there were about 30 of them. I asked Vince “Did you use the bagged garden soil, cow manure and peat in that bed like you have in all the other beds?” He said “Yes, why?” I told him something was growing in it and I had never had that happen before. We talked about how weird it was and Vince felt like it was because normally, I’m chomping at the bit to get things planted so I’m stirring around in the soil for several days after he fills the beds but this time, all I’ve done is water the soil and leave it alone.
Yesterday I was sure it was watermelon that was growing. I took a picture with my phone and let the “lens” app identify it and they think it’s watermelon too.
Last night when Vince was outside, I said “Walk over to that bed and look at how much is growing in there!” He did and we stood there, both kinda in awe at all the baby watermelon plants. We talked about how weird it was for all that to grow out of that bagged dirt.
We walked away and Vince stopped and said “Wait!! Remember the neighbor told me to take any compost out of his bin that I needed and I got a couple of wheelbarrows of compost from him! I bet, with two small children, they ate a lot of watermelon this summer.”
Sometimes I go put my stuff in the neighbor’s compost bin (his is much nicer than mine) and I asked him if it was ok if a few seeds got in there. He said “Sure . . I turn it over enough that if something sprouts, it gets turned over and doesn’t grow.” Except for the watermelons!
I told Vince we could build a little makeshift greenhouse over that bed, put a propane heater out there and grow watermelons this winter. He’s already not terribly happy with the cost of my gardening hobby . . I don’t think a propane heater for my volunteer watermelon plants is in the cards but at least we now know why there are so many watermelons growing in that bed.