Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What's Wrong With My Melons?

Though we had an early start to the planting and growing season this year, it seems like I was still rushed a bit to get things planted in the garden.  Life had me rushing to and fro and fitting everything in when and where I could, so the garden got planted some days while on autopilot.  What that meant was that some things never got labeled and I couldn't quite recall what they were.  Time would tell...

A few weeks ago, I was working in the garden and noticed the melon plants had germinated and put up their cotyledons, and some of their true leaves.  I knew I'd planted two hills of watermelon and two hills of muskmelon, but couldn't remember which was which.  It didn't really matter, anyway.  I knew the muskmelons would grow on the muskmelon plants and the watermelons on the watermelon plants and that's all that counted.

But what was this?  Yellow spots on the leaves of two of the hills of melons.  Oh dear.  We'd had plenty of rain this spring, more than usual.  Is that what was causing the yellow spotting?  Or was it some sort of disease?

And then it dawned on me.  These were the watermelon plants.  I'd been given seeds for 'Moon & Stars' watermelon at the plant swap at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show in March, and the leaves were supposed to look like this! 'Moon & Stars' is an heirloom variety that has dark green skin with tiny yellow speckles (stars) surrounding a larger one (moon) and the foliage is speckled, too.

I look forward to eating this melon that was first introduced to the public as 'Sun, Moon, and Stars' in 1926 by Peter Henderson and Company and was thought to be extinct until 1981, when Merle van Doren of Missouri offered some of his seeds to Kent Whealey of Seed Savers Exchange.

Photo from


That Bloomin' Garden said...

That melon is just too cool. Never seen it before.

Kit Aerie-el said...

Wow, what a cool melon! Beautiful!
Isn't it fun to discover that, after inspection, research, and then knowledge, what we initially perceive as something 'wrong' turns out to be the unique quality of the plant. And this is one very cool, unique plant you've got there.
Can't wait to hear how it tastes...and what it looks like inside! Perhaps the milky way?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This is a pretty melon. I hope it tastes good too.

Sheila said...

Very cool!

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

It's a very neat little melon! We grew them last year and they tasted great but didn't produce a lot. I'm hoping for better this year!

F Cameron said...

I tried not to laugh too hard when I saw the title of your post appear in the sidebar of my blogroll! :-)

Very unique watermelon. Never seen anything like it. I do hope you'll be able to save seeds, too.

Ally said...

That is so funny. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only person who does this sort of thing. This year I grew tiger melons which turned out to be tatume squash. Oops! I really need to mark my seeds better. The sad part is I have no idea what happened to the tiger melon seeds.

bethany (momma fox) said...

It's my first year growing this variety and I panicked too! I thought my seedlings were rotting. How cool. :)

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