Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Update: moon and stars watermelon, futsu's and self wicking beds

JUST LOOK AT THIS!!! 15 kg watermelon!  I don't know how we are going to eat all of this but I am so impressed with myself right now.  Had to get my husband to carry it out of the garden for me..... Not that I couldn't have lifted it myself but you got to make them feel useful :)


I'll post another picture when we cut it.

26/12  Well my watermelon has been proudly on display for the past week with anyone coming over copping an eyeful and having to listen to me skite about it.  Was showing it off to my mother-in-law tonight when she said "you'll have to cut that soon, it's starting to rot".  I thought "rubbish" but then checked and sure enough at the point where it connects to the vine, it was soft and discoloured.  My pride immediately turned to dismay at the thought of my lovely watermelon going to waste so I cut it open then and there with trepidation...........

It was FINE!!  One more day and the rot may have made it to the flesh so it was very fortunate that my mother in law has such good eye sight.  In fact, it was more than fine -> it was DELICIOUS!!  Only problem was what to do with so much watermelon.  I decided to take Elaine's advice to juice it.  Problem is that I don't have a juicer so my solution was to scoop 1/2 the watermelon and squeeze over a strainer as I went.  The result was about 4.5 litres of juice, one huge container of cut watermelon from 1/4 (with probably half of that quarter being eaten as "taste tests" by the family" ) and the other quarter (that weighs at least 3 kg) is to go to my sister-in-laws when we head down to the gold coast tomorrow.

Also harvested my Black futsu's.  Got 8 little pumpkins, the largest is about 1.5 kg - maybe 2kg.  I had to pick them a bit early as the powdery mildew was completely destroying the vine.  The largest had started to change colour and they are supposed to improve with storage so hopefully they will be worth the effort. 

I have also been convinced to give selfwatering beds a try.  I have watched Rob's videos Rob's you tube page repeatedly and am confident in my ability *coughs* to carry out this task.  I'm only trialling it the moment so have built two in the front yard with the view to slowly transform my main vegie patch into selfwatering beds over the year if I am convinced its worth the effort and expense.  The idea of not having to spend an hour watering every second day is definitely appealing.  Of course, for me, nothing is easy and drama's ensued.

I bought two greenlife 1200 x 450 x450 beds for $70 each, the slotted AGI pipe (not socked because I saw THAT video after I had bought the other stuff - definitely buying that in the future) $ 35, sand about $32, black 200 um builders plastic $18.00 and weed matting $10.  I already had the soil, compost & sugarcane mulch.  I also needed 3 trips to masters because I am an idiot and don't read things correctly - like trying to buy a drill bit and a)$15 on a large drill bit to make the drainage port but failing to get a metal drill bit and sat there for ages wondering why the blasted thing wouldn't drill into the metal b) went back to buy another large metal drill bit to fit the pipe I had ($ 25) and then got home and realized it wouldn't fit my drill!!! c) final stop getting a smaller metal drill bit and smaller pipe -> grand total of about $ 80 because I AM STUPID!! :)

Didn't take too long once I finally got my act together and they are small enough that if I do something wrong, it's not too much of a drama to fix it.  So far so good except for the fact that my 5 year old son is very curious and Mummy did not explain the "you touch, you die" rule.  He decided that the white watering stations were very interesting so pulled them out to see what was in there.  Needless to say I was not impressed.  As his punishment, he had to sit there for an hour on Christmas day while I dug out the soil around the port, found the connection point to the AGI pipes in the sludgy mess (because of course it was full of water!!) and pushed it back in and carefully relayered the sand, mulch and soil mix.  Hopefully that experience has cured him of his "curiosity" where it comes to my beds and my beds will still be okay.

I have planted charentais melons in one and cucumbers and carrots in the other.  I'll let you know how it all goes.


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Comment by Susan on December 27, 2013 at 10:19

Am planning to bring some to the garden visit as well as the watermelon.  I don't usually have much to share as I'm not a seed saver but melons and pumpkins are easy so I usually keep them.    It's just lucky I live 5 min from a Masters, otherwise I would have given up in frustration. :)

Comment by Lissa on December 27, 2013 at 6:04

Terrific report Susan :D I was there with you all the way. Especially the repeated trips to Bunnings - I did the same a few weeks ago. Made four trips in two days :/ Fessed up to the checkout operator lol.

Would love to see pics of how it progresses.

So what did you choose to use as the water holding layer?

Any chance of some seed from those little pumpkin?

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 26, 2013 at 22:51

I'm chuffed that another BLFer has taken up the wicking bed idea. Wish I'd patented it then I could collect royalties ;-) Fascinating the variations on the theme!

Comment by Lissa on December 23, 2013 at 18:30

Incredible Susan :D Yummo. I am now giving stern looks at my little plant.

Comment by Ania on December 15, 2013 at 20:49
Wow! Stunning watermellon. There's all that recent rain right there!
Comment by Andrew Cumberland on December 15, 2013 at 20:40


Comment by Elaine de Saxe on December 15, 2013 at 20:16

Hooley Dooley! What a ripper! If you cannot eat all of it, consider juicing some - if you usually juice, it's a good addition. Messy and the juice settles out quickly so it needs stirring. Seriously good juice ;-)

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