Dry Farmed Success.

Finally, new news!! We did have a great harvest with dry farmed watermelons. This was the first year we tried dry farming and what a success. You would think that watermelons, being so juicy – and well, watery, they would require copious amounts of watering, especially in a dry, hot arid environment like we have during the summer months. But that was not the case. With some instructional help from another local farmer, who dry farms not only watermelon but also corn and tomatoes, I started my first attempt. Earlier in the year, around the end of March or early April, I started various seed start for planting in the early summer months when the soil gets nice and warm. Things like peppers, tomatoes, corn and melons, like the heat to get started. I had started several dozen watermelons starts with the thought of maybe dry farming them but after talking with Quill, the other farmer, I soon learned that would have been a big mistake. To start a dry farmed seed, you plant it directly into the soil. If you plant a seed start with out watering it, it will soon die because it’s root system had become use to water from the beginning. So direct seeding I did. I then stretched some chicken wire around the planted area to keep out the rabbits. I then forgot about them. I planted my other watermelon starts in the garden with some other watered melons for a comparison. After a few weeks seedlings started to emerge from the dry farmed area. I had planted nine plots of seeds with 5-6 seed in each plot. All of them came up!! And they all started producing flowers and soon melons. They were just as sweet and juicy as the watered melons but with out the worry of having to water them. What a way to go. Next year I will try other dry farmed plants but check out the photos of the melons. Makes you want to take a spoon to them, even in the chill of a fall afternoon.

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