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  • Writer's picturedarkwaterranch

Make It Work

We changed our plans for the cantaloupe patch and didn't really have the time to wait on the shipment of landscape fabric to arrive. What do you do when things like this happen? You look for what you have available and you make it work!

In this case we did have several hundred feet of plastic mulch, perfect for melons. But no mulch layer or transplanter. However, we have a tractor, a middle buster, shovels and muscle. We made it work!

First step was to make trenches with the middle buster, then it was "suck it up butter cup" and go with good old human muscle. We rolled out the mulch with its edges in the trenches and then used a shovel to cover the mulch edges. Not as fast, easy or as neat as the a mulch layer would be, ,but effective none the less.

Once that was done, we still had to rely on the muscle because we were the only transplanter around, no fancy equipment budget on this farm.

When using a transplanter it has a big heavy wheel that rolls across the mulch leaving the hole for the seedling. In this case we used a vegetable can with the ring removed so the metal was sharp and then screwed it to a 2x2 board. It worked great just push down and twist, cut a perfect hole. Then a hand held auger and we were ready to put our cantaloupe in the ground.

We are trying a couple new varieties this year; Halona Hybrid a sweet choice that averages 4-5lb melons and the El Gordo Hybrid that are a colossal, sweeter-than-sweet fruit, they weigh in at 15 -20lbs a melon. Can't wait to see these melons!


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