Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

These Arches are Green, Not Golden

Monday, July 29, 2013

Happy Fast Food Worker Strike Day, everyone! 
I'm waiting with baited breath to see if they get their demands to be paid $15.00 an hour.  If it works, I think I may stage a sit down strike at work and demand $100,000.  Somehow I think that won't work very well and it may actually end in someone calling security.  ;-)

Speaking of the golden arches, we here at CrankyPuppy are home to the GREEN arches and here's why:  last year, my watermelons took over the entire backyard as their vines trailed out of the raised garden beds and over the lawn.  (Did you know one watermelon plant can sprawl out over 24 sq feet?  Me neither.)  It was virtually impossible to mow around them, which means they also encouraged a big stand of weeds. 

Common sense dictates that we not repeat that experiment, so I decided to try and grown them up an arch this year.  So far, it's been a HUGE success!

You're looking at a 14 foot long goat panel that I bent over last year and grew squash on (click to see pics).  That experiment didn't end well but it was more due to the heat and squash bugs than failure on my part.  But the watermelons are doing much better.  In the picture, this is the outside of the trellis where the plants were planted.  You can see all the leaves are sticking out the back.

Then, if you look on the inside of the trellis, that's where all the good stuff is.  It almost looks like a constellation of planets made out of watermelons.  I am going to be rolling in watermelons in a month or so!

I just realized I got chicken bombed in this photo!

Little Sugar Baby watermelons just hanging out.  I estimate the larger ones are around 2 to 3 pounds.  One thing I was worried about was whether the fruits would get so large that they'd fall off the vine, but they seem to be holding just fine.  I may go out soon and make some hammocks for them out of some old panty hose so that they have some support from the bottom.  From what I've been reading, you need to do this when they reach the size of a baseball and some of these are definitely that size or a little larger.

Aren't the little baby ones adorable?  I just had to snap a closeup of one.  It's not much larger than a grape. 

Those are green beans under the arch. They like the shade that the watermelon vines are providing.

The one thing about growing watermelons (or squash or cucumbers) on a trellis is this:  you have to stay on top of the vines every single day because they grow so fast.  You have to "train" the vines onto the trellis or they'll just flop back down toward the ground and then you'll have a mess on your hands.  As they grow, they'll throw out tendrils that wrap around the trellis wire.  Mine are over the top of the arch and starting their way back down the other side.
Anybody up for a seed spitting contest?


  1. I love the idea of using the goat panel for your vining veggies. I am wanting to try that on some fence that we have up that I want covered! It is rather unsightly and I figure if I am going to have a vine grow up it, it might as well be a useful vine that produces some food. :)

  2. Okay, we grow peas and beans on trellises, but never watermelon. I'll be interested to see if all the fruit stays on the vine.


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