Growing watermelon

My watermelon plant

I have a kid who loves watermelon. The problem is, watermelon in Japan is insanely expensive. At my local discount grocery store, at the height of when watermelon were in season, one volleyball-size watermelon went for $12, and that was incredibly on sale. The average seems to be about $20.

My kid has some interest in growing things, so one day last month I put a couple leftover watermelon seeds into some soil, did some research on the internet, and began watching it grow.

Insects adore this plant, of course, so every day I’m out there batting away one bug or another while spraying neem oil (yes, I’m apparently that kind of gardener).

What worries me is that it’s not growing nearly as quickly as I thought it would. I thought I’d have a little fruit growing at this point, but it’s still climbing up the netting I put up, considering its next route along the net rather than whether it should create some flowers. I knew I’d planted it incredibly late in the year considering when watermelon are usually in season, but I thought the plant would still give me a watermelon before September.

Now I’m mostly worried I’ll finally get a little watermelon growing in, say, November, and the cold will promptly kill it.

Still, I’m not giving up. My kid goes out to our little garden, excited to see it growing some more, and I don’t want to kill that excitement with, “Well, Mommy planted the seeds too late so I’m just going to pull this up now.”

I’ll let you know if I ever get a watermelon.