Anyone who has been reading along may remember that this is the year I am beginning the process of dehybridizing my favorite melon, Sugar Nut Hybrid. The first step is just to pollinate the female flowers with male flowers from the same variety and save the seeds from that first “cross” to plant next year.
In other words, this is the easy year. I almost made it harder for myself than it needed to be, because I am growing other varieties of melons in the same garden patch. The good news is that I was (at the last minute) smart enough to start the Sugar Nut melon plants almost five weeks earlier than the other melons.
This means that instead of working to isolate the female flowers by taping them shut or covering them in some way to keep pollen from the other varieties of melons away, and then hand pollinating the Sugar Nut melon flowers, I just need to be careful to save seeds from the first few melons out of the garden.
In essence, the flowers were isolated by time, rather than with physical barriers.
The first melons are coming along nicely. They take a long time to ripen, though, so if will be awhile before I have seeds to save.
Next year, the real work of selection for “the perfect melon for my yard” really begins. Wish me luck!