The possums are on the attack again. They ran off with two baby Mickey Lee watermelons while I was out of town on vacation. Now at least one possum is back for more.
Ants were crawling in and out of the teeth marks, so I cut it off the vine and sliced it open. The rind was such a light green, I thought maybe I'd gotten the watermelon and honeydew seedlings mixed up. Nope - it's a watermelon. Or, rather, was.
The meat of the melon looked a bit mealy, so maybe it was just as well. It smelled super good, though. Even though possums are reportedly resistant to rabies, I thought it best not to take a taste. Hopefully I'll get a taste of this one.
The leafminer damage on the leaves is new. It wasn't there yesterday when I took this photo.
I've erected a chicken wire fence around this patch, to keep the critters away from the melon and the squash. Yes, finally, I have squash that look like they might make it.
I didn't notice it at the time, but the camera doesn't lie - see the teeny-tiny orange bug on the squash? Hope it's a good bug and not a bad one. I better pick these soon.
I figured out what was eating the squash. Pill bugs - otherwise known as roly-polys or land shrimp (they're not actually insects, but crustaceans). Staking the plants hasn't helped much - they can crawl up to the squash.
They were attracted to the squash that were incompletely pollinated and rotting away at the blossom end. Unfortunately, they continued to feed on the healthy squash, too. So I set a trap for them with an old watermelon rind, to lure them away from the squash. (Sorry - yes, I need to weed. If only it weren't so dang hot!)
It seems to be working. Pill bugs are a sign of a healthy, pesticide-free garden, and they do help break down decaying organic matter. But in numbers this large, they can quickly decimate crops.
I dug up the dirt under the rind and moved it to the opposite side of the yard, and sprinkled some diatomaceous earth under and around the squash to get rid of the rest.
Despite the heat, the chard's still going strong.
The coneflowers don't mind the heat, either.
I desperately need to cut back the flame acanthus, but I hate to do it when gulf frittilaries are feeding on the last remaining blossoms.
This is the first time this canna has bloomed. The other's more of a tomato-red; this one's watermelon-colored.
Happy Independence Day!