A vicious and merciless attack was launched on my rockmelons. They have fallen victim to bugs, pests, incompetence or neglect, or a combination of all of the above.
The once thriving small fruits were revealed to be rotting and dying beneath the surface upon closer inspection, as revealed in the shocking and horrific images above.
The garden is at the back of a rental property on the south coast of New South Wales, about 2 hours south of Sydney, Australia. The soil is generally fertile in a region famous for dairy farming and viticulture, although the garden had been stripped of much of its nutrients when I moved in, courtesy of the previous tenant’s neglect and a dry winter. The garden attracts quite a lot of sun, during very warm summer months and even during colder winter months in what is typically a temperate climate. The area is also famous for beaches and surfing, which is great after a day of hard yakka in the garden.
Bugs or pests may have taken advantage of the weak defence system employed in my garden. Channeling the neutrality of Switzerland and the ‘Pura Vida’ of Costa Rica, I deliberately chose not raise an army or use any form of harmful pesticide, and this may have attracted greedy, rapacious bugs.
My military incompetence my also have signalled the death of the rockmelons. I followed the lead of Generals of wars past and dug trenches, before filling them with foot-soldiers in the form of rockmelon seeds saved from fruit I bough from the supermarket. I covered these with potting mix and issued the soldiers with a steady supply of aquatic ammunition, but alas, some of the rockmelons succumbed to the enemy.
A more intelligent strategy would have been to create mounds of soil, with sufficient space in between, and plant a sensible number of seeds in each.
Fortunately, I will not be forced to fall on my sword because some of the remaining rockmelon are still growing and look reasonably healthy. Hopefully, I can eat some of these fruit or at least save the seeds.