I taught a tomato class last Saturday at Viola’s Nursery in Flagstaff as part of their annual Tomato Fest. Viola’s had 75 varieties of tomatoes for sale, which is a phenomenal amount. Twenty people attended my class on a rainy cold snowy day. It went well in spite of the weather! Enjoy the photos:
Melons, pumpkins, and winter squash have a particularly difficult time ripening in Flagstaff due to the short growing season.
Here is a tip to help them out: Melons especially, but also squash and pumpkins could ripen two weeks sooner if they are able to ripen off of the ground. This can be accomplished by placing a used can (coffee or soup can, for example) upside down into the soil right beside the fruit in question. Sink the can until about 2 inches of it is sticking up out of the ground. Punch a few holes in the top for drainage. Carefully lift the melon or pumpkin and place it on top of the can. Ready-made platforms are available from Gardener’s Supply and work very well also.
Give this a try. You will be surprised at how much faster these fruit will ripen.
Note: photos of pumpkin platforms are from Wes and Susan Lockwood’s garden in Flagstaff, AZ.