The Growing Girl

Amateur gardening experiences of a growing girl.

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Seeded Watermelon

I was super-dee-duper excited when I walked through my local Shoppers Food Warehouse produce section and found a large box filled to the brim with…. Wait for it…. SEEDED WATERMELONS!!!!

I did a little dance and could barely contain myself. After I managed to pull myself together I began to dig around for the perfect one. When I thought I found it– those babies were large and in charge– I hoisted it into my cart and carried on with my grocery shopping.

When I finally cut into it my hopes and dreams were dashed upon the rocks of Bad Watermelon Beach. It was going bad. The flesh was a bit on the slick and slimy side. It was a beautiful, bright red and the seeds were big and black. It was nasty. I was so sad.

I have decided that I will not give up my search for a seeded watermelon that is as delicious as I remember from my childhood. That is my goal. I will keep you posted.


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Did you know that groundhogs climb trees? I sure didn’t. But Friday I saw a chubby little groundhog hanging out in a tree nearby my garden.

I had assumed that it was deer or rabbits that were nibbling on my squash, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, and watermelon; but it seems the groundhog is now a suspect.

To combat whichever hungry little critter is making the best out of my home grown goodness, I rigged some bird netting (which is a bit more light weight than deer netting, and cheaper too) between the fenced in portion of the garden and the far side of the delectable treats. So far so good.

Remember to keep an eye or six on the pests that would prefer they eat your fruits and veggies instead of you.


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Carrot Carrot!


As you see, my daughter and I were very excited to pull up these carrots. She asked if we could pull one out and luckily these two were ready. I know they look short, but they are supposed to be. These are Zanahoria or Baby Nantes (I’m not sure which ones because the squirrels disturbed the seeds early).

Because the first carrot we picked didn’t get eaten due to improper storage, I decided we should eat them right away. My daughter likes them raw and I’m not picky about my carrot style.

I boiled my little carrot with some spaghetti and spinach. I added some Alfredo sauce, and voila!! Lunch. It was that simple!

I looove carrots!

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First Tomato


Today we harvested our first celebrity tomato. As you can see, it’s red and plump, just right. My four year old twisted it off with delight. She’s been begging to pick it for the last few days now.

There is a grape sized tomato on the same plant that I’m anxious to see mature because it’s been that size for about a week and a half. The other two tomato plants have two green tomatoes each and several blossoms. I’m excited!

Happy tomato-ing!

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First Potatoes of the Year

Here’s how I’ve gone about harvesting our first wave of Yukon potatoes.


Aren’t they beautiful?

Despite my having heaped additional dirt on the visible potatoes, they kept wiggling themselves to the top. Some, as you can see, are fairly large. (I’m so excited! Guess what’s for dinner tonight?) I decided that it was time for my aunt to free them from their earthen home of the last 3 months. Yes, my auntie.

She used a small garden trowel to move the dirt around and separate the mature tuners from the root/tubes, careful not to damage the foliage. The potatoes need that foliage– photosynthesis and other necessary biological functions are at work.

That’s it! That simple. Be gentle and I’m pretty sure that once the larger more mature potatoes are out of the ground, the less mature potatoes will be able to get more growing power.

Happy potato-ing!

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Whitefly Remedy, and Other Bugs Too

I’ve got it! Ortho Flower, Fruit & Vegetable Insect Killer works great. It kills over 100 different pests quickly. It’s not very expensive and it is definitely worth every penny, and dollar.

I find that when I use the product early, I have much smaller and shorter pest infestations. It works on aphids, cabbage worms, whiteflies, leaf miners, scale, weevils, beetles, and so many more little buggers. Make sure you relocate any beneficial insects like ladybugs and such because they will die too. Keep the life you want alive.

The gallon plus container comes with a pull and spray applicator so your hands won’t get tired of spraying. It can be used on a wide variety of shrubs, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. There are no warnings for any specific plants, so I assume it is safe to use on your garden life. Wait at least 7 days after an application of the Flower, Fruit & Vegetable Insect Killer to harvest any edibles. And always wash your fruits and veggies before chowing down.

The active ingredient is Acetamiprid, a synthetic organic compound. The EPA says it poses minimal risks to humans and the environment in comparison to other insecticides. If you are going for the organic garden, disregard this message. Unfortunately, without Ortho’s Flower, Fruit & Vegetable Insect Killer I would probably have little to no harvest.


Ortho Flower, Fruit & Vegetable Insect Killer

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Want to Go Seedless?

My Seeded Rant

Recently I was eating some watermelon and was deeply offended, yes offended, by the “seedless” seeded watermelon in my bowl. Although it was a rich red and sweet and tasty,(tooting my own horn: I am the best fruit picker I know– especially watermelon, pineapple and strawberries) those impotent faux-seeds were all over the place. I’m not sure if I don’t eat the seeds because I know they are seeds and I remember real fruit bearing seeds in the watermelon I used to eat as a child or what. What I do know is that I can’t stand the seedless watermelon and I want REAL watermelon back. I’d much rather have big black seeds that are easy to discern and reject than the annoying, infertile, mutant seeds that try to get mixed up in my mastication. Ptooey!

What I Found

How they create seedless watermelon:

  • Double the number of chromosomes in a seeded watermelon from 22 to 44 with colchicine. That’s two pairs of chromosomes.
  • Plant the two pair chromosome seeds near unaltered seeds so that the unaltered watermelon can pollinate the altered seeds (the altered seeds do not produce viable pollen, remember they are impotent) giving the two pair chromosome watermelon three pairs of chromosomes now.

The seedless watermelon is the result of the three pairs of chromosomes. This process is said to have been created by Japanese scientist at Kyoto University, H. Kihara (1939 to 1951) and further developed and refined by Vic Watts of the University of Arkansas in the late 1950s.

According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board (NWPB), seedless watermelon are not genetically modified, they are hybrids. NWPB likens the seedless watermelon to a mule, which is a cross between a horse and a donkey. I don’t think I am quite on board with this line of thinking.

Seedless Facts

  1. Planting seedless seeds will most likely yield nothing.
  2. A field of seedless watermelon is about 2/3 seedless watermelon and 1/3 seeded watermelon.
  3. The third of seeded watermelon in a field of seedless watermelon is mostly used for their seeds to pollinate the next crop of seedless watermelon.
  4. Recently, seedless varieties are being bred that don’t need seeded watermelon to pollinate them.
  5. Seedless watermelon do not have the same taste of seeded watermelon.
  6. Seedless watermelon average 8 to 12 pounds.
  7. Seedless watermelon are priced higher than seeded watermelon.
  8. Seedless watermelon do not have viable pollen.
  9. Commercial production of seedless watermelon is usually done where labor is cheapest.
  10. Seedless watermelon are generally harvested 28 days after pollination.
  11. Hollow-heart or empty middle is a common problem with seedless watermelon.
  12. Commercial production of seedless watermelon began in the 1990s.

My Point

I’m thinking that since the seedless watermelon are altered (I’ve read reports that claim seedless watermelon are not genetically modified; but, aren’t chromosomes part of genetics?) they are probably not the better choice for consumption. As for seedless grapes and oranges, which seem to be more successful in living up to their “seedless” classification, I don’t think they are the better choice either.

If the fruit is unable to bear fruit and ‘we are what we eat,’ what does that mean for us as consumers? Who and what type of person began the seedless movement? When it comes to watermelon, I am reminded of the stereotype that Black people love watermelon. It makes me wonder if non-Blacks spurred the commercial seedless watermelon business with hopes of not being labelled. I wonder what the consumption of seedless watermelon does to the chemistry of the human body. I wonder if seedless producers are exploiting laborers since it can be labor intensive. Seedless…. I definitely have reservations.

And just so you know, I have planted some old-fashioned seeded watermelon in my Growing Girl garden. I can’t wait!