Today, I sowed Israeli melons in 10 more Bato buckets. Unlike my previous starts in Oasis cubes, I directly sowed the seed into the medium in the buckets.
The medium is composed of about half and half perlite and coconut coir.
I've placed the buckets in the greenhouse to keep them warm, as nights are still chilly in the 50s. In the greenhouse, lows stay in the upper 60s, so the melons should germinate faster.
If the starts are successful, then I should harvest melons from these buckets about two weeks earlier than melons sown directly in the field at the first of April.
As for the melons started in February, they're growing slowly after having dehydrated. I was unaware of how dry perlite can be, and when I transplanted the seedlings into the perlite, I did not water the buckets thoroughly enough. They are recovering, but I think I've lost some of their potential advantage.
On January 28, 1986, I skipped classes at Waxahachie High to sow sweet peas in the field next to my house.
I was unaware that the Space Shuttle Challenger had exploded that morning until my friend called me and asked if I had heard the news. Immediately, I turned on the TV and found all the major networks covering the story.
Still, the events of that day are tied together in my memory, and each year that I sow sweet peas, I remember the date that I sowed Wando sweet peas and harvest the greatest yield I've ever picked.
This year as the date approached, I made sure to have seed on hand, and I sowed the peas on Friday, January 27, 2017, in the same field where I grew sweet peas in 1986.