A Blacktail Mountain watermelon grown in a hoophouse with a Burgundy Okra companion plant.

My Blacktail Mountain watermelon started off in my pea pots, where the peas did very well this year. The companion plants I wanted to grow along with my peas were okra and watermelon or P.O.W. — peas, okra, watermelon — as I called them. You wait until the peas are almost done for the season and just pop the seeds in with them to grow together. I made a mistake, but it turned out to be a good mistake, as far as the watermelon was concerned anyway.


Mouth-wateringly sweet and juicy watermelon. So tender, even the rind was sweet.

The pot was too small and the Burgundy Okra I planted needed more room, so neither plant ever got very big. It reminded me of those specialty Japanese gardeners who only allow one fruit to grow per plant.

Shizuoka’s famed Crown muskmelons! They sell for over $200 each. They are tended by hand, massaged, and given little caps to wear on sunny days to prevent sunburn.

The okra grew about two feet, just one skinny little stalk then stopped. Meanwhile, the watermelon spread about two feet, grew a melon, sent out multiple blooms, then focused on growing its one little melon. I ended up moving them into the hoophouse because I knew they both liked consistent warmth. The little watermelon grew, then pretty much stayed the same size for about a month. I saw that it lost some of its sheen and had shown a creamy color on the bottom, so I chose to pick it.


A watermelon plant grown in a pot started off small and stayed small.

This watermelon was as sweet as candy and juicy to the rind. Even the rind itself was completely and deliciously edible. I could see paying top dollar for something so delectable! It's something to think about. Do you want many watermelons or one perfect watermelon? It's a hard decision. Watermelons are pretty perfect already, no matter the size.

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