Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Another Small Seed Order

The problem with gardening and the Internet is that you get to looking at seeds and find new and exciting plants that you just have to try. Yesterday I came across the pepino melon.

The pepino melon is likely a domesticated melon originating in the Andes although there are no wild members of family still there today. They are known because Spanish chroniclers described them as being cultivated. The Moche valley in Peru was famous for them. They were also popular in Moche art.
Pepino melons are closely related to tomatoes and eggplant. They taste like a rather bland melon and like a melon the peels should not be eaten.They grow naturally in an upright pattern so are easily grown in pots and can be propagated but cuttings just like a tomato plant. They like a warm climate and will bear fruit 4-6 months after planting. They are a perennial and can possibly be over wintered in a warm greenhouse. They will grow in most soils but need to be kept moist. Beetles, aphids, white flies and spider mites are attracted to them just as they are to tomatoes, eggplant, and tomatillos. The plants are self pollinating, or parthenocarptic, though pollination will encourage fruiting.
I have not had much luck growing melons here so thought I would give this plant a try in the garden and in pots and see how it does.

I also bought Parsley Giant of Italy in the hopes that this is the same large parsley that grew so well for me several years ago. Parsley Giant of Italy is a flat leaved parsley which should grow 10-12 inches tall and produce lots and lots of leaves. I would like to end up with enough to have dried parsley throughout the winter as we like to add dried parsley to lots of things.

The last thing I bought was Garden Huckleberry. I have grown Huckleberry Wonderberry before which is quite like it only Wonderberry can be eaten fresh and Garden Huckleberry must be cooked. I was not real impressed with the Wonderberry. For one thing it reseeded all over my garden for years after the year I planted it. It was rather seedy and tasteless and flea beetles absolutely loved the plants (and I had never been bothered by flea beetles in my garden before I grew it). I don't know that the Garden Huckleberry will be much different as I hear the flea beetles love it as well.
Garden Huckleberry is not a true huckleberry but related to the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potato and tobacco). The fruits,small blackish berries, must be allowed to ripen and then must be cooked. They are toxic when not ripe and the raw fruit are extremely bitter. They are usually combined with other fruits in pies and jams.

I bought these three from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and I don't usually buy from them ( I have my reasons) but they had the pepino melon and I really wanted it. Hopefully I will get the greenhouse (see link to the post on the greenhouse redo which everyone seems to have missed)done and can try overwintering those pepino melons.


  1. That Pepino melon artefact is lovely. Is it yours, or did you just borrow a picture of it?

    BTW: I have tried drying Parsley and I don't think it is worth the effort. It seems to lose most of its taste.

  2. I borrowed the picture.
    We use dried parsley in a lot of things though the stuff I dry myself is a lot better than the stuff in the stores. I don't really feel that parsley has a whole lot of taste anyway but I still like it.

  3. Oh yes I know how that just one more seed to try is LOL...

    I do dry parsley we like it. I dry it on the live food setting. It stays totally green and keeps the flavor or has for me. I am sure there are many views on this :O). I dry most all of my herbs on the live food setting which I believe is 115 degrees or it could be 105 without going and looking I cant remember exactly.

  4. My dehydrators don't have different setting but one is cooler than the other and is better to dry herbs with.
    I'm fairly sure that these are the last of my seed buying for this year....fairly sure, lol.

  5. I'm still struggling with seeds that are easy to grow I won't be trying anything as difficult as the Pepino but, they are gorgeous and I can't wait to hear how they grow for you.

  6. My order is in already. That was pretty fast! They sent me free flower seeds, which is nice but I have little use for them. I don't know why when you order only vegetables seed companies don't sent you a free "vegetable" seed packet?

  7. Becky,

    Looking through seed catalogs or online seed catalogs is like placing a sugar addict in a candy store for me! I think it'd be better if I just had someone shop for me sometimes. It's so hard to not want to try new things but alas, I'm on a city lot and have some space restrictions!

    I'm really glad Mark referred me to your blog! I'm looking forward to following you.

  8. We only have an acre and part of it is woods so we are working a little restricted, lol.