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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
June 26, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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June 26, 1997

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t Melons love our desert heat Continued from previous page the sound is too muffled. I don't distinguish the sound very well and rely on looking at the spot where the melon ripens on the ground, The spot turns from white, to creamy yellow toward orange when ripe. A good garden test for melons is to watch the small pig-tail like tendril where the stem of the melon comes out of the vine. When this dries out and turns brown, the melon is ripe. The downside of this delightful family is that pests as well as people find them attractive. They are also vulner- able to a number of diseases although fewer in the desert than in most other areas. Aphid attacked my curcurbits last year, squash and melons. All of my gardening infor- mation says a good strong spray from the hose will remove these critters. Mine must be especially tenacious. I can destroy the leaf with the "strong spray," and the aphid are still clinging to the shreds. I haven't had any better luck with insecticidal soap. My aphid think it's a treat. Worse than aphid was the attack by an army of squash bugs. They lay red eggs on the underside o(the leaves and multiply at aft alarng ra. I had never met squash bugs before and would have been pleased to leave it that way. I, dutifully scraped them off, day after day. They continued to mul- tiply. In desperation, I resorted to the tough stuff, Pyrethrum. A friend, a gardening guru, says he finally used Malathion to win the bug war. A strong, virous plant is the best bug protection, but if the bug army attacks be sure to read and follow produc t directions. Malathion and some other products require a minimum time between application and eatint trult or vegetable. The joy of raising curcurbits far outweighs the pest/disease problem. They are easy to grow. They are beautiful. And, most re- APPOINTMENTS WEEKLY warding of all, the taste is something you could never purchase in a grocery store. I j ust cut open a store bought watermelon. The flesh is listless pink and the taste is flat. It can't compare with the rich, red, sugar flavored fruit from my homegrown sugar babies. It makes me eager to harvest this year's crop of melons. A real delight in my gar- den was the Minnesota Midget Cantaloupe. The smallrnens produce a rich perfume d beautiful fruit. I trained them up a wire fence where they grew hap- €...oily and stayed clean. I f ifted a friend with some. I DOMESTICGRICULTURF I aim rtOTORY. ' ii I .vtPsmz, srwc I [] INSTALLATION  ill' I €OMPmmTMS I m INST.J WITH 5 YEAR lll[ i w__ AVA_L_J m /lad>tO OISPATCJED Ill 7 days a week roice ill 1220 E. Manse Ill E. ol PV BIvd Ill She said she thought the melon gave a false promise. "The aroma was so rich, but the fruit was bland by comparison." I enjoyed them and am planting more. Other favorite cantaloupes I' ve grown here are Burpee's Ambrosia Hybrid and Hale's Best. I prefer the smaller watermelons. Sugar Baby is a favorite. Tiger Baby is hardy but not as sweet. Crimson Sweet is larger and tasty. I've never grown Charleston Gray, but it' s a favorite of many gardeners. Part of the fun is reading the catalogs and seed labels, deciding which ones appeal to you and giving them a try. Most homegrown curcurbits are wonderful and some are superb. Our growing season is so long, we can choose from a broad range of melons, squash, pumpkins and gourds. However, they still have to be harvested before the first frost which varies depending on where you live in the valley. From planting until frost, Curcurbitaceae will grow happily in our desert sun. Plant some. SUGAR BABY-Sweet fruit from author's Pahrump garden. Illl I I Jan McDonald, M.D. Dermatology Clinic of Nevada, Ltd. Harvard Medical School & Mayo Clinic Trained at Pahrump Medical Center 1501 E. Calvada Call: 727-6060 Summit Family Health Care 1151 S. 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