The satisfyingly messy project is done -- though if I repaint the trellises, I'll use a brush next time. Even with tarps down, the spray paint went everywhere. I also ended up spraying more paint on the dropcloth than on the narrow slats of the trellises -- not terribly cost-effective. But they are done, dry, and up, adding a splash of gaudy color and a vertical element to an otherwise altogether too horizontal front garden:
The melons I grew in the greenhouse and moved to the cold frame are now planted below and tethered to their trellises, with some flat rocks spray-painted black sitting at their feet to soak up a little extra solar heat. The Charentais melons still look a little bedraggled from their move. Too soon an exposure to full sun, perhaps? Though the new leaves look better:
Sugar Baby watermelons look a little more sturdy. We'll see how they do. Melons are always a chancy proposition in this climate:
The tomatoes and peppers are all snug in their Kozy Koats until night temperatures warm up again. I'm trying the technique of clipping the leaves from the bottom half of the stem and burying the stem horizontally, with the remaining leaves sticking up. The plants grow adventitious roots from the leaf nodes (terms which my students should recognize -- right? Right?), making the whole plant sturdier and giving them more roots to draw up more nutrients and water.
The weather for the next couple of weeks is supposed to be in the 70s and 80s, great for these neotropical crops, but couldn't it have started a few days ago, instead of the day after the field trips are over? But then again, we got only light sprinkles and no torrential downpours while we were out, so there's that to be thankful for.