Where is Hamilton, Ohio? Not many know, but it will now be known as the place in which the largest watermelon was discovered. Chris Kent from Seviervlle, Tennessee entered his mammoth of a fruit in the 2013 Pumpkin and Fall festival in Tennessee in hopes of coming away with his second title. He did more than just that. His watermelon weighed in at 350.5 pounds, which was a remarkable 42.5 pounds heavier than the previous world record holder Gabriele Bartoli of Italy. The remarkable thing about this melon is that Chris Kent is not a farmer for a living, he is an accountant! What may be even more amazing is that this is not the first time that Mr. Kent has set a world record. In 2010 he completely demolished the world record of 268 pounds. When asked what he was going to do with the melon, he told reporters that he was going to sell the seeds to other contestants interested in the sport. Three to four seeds from a watermelon of this size could sell for as much as $40 dollars a pack. What is mind blowing is that the watermelon contains are over 1,500 seeds.
Thats about $15,000 dollars. Talk about green! Chris Kent has now become a celebrity to the world of fruits and vegetables, which is becoming a growing network through the United States and world wide. So you may be wondering how can I grow a melon this size? Well there are plenty of tutorials on Youtube that give advice on some of the issues that you may run into while trying to grow a melon this size. In general watermelons need warmer temperature and long growing seasons similar to conditions in the south, which is quite balmy. However, if you live in the north don’t fret. Start your seeds indoors about a month before you transplant them. Also watermelons are extremely sensitive to frost, so rule of thumb is to wait at least 2 weeks after the last frost before you plant your tender seeds. Put black plastic down on the soil to keep your soil warm and prohibit weeds and parasites from growing near your baby. It may also be a good idea to use a fertilizer that contains more nitrogen, but use a fertilizer with less nitrogen once flowers begin to appear. In order for your watermelon to really bloom you are going to need some help from our friend Mr. Bumblebee. All flowers need to pollinated, and that is something that only bees can do. If you see a bee, don’t shoo him away! Allow him to do his job and be sure to save him a slice of watermelon once your baby has reached full bloom. It is also very important to stop your melon from rotting. Put a barrier between your fruit and the soil to prevent that.
Lastly, what do you do when you have a big, beautiful watermelon. Eat it of course! Or you could go to Hamilton, Ohio and compete against Chris Kent in the annual Pumpkin and Fall festival.