October 22, 2019

Grape guy grows behemoth watermelon

Enhancing his green thumb the past couple years, Category Coordinator for Grapes & Stonefruit Andrew Schallenhammer decided to take on watermelons in 2019. “I got some run-of-the-mill seeds from Home Depot and Lowe’s and planted them in the front yard garden in the middle of May,” Andrew said.

He picked up seeds of the Sugar Baby variety that typically are smaller in size and take about 90 days to harvest and Congo seeds that grow quite large after 100 days. “They got full sunlight and were watered every day. Over time, two watermelons in particular became quite a spectacle with the neighbors as they grew,” Andrew said of his fruits of labor that grew to 38-pounds each after about 105 days.

With seven watermelons growing from the Congo seed and over a dozen growing from the Sugar Baby seed, Andrew brought in one of the prize-winning watermelons to a Newark potluck lunch to share with his team. “I was hesitant to cut it open because it was so big, but it really was the perfect watermelon. Everyone was surprised it was so good! But even with 30-40 people in our office, we couldn’t get through more than half of it,” Andrew laughed.

Looking forward to trying out pumpkins next year, Andrew is considering writing about his success story to the seed company. All you have to do now is send in this article, Andrew! Good luck on your next growing adventure.

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