Credit: University of Georgia
Georgia fourth grader grows prize-winning 109-pound watermelon
Most farmers don't expect to grow watermelons that weigh as much or more than they do.
But Madelynn Murphy did just that earlier this month when the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension verified all 109.5 pounds of her entry in the 2022 Georgia 4-H Watermelon Growing Contest.
4-H is the century-old youth development organization that introduces kids to agriculture, STEM, healthy living and civic engagement. The event was sponsored by the Georgia Watermelon Association and Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.
On Aug. 3, also known as National Watermelon Day, the Appling fourth grader took home first prize and was joined by two other victorious growers from the same Southeast Georgia county: Second place went to Aiden Connell with a 92.5-pound watermelon and third place went to Chloe Boatwright, with a 73.5-pound watermelon. All three received cash prizes and ribbons to recognize their achievements. See the list of all the entries here.
“Growing watermelons teaches basic plant science in a hands-on and fun way," said Appling County Agriculture and Natural Resources agent Shane Curry. "Pretty much every kid thinks it’s neat to have a 100-pound watermelon in the backyard. We’ve been fortunate over the past few years to have a lot of kids that are really good at it, and they keep getting better.”
Want to try growing a giant watermelon? According to UGA, the favored watermelon variety for the growing contest is a 'Carolina Cross.' Seeds are readily available at local garden centers and online.