April 16th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

JASON K. ASKS: Watermelon isn’t THAT expensive, but watermelon seeds are pretty cheap. I eat a lot of watermelon, so I was wondering: should I buy watermelon in the store, or should I try to save a few bucks by growing my own?00

You’re right about watermelon not being all that expensive, Jason. In fact, pound-for-pound, watermelons are one of the cheapest fruits or veggies you can buy. Like most produce, prices vary depending the season, but you can usually pick up a watermelon for much less than a dollar per pound. Last summer, my local store was selling 10-pounders for $3.99 each. That’s only 40 cents a pound!

Of course, you’re also right about watermelon seeds being even cheaper. A pack of 50 Crimson Sweet seeds will run about five bucks. That’s about the same price you’d pay for two of those Crimson Sweets. Faced with math like that, the decision to grow your own watermelon sounds like a no-brainer, right?

What you have to remember is this: Growing watermelon ain’t easy. Trust me, I’ve tried. Back in 2013, I made a new year’s resolution to grow my own watermelon. The adventure started out great, with my five watermelon vines producing little watermelons that grew shockingly fast. But after a few months, the watermelons stopped growing. By the end of the growing season, my watermelons were inedible and no larger than a baseball.

That’s assuming you’ve got plenty of space to grow them in. And time. Growing watermelon — especially a whole bunch of them — is a full-time gardening job. Watering, weeding, more watering, building fences to keep the rabbits out, watering again…it’s not easy.

Don’t get me wrong — I definitely recommend every watermelon lover at least TRY to grow their own watermelon at some point. It’s fun, and it really makes you appreciate the hard work that watermelon farmers put into their crop. But when it comes to picking a watermelon to take to the barbeque this weekend, I’ll gladly leave the growing and harvesting to the experts and shell out five bucks for a big ol’ 20-pounder at the grocery store.

UP NEXT: An interview with a watermelon carver

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November 10th, 2014 by The Watermelon Guy

You may know Mike Rowe from his hit TV show, “Dirty Jobs.” These days, he’s the host of CNN’s “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” a new show that brings viewers “face-to-face with men and women who march to the beat of a different drum.” CNN also calls it a show about “passion, purpose, and, occasionally, hobbies that get a little out of hand.”


In a recent episode, Mike paid a visit to the hallowed watermelon festival grounds of the Luling Watermelon Thump. While there, he stopped by the Luling Spitway, which hosts the annual World Seed Spitting Championship. It’s also where Lee Wheeler entered the Guinness Book of World Records by spitting a watermelon seed more than 68 feet in 1989.

Of course, Mike put his spittin’ skills to the test, and you can see the results in the video below. The video stops short of revealing his official distance (maybe you can catch the episode in reruns), but it was probably much further than my distance!

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