Geoff's gigantic melon smashes festival scale
A NEW record has been set for the heaviest watermelon ever grown in the southern hemisphere - and it was grown on a property in Minden.
Weighing more than 100 kilograms, a Carolina Cross variety watermelon grown by Geoff Frohloff took the title of heaviest melon at the Chinchilla Melon Festival.
No newcomer to growing enormous produce, large-vegetable grower Mr Frohloff, who also dabbles in growing oversized pumpkins, was behind the winning melon.
Spanning 4.5 months from seed to harvest, the melon hit the scales last Friday and weighed 100.5kg, reportedly having lost an additional 1.5kg during transport due to dehydration.
Having begun growing the variety of watermelon four years ago, Mr Frohloff said he had been entering - and winning - heaviest watermelon contests for some time.
'For the past three years down at Kyogle and Lismore, I've won the heaviest watermelon three years running,” Mr Frohloff said.
Mr Frohloff said he enjoyed growing giant fruit to test the limits and see how big they could get, starting by choosing a breed conducive to large fruiting like the Carolina Cross, which produces fruit between 50 and 60kg on average.
While choosing a breed of melon that lends itself to large fruit is vital, Mr Frohloff said growing especially heavy fruit was achievable by growing in quality soil and using plenty of fertiliser and water.
While he doesn't sell his giant fruit in a commercial capacity, he said it wasn't for lack of quality.
"It's just too big for the shop but they're quite nice. I prefer eating them to the seedless ones, actually,” he said.