You might have come across pictures of square watermelons on social media and thought that someone was pulling your leg. However, Japanese farmers have been growing these square watermelons for over a decade now, and the process is relatively simple.
So, how are these square watermelons grown, and why would you want to grow a square watermelon in the first place? Let’s explore the answers to these questions in more detail.
How Are Square Watermelons Grown?
In order to encourage watermelons to become square rather than round, Japanese farmers discovered that if they placed a glass-tempered box around the young fruit, the growing watermelon would take on the shape of a glass cube.
The cube or box had to be made from glass in order to let the sunlight reach the fruit. Watermelons need a lot of sun to enable them to develop fully as well as develop their sweet, juicy flavor.
So, as the young fruits continued to grow larger inside the glass cubes, they had no choice but to expand to the shape that they were being confined to. Surprisingly, this type of growth can also be achieved with other common fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, pumpkins, and squash.
Why Would You Want To Grow A Square Watermelon?
The answer to this question can be explained in relation to where this technique was developed. Japan has a high population, and space is limited, both in the home and in warehouses and supermarkets.
Japanese producers found the round watermelons difficult to store and transport due to their shape and size. Therefore, by producing square watermelons, they found that these were much easier to stack both during transportation and on supermarket or greengrocer shelves.
The other reason for the more compact shape is that Japanese homes often are much smaller, and many people live in apartments. This does not leave much room for a large refrigerator. And, normal large round watermelons can take up a lot of room in the fridge.
So, in order to solve this space problem, these square watermelons were developed so that they would take up much less room in a much smaller-sized refrigerator.
Can You Grow A Square Watermelon Yourself?
If you feel like playing around with mother nature or want a cool experiment to get your kids interested in gardening, you can actually grow these square watermelons yourself. You could even take it one step further and try it out with other fruits.
Of course, the problem will be where you are going to find a square tempered glass box. The answer is in a kitchenware store. If you do a Google search, you’ll be presented with a variety of choices. Even florist supply stores are likely to have square glass cubes that they use for their floral arrangements.
Once you’ve found just the right glass cube for your square watermelon, all you have to do is start growing your watermelon vine. While the fruit is still quite small, very carefully pop them inside the glass cube. Be extremely careful not to sever the stem of the fruit from the vine, otherwise, it will stop growing.
You also want to ensure that the glass cube is slightly smaller than a normal fully-grown watermelon of the variety that you’ve planted.
Once you’ve carefully placed the growing fruit into the glass cube, it’s just a case of watching and waiting as the fruit continues to grow. This will take a little patience on your behalf because watermelons do take some time to grow.
But eventually, you’ll go out into the garden and squeal with delight as you see your very first square watermelon. Be sure to take a photo and post it on social media, or your friends won’t believe that you managed to grow a square watermelon.