ASHE COUNTY — Did you know that watermelons over thirty-two pounds are considered giant? In Ashe County, watermelons generally do not do well as the growing season isn’t typically long or warm enough to be productive.
So, what does it take to grow a 36-pound watermelon in the Coolest Corner of North Carolina? For 9-year old Nolan Davis, it took six months of growing, checking and working in his garden with his dad to harvest the first watermelon he has ever grown.
Davis, a native of Ashe County, planted the watermelon in April and spent half of the year caring for his plants, covering them before any frosts and watering them almost every day that it didn’t rain.
He attributes some of the success in growing such a large watermelon to the careful watering of the plants during the drier months and the protection his Great Pyrenees, Lady and Rufus offered against deer, raccoons, and other critters that would try to eat them.
His first watermelon was harvested on his ninth birthday, but he has several more left to pick. Nolan, who also grows strawberries, blueberries, corn and other produce, said that his favorite part of growing various fruits and vegetables is when he gets to eat them. When asked if he would be growing more watermelons in the future, he said he likely would.
So keep your eyes ‘peeled’ for this agricultural producer in the making.