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Working to Grow Watermelons in South Carolina

Making It Grow! Minute logo

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Grafted watermelons use a delicious, usually seedless variety for the top of the graft and a fusarium resistant plant – often a squash for the bottom. But that is just the beginning of growing the delicious watermelons that we relish throughout the summer. Pollination is a critical component and at the Edisto Research and Development Center in Blackville Dr. Gilbert Miller has beautiful patches of zinnas tucked amongst the melons to help attract the honeybees he also nutures. Fungal diseases are always a problem with our hot, humid summer days and Extension specialist constantly update their recommendations for growers. One day each year, watermelon specialists and growers gather in Blackville for Watermelon Field Day to learn the latest research-based information. The day concludes with the participants tasting several hundred pre-cooled melons – always a treat on a hot July afternoon. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.