There is something fascinating about manipulating nature just a little to make something ordinary into something extraordinary. The art of creating bonsai trees is a classic example of the manipulation of nature to create a piece of unique living art. Japanese farmers have found another way to take something ordinary and add a little twist. These farmers take ordinary watermelons and making them grow square instead of round.
The reason Japanese farmers put the effort into making their watermelons into cubes is because square watermelons don’t roll around like round ones do. The idea was to make shipping easier, and allow people to fit the watermelons into their refrigerators without the frustration if having them roll around. The downside is that these watermelons are quite a bit more expensive than normal ones, and are sold for about $82. Some have even sold for as much as $860.
Growing a square watermelon is fairly easy to do, all you need is a regular watermelon and a clear box to use as a mold. One way you could build your own square watermelon mold is to use polycarbonate plastic, gate hinges, screws, clasps, a drill, and a saw.
Make sure to build your mold to allow at least one side to open so you can get your watermelon out when it’s ripe. It’s important that your mold is made from a clear material to allow light through so the melon will ripen. Also allow some cracks or holes in your mold so moisture will not build up and rot your watermelon.
Once you have your mold the process is fairly strait forward, all you will need to do is slide the watermelon still on the vine into the mold when it is still small. Wait for the watermelon to grow into its mold and once the melon has grown to fill all the corners, pull it out, cut the stem, and you will have yourself a square watermelon.
Most of the time square watermelons are pulled from their mold before they are ripe, so the taste is not likely to be very good. Because of this fact square watermelons are grown more for decoration than eating. However, growing square watermelons is an interesting garden project and could be a fun way to involve children in gardening. You could also try using a cinder block to grow a square watermelon, though it will create a less uniform shape.
Other people have gone beyond growing square watermelons and have tried other shapes like hearts, triangles, and even a human head. You could also try growing other things into squares like pumpkins, apples, or tomatoes.