Melons fruit of choice for home growers
WATERMELON and rockmelon are expected to be good seasonal produce for backyard growers moving into the summer planting season.
With most markets around the Burnett region not starting until March, there is time for independent producers to make a start.
Grower Robert Nowland said melons grew unexpectedly well in dry soil.
“A lot of the stuff you get nowadays is almost like a desert food; they grow terrifically in the dry soil,” Mr Nowland said.
“You still need to water them, the watermelon and the rockmelon, but the sandy soil does them good.”
Mr Nowland grows many fruits and vegetables for market and has a homeside stall at Mill Rd.
Being able to grow in dry conditions is important, as early forecasts suggest a drier than average January.
For most types of produce, growers will have to rely on irrigation, but Mr Nowland suggested a couple of tricks for getting the most out of dry weather.
“For Jap pumpkins I let them struggle a bit, don’t give them as much water,” he said.
“That way they don’t get mashy, it makes them firmer on the inside and taste better.”
Mr Nowland has been selling at the produce markets for more than 50 years.
DELICIOUS PRODUCE: Robert Nowland prepares for market season.