Introduction: Growing Square Watermelons for $8

This instructable explains my efforts to make cheap growing boxes for square watermelons. Learn from my mistakes, grow cuboid fruits, and save money at the same time! You can also read about it at my blog: GoodCleanCrazy

Supplies:
Plexiglass
Hacksaw
Drill with bits
Packing tape
Watermelon seeds
Cheap baling or fence wire.

Optional:
Holecutter bit

Step 1: Obtain Plexiglass

Commercial polycarbonate boxes for growing square watermelons run about $85 plus shipping. But you can make one for about $8 out of plexiglass. You'll need six rectangles of 1/4" or thicker plexiglass or other translucent plastic. Free and super cheap plastic pieces can be had from sign-making shops--ask for scraps! Or try to find a plastic supply warehouse that caters to farmers, these will usually be the cheapest source for plexiglass. If you buy plexiglass scraps, ask to have them cut into rectangles 8.5" x 8". If you are doing the cutting yourself, you can use a table saw, band saw, or a hand saw.

Step 2: Cut the Keyhole, Drill Airholes

You will need to cut a large keyhole on one rectangle to allow the watermelon stem to poke through the box. Note the picture below. I use a hacksaw to cut the round part of my keyhole, but a holecutter bit would probably be easier.

Then drill 3 small (1/16" or so) airholes in each corner of each piece. That's 72 holes total. It's a lot of holes, but it is VERY important (prevents the watermelon from cooking in the sun, then rotting in the box).

Step 3: Assemble the Box

Assemble your box and reinforce liberally with clear packing tape. The keyhole lid should be hinged on one side to allow the watermelon to be slipped in and out. I also twisted baling wire around it for more strength.

Step 4: Rotate the Melon As It Grows.

You grow the watermelon just like any regular watermelon, except that you also rotate the box every few days to ensure it becomes green all over. Otherwise you'll get a yellow spot on the bottom, and uneven growth.

Step 5: Personalizing Your Melon

If you wanted to "brand" your watermelons you can tape something opaque like aluminum foil to the inside of the box. This will create a yellow spot on the melon rind in the shape of your initial or whatnot.

Another way to personalize the melon is to cut holes in the box to allow the watermelon to protrude. For example, you could cut a smiley face or anything that doesn't weaken the box too much. The watermelon won't grow into a design with details finer than about 1/2 inch. Also, If you use this personalization method, you'll have to dismantle the box to remove the watermelon.

Please visit my blog for more projects and ideas: GoodCleanCrazy.wordpress.com

Comments

author
admin made it! (author)2009-09-22

Hey, this is a great instructable and is very informative. Just one thing is missing... pictures! It really helps a lot when trying to follow directions so you should consider taking some photographs. Once you do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks! Thanks for the cool instructable and we hope to publish this soon!

author
admin made it! (author)2009-09-14

Hey, this is a great instructable and is very informative. Just one thing is missing... pictures! It really helps a lot when trying to follow directions so you should consider taking some photographs. Once you do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks! Thanks for the cool instructable and we hope to publish this soon!

author
jessiedog made it! (author)2015-12-23

Hi. Are these plexiglass moulds reusable?

author
melonmoldcom made it! (author)2014-07-04

We sell these molds at melonmold.com and on eBay, Amazon, and ETSY. Our molds will last for numerous growing seasons and ship from the US. They're also MUCH cheaper than $85.

Visit us at melonmold.com.

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author
fruitmouldcom made it! (author)2013-10-29

it is a thing for sure that it would be much more costly if you make one at home and very time consuming , we have developed a square watermelon which worked just great ,and much cheaper than $85 ,come to www.fruitmould.com , order as many as you want and quickly .

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author
Rihanna made it! (author)2010-02-13

Hi,i read your post,it was very good.i`m a plant protection and wanna grow square watermelon.i`m searching about it. about the box i have some problem,you know that commercial boxes are very expensive and dont good for me.could you help me and give me more information and some clear picture?and i cant understand very good that when i must put watermelon in the box to have square watermelon!!!!!!!!!!!!! i`m waiting for your answer;-)

author
moonchylde made it! (author)moonchylde2011-06-18

I'm not totally sure about everything you're asking, but as for the last one, the watermelon grows into the shape of the box, kinda like jello in a mold.

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