SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) The world's largest watermelon has tipped its way into the world record books after growing in an East Tennessee man's backyard.
Chris Kent is like a kid in a candy store when you get him talking about his watermelons. It's just something he's grown to love.
"I'm out here, probably on average about four hours a day, every day, during the summer season," Kent said.
Kent's record melon weight? 350.5 pounds. Second place was a mere 316 pounds.
Kent's backyard is where his green thumb springs into action. He grew six watermelons this year. He explained that once they start growing on the vine, he looks to see which one is the biggest the quickest. Once that is determined, all the rest are cut away so the one melon gets all the energy from the plant.
His other melons range from about 250 to 300 pounds. He says those are the little ones.
"They grow so fast, that at about 30 days, they're about 100 pounds. But if you were to cut that one open, it would be as green as could be. You can't even eat them. They don't begin to get ripe until about 60 days old," Kent said.
So what's the secret to getting such an enormous watermelon? Kent is eager to tell anyone who asks.
"You don't mow your grass. You take all that time and effort and energy you put into mowing your grass, and you put that into growing your garden. And that's my secret."
Kent's world record setter is currently in Ohio where it was officially weighed. It will then travel to New York City to be put on display at the Botanical Gardens.