A farm in Cambridgeshire has secured a UK record by cultivating a remarkable 11,000 watermelons this year, overcoming what it deemed a “challenging” climate.
Oakley Farms, located in Wisbech, managed to achieve a doubling of its watermelon production despite the fruit proving to be “not that easy to grow.”
Renowned for its cultivation of pumpkins and courgettes as well, Oakley Farms holds the distinction of being the largest watermelon producer in the UK, as acknowledged by Tesco.
This year’s harvest from the farm has been hailed by the supermarket as “the most substantial yield ever produced in Britain.”
The farm engaged in experimentation with various techniques to enhance fruit output per plant, resulting in a remarkable doubling of its prior production record, which stood at around 5,500 watermelons in 2020.
According to farm manager Nick Molesworth, watermelons have seamlessly slotted into the farming schedule, sandwiched between the production of courgettes in late spring and pumpkins in early autumn.
“We’ve experimented with multiple techniques to cultivate watermelons and are now reaping the rewards with increased fruit yield per plant,” he stated.
He further added, “Their cultivation isn’t straightforward, and the unpredictable British climate poses its own challenges. Nevertheless, we’re delighted with the outcome of this year’s harvest.