Smith Co. watermelons planted late but ready for the 4th - - Jackson, MS

Smith Co. watermelons planted late but ready for the 4th

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SMITH COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Growing watermelons is a family thing for Kevin Ford. His dad grew them and he's been doing the same for more than 30 years.

"This one right here, I can tell by the color and lightness of it," Ford said while looking at a watermelon in the field. "I can tell it's ready to go. But we like for them to be a lot bigger than that."

There's an unofficial deadline that hangs over watermelon farmers' heads every year.

"We like to get them out before the 4th because everybody's looking at 'em and for 'em before the 4th," said Ford.

But that almost didn't happen with Ford's crops in Taylorsville.

"The weather was wet and cold," explained Ford. "Cold, cold late; everybody was kind of late getting things out this year."

A few months ago, the field was far from being on track.

"When I did get it planted, it come a frost on me," Ford said. "But I had this plastic down. And that sun shined on 'em a little bit. I reckon that's what it was. Or the prayers one."

Smith County is known for its melons and folks drive in from miles away to get them.

Ford sold more than a thousand watermelons by noon Thursday. He says he'll have the trucks filled with the melons through the holiday weekend.

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