Lincoln County Master Gardeners

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Photo by Bob Coke at The Art Studio





Here are the 2016 winners of the Lincoln County 4th Grade Watermelon contest:
#1 Joseph Sauls - Brookhaven Elementary -34.5 # for $100 prize
#2 Paul Walker - Brookhaven Academy - 18.7 # for $50 prize
#3 Will Poole - Brookhaven Academy - 18.3 # for $25 prize 
Congratulations to this year's winners




2016 Lincoln County Master Gardeners 4th Grade Watermelon Contest

Lincoln County Master Gardeners 2016 Watermelon Growing Contest


Weight-In Saturday August 6, 2016



The Lincoln County Master Gardeners are sponsoring a watermelon growing contest. The contest will be open to all Lincoln County, Mississippi 4th graders from the school year 2015-2016.   Only Congo watermelons may be entered in the contest.  Lincoln County Master Gardeners will give seeds packs to all public school 4th graders; seed packs for other 4th graders (such as home school) will be available while they last from the Lincoln County Extension Service.

 The winner will be based on weight.  First prize will be $100, second prize will be $50, and third prize will be $25.  The decision of the judges will be final. The outer surface must be clean of all dirt and debris, and there may be no cracking of the surface or penetrations to the interior of the fruit.  Be sure to clip the stem end to within an inch of the fruit.

Each 4th Grader must grow his or her own watermelon and have it weighed by the Lincoln County Master Gardeners at the livestock shed during the Exchange Club Fair, Brookhaven, MS, from 6:30 to 7:30 PM on Saturday August 6, 2016.  Only one entry is allowed per 4th grader.  Winners will be announced at about 7:30 PM Saturday August 6 at the Exchange Club Fair Winners need not be present to win.  Good Luck.



For Additional Information Contact:


Rebecca Bates                                                                                               

County Extension Agent                                                                     

Lincoln County Extension                                           



Barbara Breaux                                                          Steve Edge

President                                                                     Contest Coordinator

Lincoln County Master Gardeners                              Lincoln County Master Gardeners

601- 823-4064                                                             601-835-0111



Product Description

About Congo Watermelon: As the name of this melon suggests, watermelons originated in Africa, specifically Egypt. In these desert regions, wild watermelons provided a source of water if no other water was available. Archaeologists have found watermelon seeds everywhere from King Tut's tomb to the holds of slave ships to the ruins of ancient China, proving this melon's enduring popularity. Congo watermelons have a very high sugar content and unsurpassed taste, winning the prestigious AAS Award in 1950. (All American Selection)

Congo Watermelon Germination: In cool climates, watermelon seeds should be started indoors, but no sooner than a month before transplanting; plant three seeds per peat pot, 1/4" deep. Provide heat to keep the soil at least 80-85 degrees F. Cut off all but the strongest seedling as soon as true leaves appear, and transplant about a week after frost; put two or three plants in each hill with a 6-8' space in all directions. Gardeners in warm climates will be able to direct sow watermelons as soon as the soil temperature reaches at least 75 degrees F, planting six seeds per hill with 6-8' of space in all directions. Thin to the strongest two or three plants as soon as the seedlings appear. Watermelons should be planted in full sun and rich, loose soil. Young seedlings may benefit from black plastic to warm up the soil.

Growing Congo Watermelon Seeds: As soon as the vines begin to develop, apply a thick layer of mulch to control weeds and protect the melons from soil contact. Keep the soil moist, about 1" of rain per week, until the fruit begins to grow, then water only if the soil dries out completely. Watch out for insect pests, which can be a problem. Congo melons resist anthracnose.

Harvesting Congo Watermelon: Gardeners use many different methods of testing whether their watermelons are ripe, but knowing the approximate mature size of the melon helps to determine when it is nearing ripeness. One test is to knock on the watermelon with your knuckles, listening for a dull thump rather than a hollow ring. Another method is to check the underside of the melon where it rests on the ground; the skin should be a rich yellow. Also, the curling tendril closest to the stem of the melon often indicates ripeness when it begins to turn brown. Watermelons usually keep for several weeks in a cool place.

Saving Congo Watermelon Seeds: Watermelons will cross with other varieties of watermelon, so isolation may be necessary to ensure genetic purity. When the melon is ripe, the seeds will be mature. Cut open the melon and remove the seeds; wash them to remove the sticky residue. Spread them out to dry for a week, then store them in a cool place for up to four years.

Detailed Congo Watermelon Info: Citrullus lanatus. Annual. 85 days. 200 seeds per oz. 6-12" height. 5-6' spacing. Produces 30-50 lb. oblong, green striped watermelons with dark red flesh.

'Congo' was bred and released by Dr. C. F. Poole and Dr. C. F. Andrus at the Regional Vegetable Breeding Laboratory of the U. S. Department of Agriculture at Charleston, South Carolina[1,2] in 1949.  The name Congo was given this variety to symbolize the continent from which watermelons originated.[2]

Lincoln County Master Gardeners

2016 Watermelon Growing Contest

Weight-In Saturday August 6, 2016


Lincoln County Master Gardeners 4th Grade Watermelon Contest Weight-in at Exchange Club Fair, August 8, 2015 - Winners





First Name

Last Name





$        100





Bogue Chitto


$          50





Loyd Star


$          25





Loyd Star




































Pictures from some recent Lincoln County Master Gardeners Events


























































Well, we did it!  Brookhaven and the Lincoln County Master Gardeners prepared, conducted and finished the 2013 MS Master Gardeners Conference

Here are a few pictures from the conference -- Thanks everyone for the hard work in making it all happen!

Farmers' Market in June 22, 2012 in Brookhaven


Here are a few pictures from the 2010 Spring Garden Extravaganza



































































Congratulations to the newly graduated Master Gardeners from the 2010 Lincoln County Class. Welcome to the Master Gardeners Association:

Bart Fonesca

Perry McMurtray

Wil Womack

Donna Wright

Camille Johnston

Martha Arrington

2009 Spring Garden Extravaganza



Pictures from the Southwest District Meeting in Vicksburg on March 27, 2009







Lincoln County Master Gardeners

Pictures from January Work Day in the Cemetery















We got a lot of requests for the recipes of the herb dips at the Crystal Springs Garden Fest...Merrie Boerner made copies of the recipes and they can be accessed by clicking here.

Some scenes from the Fall Garden Fest at Crystal Springs - October 17 - 18, 2008

Pictures submitted by Steve Edge








How about that Plant Sale at Ole Brook-- We didn't have to water anything!

Look who was at the 2008 MSMG conference....

And, what about that 2008 Garden Extravaganza


Here are a few pictures with LCMG working on projects....


  2007 MS Master Gardeners Conference

Gautier, MS

LCMG win Outstanding Project- Easthaven Cemetery LCMG Poster by Cathy Ivy & Edna Bishop Grand Prize - Finally a tiller for Karen

Click here for more conference pictures

Pictures from Spring Gardening Extravaganza & Farmersí Market

Saturday, April 28, 2007



What do Master Gardeners do?

Our primary purpose is to provide useful information to people with questions about plants and gardening.   

Master Gardeners in Lincoln County have received formal training through the Mississippi Extension Service.  Areas of training included:

Diagnosing plant problems
Flower gardening
Lawn care
Organic gardening
Pesticide use and safety
Soils and fertilizers
Tree and shrub care
Vegetable gardening

Information on this site is for anyone interested in plants, flowers and the variety of activities related to gardening.

We would be glad to help you with:

  • community or club gardening or landscape projects
  • presentations to civic or educational groups
  • questions you may have about some plant problem in your yard


Let's make Lincoln County and Brookhaven a Gardener's Paradise as well as a Homeseeker's Paradise


Contact Information

Lincoln County Extension Service Office - 601-835-3460
Postal address
300 South Second Street
           Brookhaven, MS 39601
Electronic mail
General Information: [email protected]
Webmaster: [email protected]
Last updated: 08/08/16