Square Watermelons

Square watermelons are popular in Japan. ATTRIBUTION: Joi Ito (Flickr)

Do you want to make a change in your garden? Consider trying some popular growing variations. From square-shaped watermelons to carrots in a kaleidoscope of colors, there are many fun changes you can make without sacrificing taste. There are a number of ways gardeners can manipulate Mother Nature to create innovative fruits, veggies, and plants. Check out the following popular gardening variations.

Square Watermelons

Get the entire family interested in participating in the garden this year by growing square watermelons. Not only are these oddly shaped watermelons fun to look at, but they’re also an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Square watermelons are commonly grown in Japan to make them easier to stack. Space is limited in Japan, and many families deal with crowded storage areas; square watermelons take up less room.

So how exactly are square watermelons made? Getting that perfect square shape means growing the watermelon in a square container. Plant your regular watermelon seeds in a square container outdoors about two to three weeks after the last frost. Provide the watermelons with plenty of water and sunshine as they grow. Once the watermelon reaches the sides of the box, it will conform to the box’s square shape.


Lematos are a cross between lemons and tomatoes and have characteristics of each. This hybrid fruit has a slight lemony taste with hints of rose aromas. As lematos contain only half of the amount of lycopene as regular tomatoes, they feature only a slight reddish color. In addition to the lemato having a slightly red appearance and mild, fruity smell, it also has a longer shelf life than tomatoes.

The lemato was created by a team of Israeli researchers. While it is not yet available for public consumption, it has provided researchers with much information about whether or not it’s possible to add the smell and taste of one fruit or vegetable to another. Researchers were happy to find that the lemato looked like a lemon on the outside and a tomato on the inside, but with the smell of a lemon inside.

Rainbow Carrots

Nearly everyone recognizes regular orange carrots, but did you know carrots also come in other color varieties? Carrots are a popular low-calorie snack high in vitamin A and other nutrients. Each color variation has its own unique benefits. For example, yellow carrots contain lutein and xanthophylls, which have been linked to better eye health and cancer prevention.

Carrots come in a wide range of colorful varieties, from yellow and white to red and purple. Growing your own colorful veggies is easy when you purchase rainbow-mixed carrot seeds from your local farmers’ market. Spread the seeds in a one-inch-thick layer of compost at the bottom of a 10-inch deep trench. Add about four inches of soil and top with another inch layer of compost, followed by three more inches of soil.


The graisin, also referred to as a giant raisin, is a unique variation of the raisin that was originally produced by the National Institute of Genetics in Japan. While the look of graisins may be different, these oversized raisins have the same taste and texture as regular raisins. Due to their size, graisins are commonly cut into thin slices and used in stir fries.

As graisins are currently only genetically engineered, they cannot yet be grown in your average garden. Just like their smaller counterparts, graisins are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also contain the phytochemical compound resveratrol, which offers anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering properties. Graisins are also rich in iron, calcium, fluoride, manganese, and zinc.