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Home Grown

Home Grown: Watermelon and peppers kick off with heat

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - It's time to turn up the heat with summer crops, but it all starts with the transplants before getting put into the ground.

In this week's Home Grown, the nursery at Keithly-Williams Seed is growing lots of watermelon and peppers, mostly bell peppers but also jalapenos and habaneros.

The company ships a lot of peppers to Washington where it's too cold to grow peppers this early in the season.

Elliot Cooley, Yuma nursery manager with Keithly-Williams Seed says it's a slow process that relies on Yuma's heat.

"The hotter the pepper, the hotter the environment that it's required to grow in and the slower it grows. It's actually more difficult the hotter the pepper is," Cooley explained. "With hotter peppers the seeds don't want to germinate as well and then they grow really, really slow."

Growing watermelon is also a tedious process because they require lots of heat in the beginning, but not too much heat or they will grow too tall.

Keithly-Williams grows watermelons for lots of local farmers in the desert southwest but they also ship to the west coast, Texas and Colorado.

Local News / Yuma County
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April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. After a short 3 ½ years, she earned bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with minors in Journalism and Spanish but gained memories and friendships she will always remember.

She began her broadcast journalism career through NAZ Today, northern Arizona’s local news station, by covering breaking news, building relationships with the community, learning to produce a newscast and anchoring live. Although she will miss her snowy mountain town, she is excited to further her broadcast career and take on the heat in a great city like Yuma.

She is looking forward to floating down at the Colorado River, riding dirt bikes at the sand dunes, and most importantly, serving the community through local news.

You can send any story ideas her way by emailing


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