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Home Grown: Watermelon and bell peppers show clay soil trial is doing well

SOMERTON, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - In today's Home Grown, the crops that were grown over dry, desert land are responding well to the trial in Somerton.

A company based in Norway has developed a method to bring more moisture to soil by using microscopic amounts of clay.

After the soil was treated with clay, growers planted watermelon and bell peppers to see how they can hold moisture.

The transplants were put in the ground about seven weeks ago and are showing good signs so far.

"We've seen some differences in crop establishment with a lot more horizontal flow of water in the treated plots than the controlled plots that haven't been treated," according to agriculture extension agent Robert Masson with the Yuma County Cooperative Extension. "This led to a rise in survivorship in the treated plots, more plants living in the treated areas than the untreated."

There are soil sensors placed around the field that give information about the water levels of the soil.

Once the crops are mature enough, they will perform a sweetness test to make sure the quality is the same.

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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.

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