Use the Whole Watermelon - Flesh
  • How to Cut Watermelon Slices
  • How to cut Watermelon Cubes
  • How to Juice a Watermelon
 Watermelon Any Time

Watermelon is delicious at breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between. Give your day a healthy start with a Super Green Detox Smoothie. Need to whip up something for the bake sale? Watermelon, Dried Tart Cherry, Chia Seed Muffins are to the rescue. Get out the grill and try Pork and Watermelon Kebobs at the neighborhood barbeque. From breakfast to late-night snacks, watermelon is the perfect match for salty, savory, bitter or spicy.

Think beyond the wedge and add watermelon to your next meal. It’s a versatile recipe ingredient and healthy snack for any time of day and year.

For more tasty inspiration and recipes, browse Watermelon Recipes.

 Watermelon is Available Year Round

Watermelon is grown in warm places, from Florida to Guatemala, making it available throughout the year. Use this handy chart to see watermelon peak production areas by month.

 Watermelon is a Great Value

Did you know you can feed up to three dozen people from just one watermelon? According to a 2010 study by the Perishables Group, watermelon ranks #1 on the list of budget-friendly fruits, at only 14¢ per serving.

Find affordable watermelon inspiration by browsing our Watermelon Recipes.

 Use the Whole Watermelon
Use the whole watermelon
 Watermelon is Incredibly Healthy

A two-cup serving of watermelon contains excellent levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, and also serves as a valuable source of potassium. At 92% water, watermelon delivers needed fluids and nutrients to the body, including lycopene – which has been studied for its potential role in reducing risk of heart disease, various cancers and protection to skin from harmful UV rays – and citrulline – which can help maintain blood flow within the heart and cardiovascular function.

To learn more about the watermelon nutritional benefits and health information, visit Watermelon Nutrition.

 Pick a Good Watermelon
It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
  1. Look the watermelon over.
    You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
  2. Lift it up.
    The watermelon should be heavy for it's size. Watermelon is 92% water, most of the weight is water.
  3. Turn it over.
    The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun..
 How Watermelon is Grown

You need three things to grow watermelon: sun, bees and water.

Farmers generally grow watermelon in rows (8 to 12 feet apart) and in raised beds (4 to 12 inches high) composed of well drained sandy soils. Tiny watermelon plants from a nursery are transplanted into soil beds.

Honeybees must pollinate every yellow watermelon blossom in order to fruit. In a month, a vine may spread 6 to 8 feet, and within 60 days, the vine produces its first watermelons. The crop is ready to harvest within 3 months.

The rind of a watermelon is not as tough as it looks, so it is handpicked. Watermelon pickers look for a pale or buttery yellow spot on the bottom of the watermelon, indicating ripeness.

 Botanical Cousins

Watermelon's official name is Citrullus Lanatus of the botanical family Curcurbitaceae. It is a cousin to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.

 U.S. Growing Stats

The United States currently ranks 6th in worldwide production of watermelon, with Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Indiana consistently in the lead.

 Types & Varieties

More than 300 varieties of watermelon are cultivated in the United States and South America, where complementary growing seasons provide a year-round supply of watermelon in an array of shapes, colors and sizes. Because there are so many varieties, they are often grouped according to characteristics, like fruit shape, rind color or pattern, and size.

The most common watermelon options are:

  • Seeded: The classic watermelon comes in a wide range of sizes. (15-45 lb, round, long, oblong)
  • Seedless: Due to high demand, the majority of watermelon cultivars grown today are seedless – and they are getting redder and crisper thanks to seed breeding advancements. They are not the result of genetic engineering, but rather hybridization – the crossing of two different types of watermelons. (10-25 lb, round to oblong)
  • Mini: Petite “personal watermelons” are easy to handle and their thinner rinds can mean more flesh per pound. Hollow them out for a compostable serving bowl. (1-7 lb, round)
  • Yellow & Orange: Generally sweeter than red-fleshed watermelon, yellow and orange varieties add a surprising element to the plate or glass. (10-30 lb, round)
 History of Watermelon

The origins of watermelon have been traced back to the deserts of southern Africa, where it still grows wild today. The ancestor of the modern watermelon is a tough, drought-tolerant plant prized for its ability to store water for tribes crossing the Kalahari.

The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred about 5,000 years ago in Egypt and is depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics on walls of their ancient buildings. Watermelons were often placed in the burial tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife.

From there, watermelons were brought to countries along the Mediterranean Sea by way of merchant ships. By the 10th century, watermelon found its way to China, which is now the world's top producer of watermelons.

The 13th century found watermelons spreading through the rest of Europe via the Moors.

 More Fun Facts
  • By weight, watermelon is the most-consumed melon in the United States, followed by cantaloupe and honeydew
  • The first cookbook published in the United States in 1796, American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, contains a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.
  • According to Guinness World Records, the world's heaviest watermelon was grown by Chris Kent of Sevierville, Tennessee in 2013, weighing in at 350.5 lbs. Want to more about how Chris grew a giant watermelon? Check out part one, part two and part three of an interview with Chris.
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