Technically, melons are a fruit. A fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants (also known as angiosperms) formed after flowering. Fruits are the means by which angiosperms disseminate seeds. Melons are a member of the same family as cucumbers, pumpkin and squash.
You need three things to grow melons: sun, bees and water. Growers generally grow melons in rows, 2-3 metres apart, in raised soil beds. Tiny plants from a plant nursery are planted in the beds. Honeybees must pollinate the yellow melon flowers. In a month, a vine may spread to as much as 2 metres. Within 60 days, the vine produces its first melons. The crop is ready to harvest within 3 months.
That all depends on the size of the watermelon, but on average a watermelon will yield 70% flesh and 30% rind. Did you know watermelons are actually 100% edible?
Rockmelons no longer have a strong fragrance when they are ripe. The newest varieties should have a creamy skin colour with a consistent netting over the fruit. If the skin is green is green under the netting, the fruit may be immature. At the stem end, there may be sugar cracks which are small cracks that show the fruit has a high level of sweetness. Watch a video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=21&v=1s0MtY9bk0Y
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- Look the watermelon over. You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
- Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size. Watermelon is 92% water, most of the weight is water.
- 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.
- Should I refrigerate melons after I buy them?
- Yes, all melon types should be refrigerated. They do not ripen after harvest and keeping the fruit cool will help to stay fresh longer.
Sometimes growing conditions, including cold snaps and heat waves, will cause an internal cracking of the flesh, a condition known as Hollow Heart. Not to worry – these watermelons are perfectly safe to eat, and they often taste sweeter as sugars are more concentrated along the cracks.
Seedless watermelons were invented over 50 years ago, and they have few or no seeds. When we say seeds, we are talking about mature seeds, the black ones. Oftentimes, the white seed coats where a seed did not mature are assumed to be seeds. But this isn’t the case! They are perfectly safe to swallow while eating.
Chromosomes are the building blocks that give characteristics, or traits, to living things including plants and watermelons. Watermelon breeders discovered that crossing a diploid plant (bearing the standard two sets of chromosomes) with a tetraploid plant (having four sets of chromosomes) results in a fruit that produces a triploid seed. (Yes, it has three sets of chromosomes). This triploid seed is the seed that produces seedless watermelons!
In other words, a seedless watermelon is a sterile hybrid which is created by crossing male pollen for a watermelon, containing 22 chromosomes per cell, with a female watermelon flower with 44 chromosomes per cell. When this seeded fruit matures, the small, white seed coats inside contain 33 chromosomes, rendering it sterile and incapable of producing seeds. This is similar to the mule, produced by crossing a horse with a donkey. This process does not involve genetic modification.
The white “seeds” in a seedless watermelon are actually empty seed coats where a seed did not fully mature. They are perfectly safe to eat.
No watermelon (seedless or other) is the product of genetic modification. Simple cross breeding is how seed breeders create new varieties with specific traits.