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How to Pick the Perfect Watermelon

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Nothing says summer quite like a freshly picked watermelon! Whether for a crispy side dish or refreshing dessert, there are never too many uses for a watermelon. 

In our guide, we’ll share the tips and tricks on how to pick out the perfect melon every time. It’ll make your summer a little sweeter! 

Watermelon Season in Florida 

The main watermelon season in Florida runs through April to July. However, Florida is the only state that produces watermelon from December through April

Watermelons are related to other fruit, such as cantaloupe and honeydew. Watermelons originated in Africa and are now heavily cultivated in America. Florida has a wonderful climate for growing watermelons and is the leading producer in the nation!

How to Pick a Watermelon: 

Here are a few things to look like when choosing the perfect melon.

Field Spot 

A field spot is the light yellow or white spot on the bottom of the watermelon where it was lying on the ground. Once you find the spot, look for a medium yellow color. This means the watermelon will be ripe and sweet. If the spot is too light, this means the melon did not get a chance to ripen on the vine.  

Dull & Dark 

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t want a glossy, shiny melon! Shiny watermelons typically are not ready for harvest yet, meaning their flavor will be bland. Watermelons that are light and faded can also indicate an unripe melon. Look for a melon that is a healthy-looking dark green with a dull exterior. 

Consistent Shape 

When looking for the perfect watermelon, look for a consistent shape, preferably round. Look for a heavy melon – this means that it is sweet and juicy. Lastly, if you tap the melon and it sounds hollow, it is most likely ripe and ready to eat. 


Have you ever noticed the little scratches on the watermelon? This is called webbing, and it is an indicator that your melon is sweet! Webbing on a watermelon means that the plant has been pollinated many times, ensuring a delicious melon.

Growing Your Own Watermelon 

Want to grow your own delicious melons? Luckily Florida is the perfect place to do so!

Watermelons are annuals, meaning you have to plant them again each year. You can grow them from seedlings or transplant a young plant. Watermelon plants love full sun and fast-draining soil. 

Typically, watermelons require lots of room to grow because they sprawl out. The best time to plant a watermelon depends on where you live in the state of Florida. For north Florida, early spring is a great time to plant. 

Different varieties of watermelons that grow to various sizes. For example, “sugar baby” melons are smaller while Jubilee (Florida Giant) is a large melon! Pick your variety based on the amount of space they need to grow and amount of time until maturity. 

Fresh Melons at Ward’s

If you don’t feel like growing your own watermelons, no need to worry! Ward’s has all of the fresh produce you could imagine – including watermelons. We’re proud to offer produce and fresh food from over 350 local vendors. Eat local at Ward’s!

Check out all that we have to offer in-store today, and don’t forget to catch up on our weekly sales ad for optimal savings and in-season foods. See you soon!

(352) 372-1741
515 NW 23rd Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32609