Watermelon is indeed a summer treat as it contains a high level of water which helps you to keep hydrated. Its sweet and watery flesh is delightful in hot weather. A ripe and juicy watermelon is perfect for breakfast. You can either eat it in a salad or eat alone. Although watermelon is large and heavy and carrying it from market to home might be a tough task, planting it in a garden is somewhat easier.
The surface area of watermelon is green in color and firm in texture. The ripe watermelon from inside is filled with red flesh with small black seeds all over. The color of the melon differs from white, yellow, and red as it matures. It weighs between five and a hundred pounds depending upon its size.
Watermelon grows on the ground which is why it needs a good amount of space in order to grow properly. The size may vary depending on the soil and variety.
In this article, you will learn about selecting watermelon, the process of growing watermelon, and the health benefits of eating watermelon in summer.
How to grow watermelon?
Watermelon grows in a large size but how to know it has grown fully? Watermelons have different types and sizes and thus you may confuse to know whether watermelon is ready for harvest or not. When watermelon grows in its full size it looks and smells different. Read on to know how you can grow and harvest watermelon?
Watermelon is summer and so it needs heat to grow in its full length. It requires warm weather and warm soil and below 50 degrees Fahrenheit temperature it cannot grow properly. The color and flavor of the fruit deteriorate. Watermelon grows under the bright full sun and takes nutrients from moist soil.
You can either sow watermelon seeds or transplant them in inverted hills. Purchase a transplant or begin your indoor transplantation three or four weeks prior to the planting date. You can also sow seeds or wait for the last frost and transplant after three to four weeks when the soil contains enough heat.
Inverted hill helps to retain water in the ground because 95 percent of the watermelon is water and, as a result, it requires moist soil in order to obtain sufficient nutrients to retain water. Give at least six feet of space between each inverted hill and sow four to five seeds in each hill. Once the seeds grow large enough slender to leave the one or two strongest seedlings in every hill. In the case of transplant set one or two transplants in every inverted hill.
Make sure to water the soil daily because watermelon grows in moist soil. The moisture of the soil should be retained so that it can ripe properly.
It may be confusing to know when to harvest watermelon. There are certain ways to know whether watermelon has fully grown and is ready to harvest.
When the tendrils in watermelon start turning brown and later die off it indicates that watermelon has matured and is ready to pluck off. The ripe watermelon will sound hollow and dull when tapped by knuckles.
Varieties of watermelons
If you have planted watermelons then you must know the varieties of watermelons. The different types of watermelons are as follows.
- Golden crown harvest- It takes eighty days to harvest and is a popular type of watermelon in Malaysia. It is sweet, juicy, and golden-yellowish from the inside.
- Sugar baby- It takes seventy-five days to harvest and is red from inside with thin rinds. It weighs almost twelve pounds.
- Bush sugar baby- It harvests in eighty days and weighs the same as the sugar baby. It is sweet in taste and is small in size.
- Redball Seedless- It harvests in eighty days and contains red flesh with few small white seeds in it.
- Sweet Beauty- It harvests in seventy-seven to eighty days and is large in size. It is an elongated melon that is famous all over Singapore.
- Park’s lemon ice- It takes eighty days to harvest and contains yellow flesh with no seeds.
How to select a watermelon?
The sweet and juicy watermelon tastes like a dessert and does not contain calories. Melons may have varieties of flavors and types like sizes, shapes, and colors but the sweet and watery pulp is common in each variety.
There is nothing to dislike about watermelon. It is rich in fiber which provides you instant energy. The Nutrition Guideline for America has said that many people eat at least 1.5 to 2 cups of fruits daily. Watermelon suits best for this recommendation.
Ways to select a watermelon
In Singapore, three popular melon fruits are honeydew, watermelon, and cantaloupe. You must pick a fresh and bruise-free melon. The melons have a firm surface area and so avoid buying those melons which feel soft. The best way is to weigh melon in hand. If it feels heavier than its size, it indicates that the melon is juicy.
Selecting watermelon might be tricky. Unlike few other fruits, watermelon does not ripen after harvest. So it is most likely for you to get the same tenderness and textured fruit as it was at the time of harvest. And that is why you should look thoroughly while selecting watermelon.
If the color of the surrounding from inside is light yellow it means the watermelon is fully matured. However, if you see white or green in the surroundings it indicates that watermelon is unripe.
You can keep uncut watermelon in the refrigerator if you are planning to consume it later. If a watermelon is not cut it can last for a week in a fridge. However, try to eat the watermelon as soon as possible if you have cut it. The flesh inside deteriorates easily and gives a pungent smell.
During summer we all yearn for cold items to eat and drink. The chilled watermelon tastes great and allows you to stay healthy. Try to ice-cold watermelon if you have not until now.
Benefits of eating watermelon
Watermelon is rich in fiber, potassium and contains a high amount of water which keeps you hydrated. It is good for your heart, maintains normal blood pressure, and prevents strokes. The 2005 Nutrition Guideline suggests eating potassium-rich fruits and vegetables as it controls the level of salt in the body which causes high and low blood pressure, reduces the risk of kidney stones, and prevents bone loss.
Therefore the guidelines suggest the adults take at least forty-seven hundred milligrams of potassium daily while intake of sodium must be below twenty-three hundred (a single teaspoon of salt).
Furthermore, watermelon contains vitamin C, a famous antioxidant trio, and beta-carotene. Researchers say that vitamin C and beta-carotene are helpful in preventing cancer, heart disease, and many other chronic diseases. Melons are full of nutrients that make your body healthy and happy.
Watermelon is a good source of lycopene which is a type of carotenoid. The researches have revealed that lycopene helps in preventing endometrial, breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancer.
Whether you select watermelon for health purposes or just for taste it serves both your needs simultaneously.
Below are the nutrients that watermelon contains.
|Calories 46 g|
|Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 g|
|Carbohydrate 11 g|
|Protein 1 g|
|Dietary Fiber 1 g|
|Sodium 2 mg|
|Vitamin A 265 IU|
|Niacin < 1 g|
|Pantothenic Acid < 1 g|
|Thiamin < 1 g|
|Vitamin B6 < 1 g|
|Vitamin C 12 mg|
|Calcium 11 mg|
|Magnesium 15 mg|
|Potassium 170 mg|
|Caroteno 7,841 mg|
In this article, we have covered all key points related to watermelons. You will take away answers for the questions like how to select watermelon, what are benefits of watermelon, and how to grow and harvest watermelon?