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Produce Facts: Watermelons

Jul 27, 2016

Trivia to Impress Your Friends

Watermelons are grown on a vine-like flowering plant and have a smooth hard rind, usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots. Their interior flesh is juicy and sweet and usually deep red to pink, but it is sometimes orange, yellow, or white.

Watermelons are harvested at full maturity, since they don't typically develop further in internal color nor increase in sugars after being removed from the vine. The ground spot changes from pale white to a creamy yellow at proper harvest maturity.

Many watermelons are still shipped without pre-cooling or refrigeration during transit. Fruit must be utilized for prompt market sales as quality declines rapidly under these conditions.

  • Watermelons are 92% water.
  • Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
  • The heaviest watermelon weighs 350.5 lb. and was grown by Chris Kent of Sevierville, Tennessee, October 4, 2013. See the record-breaking melon.
  • In 1939 seedless watermelons were developed by treating the un-pollinated flowers of watermelons with a specific acid, which resulted in the seedless watermelon.
Important Facts

  • Storage life is typically 14 days at 59°F with up to 21 days attainable at 45-50°F. 

  • Watermelons should be symmetrical and uniform in appearance. The surface should be waxy and bright in appearance.

  • There should be an absence of scars, sunburn, transit abrasions or other surface defects or dirt. No evidence of bruising. 

  • Appears heavy for its size.

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