Choosing a watermelon

One of my Facebook friends lamented her lack of skills in choosing a good watermelon. She even posted a picture of her poor choice. To her credit, though, she had bought too early and the melon had probably been trucked in from Mexico.

Knowing that watermelon season would be upon us locally within a couple of weeks, I offered to give her advice when the crop was ready. That was this week. So, I will give you dear Reader the same advice

Buy locally grown melons. Or as close to home as possible. The longer it takes to get it to you from the field, the lower the quality.

Look for a white to yellow spot on the melon. That means it sat in water.


The melon should be heavy for its size and feel firm.

This is the one I bought this week that was grown about 10 miles from here. It is also organic which I prefer.


I cut up the melon as soon as I get it home and we try to have it eaten within 3 days. I also like to juice watermelon for aqua frescas or Popsicles.


8 responses to “Choosing a watermelon

  1. Yum! Thank you for this information. Does it also hold true for cantaloupe? That light spot, I mean? 🙂

    • No, DJan, for cantaloupe you have to smell the melon. If it smells like a sweet cantaloupe, buy it. No smell? Leave it. For honeydew, the blossom end should give a bit when pushed with your thumbs.

  2. I’m wondering if watermelons with seeds (to spit) are on their way out?

    • There are mixed feelings in the organic farming community about the seeds. The consumer prefers seedless, it seems, but one of the local organic farmers believes that the seeded variety has better flavor. I would agree with the better flavor, but the seeded variety take longer to prepare and I feel that I waste more of the melon when having to dig out seeds.

  3. Thx for these great tips!

  4. Great tips . . . and yum!

  5. I didn’t know that about the light yellow spot. I love the sight of that watermelon. Yum.

  6. Mother taught me to look for bee stings (the little dark brown spots) as a sign the watermelon is sweet and juicy. If I only see one sting, I know the melon is not sweet, so I look for two maybe three spots which tells me the bees liked enough to come back for more.

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