On these warm summer days, nothing’s more refreshing than a slice of cold, juicy watermelon.

But when you buy one in the store, how do you know you’re getting a good one that’s ripe and sweet and juicy?

Today on “You Can Grow It”, our garden master Jim Duthie is in the KTVB studio to show us how we can be sure to pick out the perfect watermelon.


• More than 1,000 kinds; 5 most common in U.S. supermarkets.
• Harvested in Egypt nearly 5,000 years ago.
• Most-consumed melon in the U.S., followed by cantaloupe & honeydew
• 92% water.
• Can keep up to 6 weeks (cool & out of sun).
• Rinds are edible (pickled or juiced).
• Seedless or with black seeds (edible). Flesh can be red, pink and yellow.
• Very healthy:

  • Low calorie, virtually fat-free (but high fructose content)
  • High in essential vitamins & minerals
  • High in lycopene, a powerful anti-oxidant (cancer preventer)
  • Reduces blood pressure, improves prostate health
  • Great for hydration.

A lot of people have their own tricks and methods to pick out a good melon, from thumping, to smelling, to rolling, to looking for colored patches and spots. Some even test ripeness by balancing a straw on it and watching for the straw to spin. But there are some proven things to consider to pick out the perfect melon:

1. Size & weight: Should be heavy relative to its size.
2. Symmetry: Uniform round or oblong shape, not bulged or lopsided. Straight, long stripes.
3. Firmness: Smooth skin, no cracks, bruises, holes or soft spots. Stem should be dry.
4. Sound: Deep bass tone or echo when thumped or tapped. Hold in one hand and pat with other – feel vibration in other hand.
5. Yellow spot: Side that sits on the ground, indicates longer ripening time. White-ish – put it back. Pale yellow – keep it.