ASK THE EXPERTS: WHERE CAN I FIND WATERMELON WITH SEEDS?

March 11th, 2010 by The Watermelon Guy

MATTHEW L. OF INDIANAPOLIS, IN ASKS: Where can I get seeded watermelon? I would like to have them shipped to me or I’ll pick them up.

I hear you loud and clear, Matthew. It seems like all you can find these days are seedless watermelons, but every now and then, for old time’s sake, it would be nice to have one with seeds, right?  

While the seedless and mini varieties have taken over in popularity and demand, there certainly are still many folks who grow and sell the seeded watermelons, oblong in shape, chock full of black seeds. I get a lot of comments from people who remember the long, sweet watermelons of their youth and do not think that the seedless varieties are as good, but there is no science that supports the notion that a seeded watermelon is sweeter than a seedless.

If you really have a yearning for seeded watermelons, there are two things you can do: 1) check your local farmers’ markets and 2) talk to your local produce manager at your grocery store. He can take the request up to the store’s buyers. If a buyer believes that his customers will buy a seeded watermelon, he’ll be more apt to supply for the store. If he won’t stock
seeded watermelon (which isn’t likely), ask him if he knows where you might find some.

Hope this helps,
The Watermelon Guy

Tags: , ,
Posted in General | 38 Comments »

ASK THE EXPERTS: WHERE CAN I FIND WATERMELON WITH SEEDS?

February 26th, 2010 by The Watermelon Guy

MATTHEW L. OF INDIANAPOLIS, IN ASKS: Where can I get seeded watermelon? I would like to have them shipped to me or I’ll pick them up.

I hear you loud and clear, Matthew. It seems like all you can find these days are seedless watermelons, but every now and then, for old time’s sake, it would be nice to have one with seeds, right?  

While the seedless and mini varieties have taken over in popularity and demand, there certainly are still many folks who grow and sell the seeded watermelons, oblong in shape, chock full of black seeds. I get a lot of comments from people who remember the long, sweet watermelons of their youth and do not think that the seedless varieties are as good, but there is no science that supports the notion that a seeded watermelon is sweeter than a seedless.

If you really have a yearning for seeded watermelons, there are two things you can do: 1) check your local farmers’ markets and 2) talk to your local produce manager at your grocery store. He can take the request up to the store’s buyers. If a buyer believes that his customers will buy a seeded watermelon, he’ll be more apt to supply for the store. If he won’t stock seeded watermelon (which isn’t likely), ask him if he knows where you might find some.

Hope this helps,

The Watermelon Guy

Tags: , ,
Posted in General | 4 Comments »

ASK THE EXPERTS: CAN I PLANT A WATERMELON SEED?

September 21st, 2009 by The Watermelon Guy

In this recurring column, our panel of watermelon experts answer a question posed through our “Ask the Experts” feature in the right hand sidebar. Feel free to ask your own question. All questions get a response and some will be featured here on What About Watermelon.

MALICK FROM TRIPOLI (ALL THE WAY FROM LIBYA!) ASKS: Is it possible to use one black seed from inside a store-bought watermelon to grow your own? If so, what are the instructions to grow my own tasty treat?

Good question, Malick. The short answer is: sort of.

The only problem with growing watermelons using the seeds of a watermelon you bought in a grocery store is that the watermelon you purchased is more than likely a hybrid variety, which is a special cross between two types of watermelon, each contributing their best qualities to create one great-tasting fruit.

You can plant those seeds, and they may grow into a watermelon (though not always), but the result won’t be the same type of watermelon you purchased and enjoyed months ago. It’ll be a smaller, less tasty watermelon – the kind a lot of farmers call “pig melons” because they’re only good for feeding to the pigs.

I’d recommend purchasing watermelon seeds from your local nursery or gardening store. If possible, buy the open pollinated heirloom variety, which will yield fruit with seeds that you can plant the next year.

If you’re up for a challenge, or just curious, and decide to use seeds from a store-bought watermelon (or are using seeds from an open pollinated heirloom watermelon), you’ll need to dry the seeds before you plant them. Oh, and make sure the watermelon hasn’t been chilled, because the cold temperature will damage the seeds. To dry your seeds, place them on a towel or some newspaper in a sunny spot (a window sill will do) for about a week. Once they’re dry, you can plant them!

Of course, actually growing a watermelon is a whole other question and process in itself. It requires a lot of attention, water and sunlight, but the reward for all your hard work is definitely worth it. Do some research online for tips on growing your own watermelon. To get you started, this website has a brief overview of the process. Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!

UPDATE: Malick e-mailed me back about two weeks later with the following exciting news and photo below:

I just thought I would inform you that the seeds I planted HAVE grown in to baby watermelon plants but it hasn’t been quite long enough for them to grow watermelons yet. Thanks a lot for all the information you gave me!

watermelon sprouts

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in General | 33 Comments »

ASK THE EXPERTS: IS IT OKAY TO EAT WATERMELON SEEDS?

August 24th, 2009 by Chef Harry

In this recurring column, our panel of watermelon experts answer a question posed through our “Ask the Experts” feature in the right hand sidebar. Feel free to ask your own question. All questions get a response and some will be featured here on What About Watermelon.

MICHAEL C. FROM SAN DIEGO, CA, ASKS: Is it okay to eat watermelon seeds?

chefharryFor some reason, our mothers liked to tell us that if we ate a watermelon seed, a watermelon would grow in our stomach. I was never sure where that tall tale came from or why parents perpetuated it, but millions of kids grow up in constant fear of watermelon seeds because they don’t want to wake up one morning with a 10-pound fruit germinating in their belly. Of course, this isn’t true.

Other people (i.e. those over the age of seven who are wise to the stories adults tell) fear that watermelon seeds contain some sort of harmful chemicals and should therefore be avoided at all costs. This isn’t true either.

The truth is, watermelons seeds are 100 percent safe for consumption! I actually know some people who like to eat them, including many who roast them with salt like pumpkin seeds. They’re a tasty snack if you give them a chance. Maybe that’s why our parents told us not to eat the seeds. They wanted us to save them so they could roast them and enjoy them after the kids went to bed. Excuse me… I have to call my mother.

UP NEXT: A deep fried watermelon recipe

Tags: , , ,
Posted in General | 52 Comments »

SEEDLESS WATERMELONS 101

July 20th, 2009 by The Watermelon Guy

seedlessSome people dislike watermelon seeds, but most people don’t mind them. I actually sort of like them. I’ve mentioned before that I used to spit them at my brother. I still do on those rare occasions when we’re together and watermelon is involved. I also like squeezing the seeds between my thumb and index finger and watching them go shooting off into parts unknown (usually in my brother’s direction).

Of course, if you don’t want to be bothered with seeds, you can always just buy a seedless watermelon. I remember hearing about seedless watermelons as a kid and thinking that it had to be some kind of joke or rare freak of nature thing. I imagined seedless watermelons costing hundreds of dollars each and only enjoyed by powerful world leaders or wealthy families on yachts.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

The truth is, seedless watermelons aren’t actually seedless. (Even as a child, I knew it was too good to be true.) That’s right. As those who’ve had them know, they actually contain a smattering of soft, white seeds which, admittedly, go down much easier than the hard, black seeds of regular watermelons.

So if they don’t have seeds – at least of the normal variety – how are seedless watermelons grown, you ask? Here’s some scientific stuff courtesy of Wikipedia:

They are the product of crossing a female tetraploid plant (itself the product of genetic manipulation, using colchicine) with diploid pollen. The resulting triploid plant is sterile, but will produce the seedless fruit if pollenized by a diploid plant. For this reason, commercially available seedless watermelon seeds actually contain two varieties of seeds; that of the triploid seedless plant itself (recognizable because the seed is larger), and the diploid plant which is needed to pollenize the triploid. Unless both plant types are grown in the same vicinity, no seedless fruit will result.

And how do you eat a seedless watermelon? The same way you’d eat a regular watermelon… only much faster.

Tags: , ,
Posted in General | 6 Comments »