How To Select A Naturally Ripe Watermelon

Watermelons are a popular summer fruit, prized for their refreshing sweetness and high water content. They are perfect for hydrating during the hot summer months and are enjoyed in a variety of ways—from fresh slices to juices and salads. However, the rise in the use of chemicals and growth regulators to enhance the colour and size of watermelons has made selecting a good one more challenging. A good watermelon is naturally sweet, juicy, and ripe, providing a refreshing eating experience. On the other hand, a tasteless or unripe watermelon can be disappointing. Knowing what to look for and how to feel a good watermelon can help you make the best choice and stay away from food that has been chemically improved. This guide will provide tips on how to select a ripe watermelon, what to avoid, and the numerous benefits of incorporating this fruit into your diet. 

How to Select a Ripe One 

Look for the Orange Field Spot 

A key indicator of a ripe and flavourful watermelon is the field spot, which is the area where the melon rested on the ground. A good watermelon typically has a creamy yellow or orange field spot, signifying that it has ripened naturally in the sun. The richer the colour, the longer the watermelon was on the vine, which usually translates to better flavour. Avoid melons with white or very pale field spots, as these are signs of under-ripeness. 

Check for Larger Webbing 

Webbing refers to the brown, vein-like lines on the watermelon's surface. These lines are formed due to the pollination process and indicate sweetness. A watermelon with extensive webbing is usually sweeter, as these lines suggest the fruit received ample pollination. This is a natural process, so larger webbing is a good sign that you have a tasty melon.  

Prefer Round Watermelons 

The shape of the watermelon can also give you clues about its sweetness. Round watermelons are generally sweeter compared to elongated ones. Elongated watermelons, while still enjoyable, often have a higher water content and can be less sweet and more watery. For the best flavour, look for a round-shaped watermelon.  

Assess the Colour and Texture 

A ripe watermelon will have a dark, matte appearance. The dark green rind indicates maturity, while a matte finish suggests it has reached full ripeness. Shiny watermelons, although visually appealing, are often underripe. Ensure the melon has a uniform dark colour and avoid those with pale, shiny surfaces.  

What to Avoid 

Small Webbing 

As mentioned earlier, the presence of webbing is a positive sign. Conversely, a watermelon with smaller webbing is likely to be bland. Small or sparse webbing indicates limited pollination, which affects the fruit's sweetness. These watermelons may look good from the outside but will likely disappoint in flavour. 

White Field Spot 

Avoid watermelons with a white field spot. This spot indicates that the watermelon did not fully ripen on the vine and was likely harvested prematurely. These melons are often less sweet and more likely to be tasteless.  

Pale and Shiny Appearance 

A pale and shiny watermelon rind is a clear sign of underripeness. Shiny watermelons are often not fully developed, which means they won't have the rich, sweet flavour of a properly ripened melon. Always look for a darker, matte finish to ensure you are selecting a ripe fruit.  

Elongated Shape 

While elongated watermelons can still be enjoyable, they tend to be more watery and less sweet than their round counterparts. If you prefer a sweeter melon, go for a round one. The shape can significantly affect the fruit's texture and taste, with round ones being typically more flavourful. 

Benefits of Watermelon 

Watermelons are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients and health benefits. Here are some reasons to include watermelon in your diet: 


A Watermelon is composed of about 92% water, making it an excellent choice for staying hydrated during hot weather. Its water content helps maintain fluid balance in the body and prevents dehydration. 

Rich in Nutrients 

Watermelon is a good source of vitamins A and C, which are essential for skin health, vision, and immune function. It also contains important antioxidants like lycopene, which has been linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease. 

Low in Calories 

Despite its sweetness, watermelon is low in calories, making it a great option for those looking to manage their weight. A one-cup serving of watermelon contains only about 46 calories, making it a guilt-free treat. 

Digestive Health 

Watermelon contains fibre, which aids in digestion and promotes regular bowel movements. It can help alleviate constipation and support overall digestive health.  

Anti-inflammatory Properties 

The antioxidants in watermelon, such as lycopene and vitamin C, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with chronic inflammatory conditions.