How to Pick a Good Watermelon

A ripe, full-of-flavor watermelon is one of summer's joys. (Photo: bondvit/Shutterstock)

Watermelon is the fruit that symbolizes summer the most to me. It conjures memories of childhood summers, when my friends and I would devour huge slices while the sweet juice ran down our chins. I would never buy a watermelon out of season because I know a tasteless one is heartbreaking.

It's now watermelon season, but that's no promise that every one you see at the store or the farmers market will be full of flavor. Here's how to pick a good watermelon.

Spot the field spot

watermelon, field spot
The color of the spot where the watermelon touched the ground can help indicate ripeness. (Photo: Jiang Hoygan/Shutterstock)

Look for the field spot. That's the spot on a watermelon that touched the ground while it grew. This spot will be a different color than the rest of the watermelon because it didn't get any sun. Its color is a good indication of whether the watermelon is ripe or not. If it's white or pale green, the fruit was picked before it was ripe. If it's a golden, creamy yellow or orange-yellow, the fruit stayed on the vine long enough to get ripe.

Look for shape and blemishes

Look for a watermelon that is symmetrical and free of blemishes. (Photo: Jiggo-Putter Studio/Shutterstock)

A good watermelon should be fairly symmetrical, whether it's round or oval. Also, if it the rind has bruises, cuts or dents, don't choose it. Those blemishes can cause the melon to go bad quickly.

Pick it up

watermelon, hands
It's a good sign if a watermelon feels heavy. (Photo: MsMaria/Shutterstock)

A watermelon should be heavy for its size — which of course will vary depending on the size of the watermelon. If you pick it up, and it seems that it's lighter than it should be, there may be a problem. A watermelon is 92 percent water, according to Watermelon Board. If it's not heavy, it could be old and starting to lose its moisture inside.