These beautiful, sweet, watery melons of goodness are a huge favorite in our home and are fed as often as we are able to find them. Of course, you’ll find them already chopped in your produce section, year-round. But, beginning in the Spring, you’ll be able to find whole watermelons. This is where the fun begins.
Let’s talk about choosing the right watermelon:
Field Spot. Have you noticed that every watermelon has a spot on it that doesn’t quite look like the rest? This is the field spot, the side of the watermelon that sat on the ground before it was picked. You want to look for a creamy yellow colored field spot. This is key to the best watermelon!
You’ll also see some watermelons that are oblong, others that are round. Are you aware that watermelons have genders? For real! The oblong melons are males, the round ones are females. I know this will be a huge surprise, but the male melons will be more watery, but the round ones…the females…are sweeter!
How many times have you picked over a watermelon with scars on it? You know the ones I’m talking about…see that picture? That scar is a good thing and something you want to see! The scarring on a watermelon indicates the number of times the bees touched the flower! The more times touched, the sweeter the watermelon.
The stem – though you don’t often see them at the stores, if you do, look for the dried and curly stems. This means that the watermelon was picked when it was ready. Melons with green and still pliable stems, mean that the fruit was picked too early and will likely not be as sweet.
By the way…size matters. Don’t assume that the biggest fruit is the best fruit. Look for an average-sized melon when choosing.
Prepping is simple – chop & feed. Though your gliders will toss the seeds aside, you needn’t remove them before feeding. You also do not need to remove the rind. In fact, your gliders will enjoy large chunks of melon, placed on a plate, so they can gather ’round! Feeling more creative? Hang a slice from the top of the cage, cutting out a bit of the middle so your gliders can climb on, hang and eat! Oh, the fun!