By Melissa Kruse-Peeples, NS/S Education Coordinator.
Nothing says summer like crisp, sweet, refreshing watermelon. In honor of National Watermelon Day on August 3rd, we thought we would encourage growers to save seeds of their favorite watermelon varieties. It is easy, fun, and delicious! Even the tiniest of seed savers can get in on the fun. Saving watermelon seeds is a great activities for kids and the kid inside every adult.
Heirloom and landrace varieties of watermelon, like those stewarded by Native Seeds/SEARCH, are very flavorful and sweet. Varieties come in a range of shapes and sizes. Flesh colors even range from reds, to pinks, yellow, and even white. Saving seeds from locally grown watermelons preserves diverse flavors, heritage, and arid-adapted traits.
Varieties available in stores are typically seedless hybrids. Even if you find a lone seed it is not recommended to save seeds from hybrids as they will not grow true-to type. It is a shame that many people today are not even aware that watermelons, like most produce, are supposed to have seeds. Who remembers watermelon seed spitting contests as a kid?
If you are unsure about how to save seeds we encourage you to pick up a copy of our new Saving Seeds in the Southwest, a 70+ page booklet from NS/S with all the information you need to start saving seed.