A truly ancient food that has been cultivated for over 4,000 years. Needs a pretty long, and preferably dry, growing season. Prefers light soils, but our varieties work well in most areas. Medicinal: Digestive, urinary, asthma; useful.
Watermelon is packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, and is also a very good source of vitamin A, notably through its concentration of beta-carotene. . A cup of watermelon provides 24.3% of the RDA for vitamin C, and, through its beta-carotene,11.1% of the RDA for vitamin A. It may also help quench inflammation, which contributes to many human conditions.
Watermelon is also a very concentrated source of the carotenoid lycopene. Recent research shows watermelon contains more lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable, even tomatoes. Lycopene is well known for its ability to lower the risk of many different kinds of cancer.
Watermelon is also a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin B1, potassium and magnesium. A watermelon's delectable flesh has no cholesterol and virtually no fat (almost none of which is saturated) - a whole cup of watermelon contains only 48 calories.
Plant seeds in warm (70 degree) soil or start indoors a month before last frost and plant out in warm weather. Needs full sun and moist soil until fruit sets, then water only enoiugh to keep from wilting. Prefers light soil but ours work well in most areas. Pick when tendril nearest fruit dies or spot where fruit rests on ground is yellow.