With summer fast approaching, we can’t help but think of one summer staple that’s the perfect refreshing treat—watermelons!
Its dark green striped exterior and deep red flesh just make you want to bite into all that goodness to instantly rehydrate your tired body.
What’s even more interesting is that you can grow watermelons in your backyard if you provide them with the right conditions.
Before venturing into that, it would help to know the different types of watermelons first.
How Many Varieties of Watermelon Are There?
More often than not, your local vegetables and fruits market offers only one or two watermelon varieties in varying sizes.
In reality, though, you will find around 200 to 300 varieties of watermelon from different parts of the world.
Among these, we only enjoy about 50 cultivars, which, unsurprisingly, are ones on the sweeter side of the spectrum.
Their crimson sweet or yellow flesh is what makes them one of nature’s candies.
Characteristics of Watermelon
With so many varieties to choose from, watermelons are then categorized into four categories.
Each one has a distinct characteristic that makes it stand out from the rest.
As the name suggests, these are smaller than your regular watermelon, often only the size of a cantaloupe.
They feature either a deep red or pink flesh that is juicy, sweet, and crisp.
Unlike watermelons from other categories, they also have thin rinds.
Sugar baby and tiger baby watermelons are among the examples of watermelon varieties under this group.
Seeded watermelons are an oval shaped fruit weighing anywhere between 15 pounds and 45 pounds.
Cutting into them, you will find the many noticeable seeds we all are familiar with. These nutritious seeds can either be pale or dark brown in color.
Some cultures treat these nutrient-dense seeds as a super-food because they are rich in potassium, omega 3 and 6, zinc, magnesium, copper, and a host of vitamins.
Moon and stars watermelons and Estrella watermelons are among the most common seeded varieties.
If you lack the patience to spit out watermelon seeds from your every bite, choose seedless varieties instead.
They do have seeds still, but these are underdeveloped and fewer in number compared to seeded watermelons.
You can easily ingest these seeds without worries.
A product of complex hybridization, it won’t be easy to grow seedless varieties, especially in cooler climates.
You will need to invest in a greenhouse to control the temperature and give them the warm conditions where they will thrive in.
Crimson sweet watermelons are the perfect example of this category.
Orange or Yellow Watermelon
Watermelons with an orange or yellow flesh fall under this category.
They can be either round or oval shaped and seeded or seedless.
One interesting thing about orange or yellow watermelon varieties is that they vary in size significantly, with fruits weighing between 10 and 30 pounds.
Yellow baby and desert king are the most common watermelon varieties belonging to this group.
Different Types of Watermelon
Trying to decide which watermelon variety to grow in your yard?
Here are the different types of watermelons and what they look like, how they taste, and what the flesh’s texture is.
Harvest Moon Watermelon
Harvest moon watermelons are a hybrid medium-sized seedless variety that is round in shape and weighs about 18 to 20 pounds.
Their pinkish-red flesh is sweet and juicy, protected by a dark green rind with a bit of yellow dotting.
Unlike the first one, calsweet watermelons come with seeds. They are either oval shaped or round and are more lightweight at only 10 to 12 pounds.
The rind features a striped pattern in light and dark green, which many watermelon varieties share.
Biting into one, you will be surprised by its crisp and sweet flesh, often crimson-colored. It’s one of the sweetest varieties available.
Another seedless variety, traveler watermelons have an even oval shape and weigh around 10 to 15 pounds.
Again, the red flesh is juicy, sweet, and crisp, and the skin has a striped light-green and dark crimson combination.
What sets this cultivar apart is its high yield, making it a top-performing variety for planting in backyards.
Sweet Dawn Watermelon
Like traveler watermelons, this is also a high-yielding watermelon variety.
It produces about 16- to 20-pound round or oblong fruits that are sweet and crisp.
More than the others, it matures earlier, too.
This means you can enjoy your harvest (or bring it to market) earlier than other farmers.
Back to the seeded varieties, sangria watermelons are oblong in shape and can weigh anywhere from 20 to 25 pounds.
It’s often thought of as the “gold standard” for watermelons, thanks to its beautiful red-colored flesh and sweet and juicy taste.
This variety might just be the sweetest among all watermelons, often used to make refreshing drinks and cocktails.
This type is another top-performing watermelon variety with impressively high yield potential.
Its strong vines support the fruits, which can be anywhere from 18 to 22 pounds.
The round-oval shape houses the bright red flesh that is firm and sweet.
If you want watermelons that store well even after harvesting, check out this variety.
What’s more, it’s a seedless hybrid that has a firm and deep red flesh.
The oblong fruits weigh around 16 to 20 pounds.
Averaging just 3.5 to four pounds, bijou watermelons are also among the crowd’s new favorites.
It’s a relatively young hybrid known for its early maturity and seedless red-colored flesh.
If you decide to plant this in your backyard, you can expect to harvest its sweet-tasting fruits in just 90 days.
Black Diamond Watermelon
Ever heard of watermelon seed spitting contests popular back in the ‘50s?
Black diamond watermelons were the variety they used in those contests back then.
This watermelon type has a really dark green rind that protects the red, flavorful flesh.
Growing as heavy as 50 pounds, it’s a popular variety for home gardens.
Like the bijou, this watermelon variety also matures in just under 90 days.
It can grow as heavy as 17 pounds but expect it to be smaller and more lightweight if you plant it in the North.
The rind is an attractive dark green color that fades a bit when it’s ready for harvest.
The bright red flesh is seedless, sweet, and tasty.
Melody watermelons are seedless hybrids weighing approximately 15 pounds.
It is globe-shaped with dark red flesh and deep green rind.
You can rely on melody watermelons to provide high yield uniform in size and looks good inside and out.
Compared to others, excursion watermelons are designed to mature a week earlier.
This means you can enjoy the fruits of your labor earlier than most.
Despite exposure to challenging conditions, you’d still be able to get large seedless fruits at around 17 to 22 pounds.
Sweet Gem Watermelon
This variety is similar to excursion watermelons in that it is also seedless.
However, the fruit is a little bit lighter at only 15 pounds.
Still, you can expect to have sweet and juicy deep-red flesh characterized by its round shape and glossy, dark-green skin.
Not a fan of round watermelons? Perhaps the jubilee variety is what you’re looking for.
It has an elongated oblong shape and can grow as heavy as 40 pounds in just three months.
The striped rind is pale green and dark green in color, and the bright red or pink flesh is finely textured and sweet-tasting.
For blocky, uniformly sized watermelons with a firm, red-colored, seedless flesh, get the exclamation variety.
It is a full-season watermelon that matures to about 17 to 21 pounds.
Exclamation watermelons also survive storage longer than other varieties without losing the flesh’s quality.
Amarillo watermelons are another hybrid seedless variety.
However, while it has narrow dark green and stripes similar to the others, this features a yellow flesh.
You’d still get the same crisp texture and sweet flavor, but it’s smaller than most at only 15 pounds.
Charleston Grey Watermelon
Also commonly called Charleston gray, this cultivar is among the most well-known seeded watermelons worldwide.
The rind has a greenish-grey hue minus the stripes, and the sweet red flesh is almost fiber-less.
With plenty of sunlight and warmth, you can easily grow Charleston gray watermelons in your backyard.
It will mature in about 85 days and will yield fruits averaging 25 pounds in weight.
Triple Treat Watermelon
Among the favorite icebox watermelons are the triple treat variety.
This seedless hybrid can grow fruits approximately eight to 10 pounds and is the perfect sweet treat for a small group.
The flesh is sugary, light, and firm, and the green-on-green tiger stripes on the rind makes it a visually appealing fruit.
Moon and Stars Watermelon
Curious about the name?
This round and blocky watermelon has a dark green rind with yellow spots—nature’s ode to the beauty of the night sky.
While it can grow as heavy as 40 pounds, you will find moon and stars watermelons weighing just 25 pounds.
The red, sweet flesh has plenty of dark seeds perfect for snacking.
Sweet Polly Watermelon
If you’re having a hard time growing watermelons, try the sweet polly variety.
This cultivar has an extremely high yield potential and is suitable for all regions.
In just 88 days, you will be able to enjoy its dark-red flesh that is sweet, juicy, and, best of all, seedless.
Each fruit averages anywhere from 13 to 17 pounds.
Sugar Baby Watermelon
For a fruit weighing seven to 10 pounds, the sugar baby variety is one of the best picnic watermelons you will encounter.
Its fine-grained, seeded, and firm flesh is sweeter than other watermelons, which is why it’s the perfect refreshing treat during hot summer days.
To grow this variety, make sure each plant has at least 60 square feet of space and eight hours of sun.
The Syngenta watermelon variety yields oval- or oblong-shaped fruits approximately 15 pounds each.
The red flesh is firm and crisped and is designed to have little to no seeds.
Like other watermelon types, it also has a crimson striped rind that makes it stand out among other fruits.
Crimson Sweet Watermelon
For spacious home gardens, crimson sweet watermelons are the favorite choice.
This watermelon variety has vines that require plenty of room to run, often reaching up to 10 feet or three meters.
With the right conditions, harvest time is anywhere between 80 and 85 days.
The fruit itself is sweet and firm, making it the ideal watermelon for shipping and storage.
It’s often oval or oblong in shape and weighs around 15 pounds.
This watermelon cultivar produces elongated fruits at around 20 to 24 pounds.
Large and uniform in shape, it would be a nice addition to any fruit and vegetable garden.
Both the dark- and light-green stripes on the rind and the red seeded flesh inside are exceptional in quality.
Like the Estrella watermelon, this is a seeded and elongated variety, too.
They differ in that this cultivar can grow as heavy as 25 to 27 pounds in weight.
The striped green rind is just as visually appealing as the incredibly sweet deep-red flesh.
This is a widely adapted variety that can be grown both in northern and southern states.
Which Type of Watermelon Is Best?
Among the hundreds of watermelon cultivars, perhaps the best of the best is the crimson sweet.
This watermelon type offers the perfect balance of sweetness and firmness, has that mouthwatering deep-red color, and is relatively easy to grow.
Measuring 9.9 on the Brix scale, it has a delightfully sweet taste that is sure to curb your sugar cravings in a healthy way.
Furthermore, you can be sure that the fruit will mature as quickly as 90 days.
In the end, the variety you choose to grow in your garden will depend on the space you have available, the climate in your area, and the kind of watermelon you prefer.
As you may have realized, a lot of these watermelon varieties are near similar to each other.
The reason behind this is that most of them are cross-bred to the other to achieve the right flavor, texture, size, and ease of growing.
Whichever variety you choose, make sure you read up on the correct ways to grow watermelons to guarantee a satisfying yield.