What is Hollow Heart?

While we all love to enjoy a slice of juicy watermelon, sometimes the melon you buy sometimes doesn’t look quite so enticing as the next one…

We thought we’d uncover the phenomenon of Hollow Heart – what it looks like, what causes it, and if the fruit is still safe to eat.

So what does Hollow Heart look like?

This is when the inside of the watermelon has hollow cracks in the inside. In minor cases this will show in small splits, in major signs are shown by the flesh separating in triangle shapes.

And what is the main cause of Hollow Heart?

This does come down to poor pollination. Often cases, this will happen in seasons during the time of critical pollination it is rainy or overcast weather so the bees aren’t as active to transfer pollen from plant to plant. Sometimes it can come down to just a season where the bees aren’t as active or the pollination isn’t as good.

It’s also important to have good water and fertility management in the critical growing stages of the melons to ensure they the inner fruit cells keep pace with the expansion of the rind. That’s why here at Fieldco, we have a dedicated team of expert long-term planters and teamleaders to help keep an eye on our fields and do regular checks in the growing phase to ensure they get the nutrients they need as the fruit fills out.

So the most important question is…are Hollow Hearted Watermelons safe to eat?

The answer is a firm yes. As Hollow Heart mainly stems from a pollination problem your watermelon will be safe to eat. In fact, most times it will be a sweeter tasting melon because the natural sugars are concentrated along the cracks in the flesh.

Perfect for whizzing up in your processor to make a melon cocktail or diced into a summer salad!

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Yellow Watermelon

Introducing: Yellow Watermelons

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover and that doesn’t ring more true than when it comes to the yellow watermelon!

This yellow flesh variety looks identical to its red fleshed counterpart, with a dark green stripy rind, so it takes special care and attention to detail to keep this crop variety separate in both picking and packing.

Apart from the obvious difference in colour of the skin, this variety can be used just as you would with the red watermelon. Slightly firmer in flesh and sweeter in taste, this is a super juicy variety…you don’t want to miss out on trying it this summer!

Surprisingly, as legend would have it, yellow watermelon cultivation came before red watermelons. Believes to have been grown 5000 years ago in Africa, yellow watermelons went through generations of selective cross-breeding for texture, sweetness and colour.

And what’s makes them yellow? Traditional watermelons get there pinky-red flesh from lycopene which is the same antioxidant that is found in tomatoes or grapefruit. Yellow watermelons don’t contain lycopene so they never do turn red as they ripen.  

Interested in hearing more? Contact us to find out more.

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Seedless Watermelons

Say goodbye to seeds…introducing our Seed-less watermelons!

Skip the pips and try our new variety of watermelon which has small white pips, nearly invisible when eaten…

And no, these small white seeds are not underdeveloped seeds that will grow in your stomach.

Like all fruit, seed-less watermelon cannot reproduce without the need for some seeds but we are talking the large mature black seeds.

So how are Seedless melons grown? Chromosomes are the building blocks that give characteristics, or traits, to living things including plants and watermelons. According to Watermelon Org, breeders discovered that crossing a diploid plant (bearing the standard two sets of chromosomes) with a tetraploid plant (having four sets of chromosomes) results in a fruit that produces a triploid seed. (Yes, it has three sets of chromosomes.) This triploid seed is the seed that produces seedless watermelons.

In other words, a seedless watermelon is a sterile hybrid which is created by crossing male pollen for a watermelon, containing 22 chromosomes per cell, with a female watermelon flower with 44 chromosomes per cell. When this seeded fruit matures, the small, white seeds inside contain 33 chromosomes, rendering it sterile and incapable of producing seeds. And to be clear on the subject, this is not genetic modification. Cross-breeding is two parents and their offspring.

Its interesting to note that seedless watermelon still need to be pollinated by their seeded parent, so often this means growers will plant a mix of seeded and seedless melons in one paddock.

This variety of Watermelon has taken off in the United States and is now a preferred variety by both stores and customers.

New to the New Zealand market, these are becoming more recognized as consumers are exposed to them. Sweeter and firmer in flesh, these rate among the top tasting varieties amongst our team!

Interested in hearing more? Contact one of our team on sales@fieldco.co.nz to find out more.

Source: Watermelon Org, Florida


New Melon Technology

We know summer has truly arrived when our melon fields are humming with activity!

Watermelons grown in the North of New Zealand – the right location for the tropical weather they love!

We have had a few wet spells during the last few weeks which has delayed the ripening of our melons but also given them time to fill out to their full size.

This year, we have our new melon technology up and running to help bring you the best in the field (scuse our pun).

Fieldco has invested in a new melon grading equipment which incorporates world leading optical sorting, which means we can now bring a much more consistent quality and size of melon to the market. This also helps us in the ability to deliver specific size requirements and specs from our customers.

Size graded, checked for defects and nicely polished, we are here to help your instore melon display look the best it possibly can this summer!

Our goal is to be the best, to bring you the best and we plan on delivering on that.  

Interested in getting consistent, quality melon supply for your store?

Go to our contact page to get in touch with one of our team.