A few decades ago this tasty treat was full of seeds. Big dark slippery seeds. When you cut open a watermelon you expected a lot of seeds. Today most of the seeds are gone. What happened?

This seedless thing started in about 1990.

If you think about it, the purpose of a plant is produce seeds so it can reproduce. So what gives with these seedless melons?

Turns out they are kinda like mules. Sexless plants.

Watermelon plants are Diploid. They, like us, have 2 sets of chromosomes. Packages of DNA – instructions for life.

Seedless watermelons are Triploid. They have 3 sets of chromosomes. The odd number (3) makes them sexless, so they are sterile and cannot produce other melons. This happens by mating a diploid male with a Tetraploid female ( 4 sets of chromosomes.)

This process requires adding a chemical that creates the desired effect. It takes a lot of effort to get the desired seedless watermelons. They are actually fooling Mother Nature in a way. Seedless are smaller and said to be sweeter.

Worth it? You decide.

I love a regular old watermelon. I’ll deal with the seeds.