MONUMENT, Colo. (KRDO) -- Southern Colorado is home to many successful crops, including the watermelon.
In Rocky Ford and along the Arkansas River, watermelons are having a successful harvest season.
"Here they grow in the right temperature," Colorado Kids Ranch owner JD Chapman said. "They have sun all day long and they're given irrigation and the right amount of water. They turn out really really well."
Watermelon grows particularly well in Colorado because of the combination of strong sunlight and natural irrigation.
Most of the watermelon farms in Colorado are in Pueblo and Rocky Ford. Farmers say the watermelons are frequently exported to other states.
The watermelon growing season is short. It begins at the start of summer and ends with the harvest in August or early September.
"A lot of these are family operations that have been in operation for years and years. These are people that have been here since the mid-20th century, farming, and they're just passing down their farms as a family farm."
As far as some tips to pick the perfect watermelon, farmers say to look for one with a dark to medium green color. But also, the tap or thump trick is not a myth.
"The best way to tell a good watermelon is to tap and see if you get a good re-verb off of it."
Watermelon has many health benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, the fruit has more lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable, which is an antioxidant linked to decreasing cancer risk, heart disease, and age-related eye disorders. The melon is also comprised of 92% water, so it helps people stay hydrated. According to healthline, it can also lower inflammation and reduce muscle soreness, as it contains a variety of nutrients, amino acids, and has a low caloric value.