Personal watermelons are smaller versions of the classic summer fruit, usually topping out at no more than 5 pounds (2.2 kilograms). The specially bred watermelons are sweeter than other varieties and also have a thinner rind, making more of the overall weight edible. Seeds to grow them are available from many seed supply companies, and many grocery stores carry them in addition to other melons, for those who simply want to eat them.
Like other watermelons, personal watermelons are formally known as Cirtrullus lanatus. Most varieties have red flesh and are designed to be seedless, although they may contain small, edible seeds that are softer than the typical black seeds. On occasion, of course, the fruit will contain inedible seeds, so people should take care when eating them. The advantage to this type over other varieties is their small size, making them easy to store in most refrigerators.
When selecting a watermelon in the store, shoppers should look for richly striped, dark green specimens that are heavier than they look and make a dull thud when tapped gently. Consumers should handle the fruit with care so that it does not bruise, refrigerating it for no more than one week before eating them. Although a personal watermelon can be eaten in one sitting by a determined melon lover or a medium sized household, leftovers can also be wrapped in plastic or stored in a large, sealed container in the refrigerator.
Gardeners who live in hardiness zones 7 and warmer can grow these little watermelons in their garden, as long as they have a sunny space with good air circulation that is out of the wind. The soil should be built up with compost, and it should have a neutral to alkaline pH before seedlings are planted. Seedlings can be purchased in garden stores, or gardeners can buy seeds and start them in a greenhouse. They should be planted at least two weeks after the last frost, and compost and bone meal should be in with the soil to nourish the plants while they grow. Gardeners should mulch to keep in moisture and keep the personal watermelons well watered, but not soggy. The fruit should be ready for harvest by mid-summer.