GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – “It’s not easy, it’s not easy to get it there,” says Garrett Howell of Howell Farm & Company.

But despite the challenges, it’s harvest time for watermelons in Wayne County!

The summer favorite had a slow start in Howell’s fields thanks to extreme heat and severe drought, but finally, the weather started to play along.

“Since we’ve started getting some rain, they’ve kind of picked back up and it’s turned the crop around.”

July is peak season for watermelons in North Carolina, but Howell says workers will be in the fields potentially through Labor Day, picking the best watermelons to put on store shelves.

But the hot, dry growing season kept the plants from getting as much vine coverage, and that, unfortunately, left some of the fruit vulnerable.

“The crows have taken a liking to these watermelons because they can easily find them, so they’ll peck this watermelon looking for a seed – well, it’s a seedless watermelon. So he’ll hop over there, peck on that one, and it’s ruined,” he explained.

Despite a few melons damaged by birds, more are still growing, meaning more for you.

Because workers are in the field every day through the next few weeks, they can come back and find what was once a small watermelon, is now the perfect size for your summer picnic.

“We get some fertilizer on it, that right there will be a good watermelon in a couple weeks,” Howell explained while showing a smaller watermelon still on the vine.

Once the trucks are full, they’re ready to be shipped out for you to pick out off store shelves. And remember, “it’s always going to be sweet from North Carolina!”