Watermelons....how do you

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by bunnypatch10, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. bunnypatch10

    bunnypatch10 Well-Known Member

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    How do you know when to pick your watermelon from the vine?
    My vines are starting to wilt (probably in need of rain), but I am
    not sure the watermelon are ready for picking. What are some
    of your ways to tell when they are ready?
     
  2. CatsPaw

    CatsPaw Who...me?

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    We just went thru this. I think when the vine to the target melon starts dying, and you thump them for a hollow sound, they're good. We picked one that sounded hollow, but, the vines were still fine...as in the melon was still growing. Wasn't near ready.
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Look for the tendril nearest the melon. It should be brown and dry and the next tendril out from the melon also brown and dry, then it is ripe.
     
  4. bunnypatch10

    bunnypatch10 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, we are getting close...
     
  5. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Bunnypatch--

    I am a newbie watermelon grower as well.

    Last year my father grew watermelons and we picked most of them late by using the 'tendril' indicator. We found the combination of thud-sound and yellowing of the bottom spot to be better indicators.

    This year I've grown a tom-thumb 'icebox' watermelon, which set only one fruit, which is dripping from my mouth as I type. This plant was nursery bought. I also planted a 'yellow doll' from seed, which set two fruit. I grew these small melons on a trellis, which means there is no 'white spot' to turn yellow.

    The melon I'm eating now I decided to pick based on the following observations:

    the tendril had not withered, but it did look a bit less green.

    when thumped with a finger, the sound of it had changed in the past week to a noticably deeper/duller sound. I had the yellow dolls beside it, of similar size, to 'comparison thud', and they sounded much more metallic.

    the skin on the afternoon-sun side of the melon had several tiny brown cracks in it, each about 1-2 mm in length (3/16 inch?). I had seen that before on my father's over-ripe melons.

    This melon is good, juicy, and tasty. I think it is a touch over-ripe because there is a bit of air-space around the seeds, but it is not pithy. I don't know if it is the variety or the ripeness, but while this melon competes well against store-bought fruit, but does not totally blow it out of the water the way my father's 'moon and stars' melons did the few times when we picked them right.
     
  6. Zebraman

    Zebraman Well-Known Member

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    Hey Bunnypatch10:there are alot of methods but the Tendril method that Cyngbaeld mentioned is the only one that is 100% effective.When the watermelon is ripe the plant stops sending food and energy to it and the tendril next to it dies.The plant will continue sending food and energy to any other fruits that are still developing.The tendril method is the Only method that I use.-
     
  7. swamp man

    swamp man Well-Known Member

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    Me,too.I've tried 'em all,and the tendril indication has proven most accurate for me.