When do you know a watermelon is ripe??

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by hengal, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. hengal

    hengal Well-Known Member

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    Hi there! This year, just for the heck of it, I grabbed one of those dixie cup looking things full of watermelon seedlings at a big box store and planted them with the rest of my garden. Think there must have been two or three plants, not at all sure what variety. Well, so far this year we have 4 melons - the long variety. I picked one a couple of weeks ago and its flavor was pretty good but it wasn't quite ripe enough yet. (the chickens however, loved it)
    I have 3 more of these monsters out there and I don't want to pick them before they are ready. How do I tell? :shrug: As I said, these are the oblong ones - about 20" in length and I'm not sure about diameter - but pretty big. Do you wait until the vine dies off like gourds? Does it just separate itself from the watermelon? Thanks!!
     
  2. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    Watermelon should sound hollow when thumped on the side and the rind should be dull, evenly coloured and just barely yield to pressure.

    Flick the outside with your third finger and thumb. A high 'plink' sound means it is not ripe, a dull 'punk' sound means it is ready to eat.

    Watermelons do not ripen after being picked.

    When ripe, the underside turns from white to yellow, the skin becomes dull and difficult to pierce with the fingernail, and the tendrils near the melon turn brown and dry.
     

  3. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Definitely check the tendrils. The curly things near the stem. If they are brown, it is ripe. Also the underside being yellow.
     
  4. Hummingbird

    Hummingbird Well-Known Member

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    Ditto on the "thump" test. If it sounds like my BIL's head - it's ready! ;)
     
  5. TimandPatti

    TimandPatti Texas

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  6. primroselane

    primroselane Well-Known Member

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    Our local garden talk show guru says you can give a brief, firm pull on the vine. If the vine comes off the melon is ready.
     
  7. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    Pluck a broom straw from a (used) broom. Use actual natural straw for this. Rub the straw from the center to the end between your thumb and forefinger 5-6 times on each side. Balance the straw lengthways on the melon. If the melon is ripe, it will spin; if the melon is not ripe it will not spin.

    I'm not sure why this works - I learned it from my father who was a chemical engineer so I suspect there is some scientific reason - but over the years it has never let me down....
     
  8. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    Hey, bil in oh, that sounds really neat, I'm going to have to try that if and when I get to plant my watermelon seeds.
     
  9. hengal

    hengal Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much!!! They're ripe!!! Yipee!!!! :sing: