LindsayArthurRTR
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Location: South Carolina, Upstate

Any watermelon growers out there?

I have read sooo much info on when to pick my watermelons. I have 2 varieties. A round one and an oblong one. I'm thinkin a couple of the round ones are ready. But I'm not sure... I've heard to look at the stem, I read to look for creamy yellow under the melon. I've heard the sound is hollow sounding and if you give them a little pressure, they make a cracking sound( I laughed at the last one there).

Some changes I've noticed in the past few days, they have mostly stopped growing. The skin has turned from dull to glossy. They sound more hollow when slapped. The bottom's not creamy yellow and the stem is not dried or brown.

Sooo I only have 3 of this particular type and I don't really wanna guess when they are ready! If there are any big time melon pros out there, I would love some real life advice and techniques that you use

Thank ya!
"The conspicuous consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spiritual error, or even bad manners." ~Barbara Kingsolver

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Gary350
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

I worked as a water melon picker one summer after high school. We were instructed to turn the water melons over and look at the bottom. If the bottom is yellow then pick it. If the bottom is white turn it back over and leave it.

When I buy a melon at the grocery store or farmers market I always do as I was instruction, look at the bottom if it is yellow then it is ripe. It works every time.

Cantalope is a bit harder because it is yellow to begin with. If you take a close look you can see a different color yellow if it is ripe.

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rootsy
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Location: Litchfield, Michigan

Cantaloupe (most varieties anyway) slip from the vine when ripe... If you cut the stem to harvest before it slips you can leave it on the counter to ripen...

Watermelon on the other hand do not ripen off the vine...

I was taught many moons ago by an old produce grower this wisdom of picking watermelon.

Look at the tendrils on either side of the stem. If they are dead and shriveled it is ready... To be safe I wait until I have 2 dead and shriveled on either side of the stem. Only takes a couple of extra days to occur.

Yes you can look for yellow but yellowing is so subjective...

Hollow to a thunk is like throwing a dart with your eyes closed hoping to hit a bullseye.

LindsayArthurRTR
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Location: South Carolina, Upstate

My cantaloupe turns from green to orange when it's ripe and I can literally smell it from 5'8" away. And it just so happened that it did "slip" from the vine when I went to pick it. The color and smell were indicative to it's ripeness :D

watermelon, on the other hand... It's indicators are trickier to notice. I will continue to turn them over and I will look for 2 shriveled tendrils :D

thanks!
"The conspicuous consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spiritual error, or even bad manners." ~Barbara Kingsolver

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MaryDel
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Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:42 pm
Location: Delaware

There is no 100% method to tell if a melon is ripe, other than cutting into it.

Most ripe melons have dried tendrils, are yellow on the bottom, have lost some of their sheen and have a duller color( whitish film), and have some slightly noticible ridges on the rind near the top of the melon.


I've been growing melons for years and I still pick a few under ripe. I always plant more than I need for just that reason.

LindsayArthurRTR
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Posts: 527
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 2:41 am
Location: South Carolina, Upstate

Well... I picked my first watermelon yesterday and...It wasn't ready :( it was barely pink inside! It was super sweet though, so we ate what we could of it. It did meet all of the criteria of a ripe watermelon. That was disappointing :(
"The conspicuous consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spiritual error, or even bad manners." ~Barbara Kingsolver

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MaryDel
Senior Member
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:42 pm
Location: Delaware

What kind of melons are you growing? I like Crimson Sweet, Congo and Moon and Stars.

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