The Q&A Archives: Strange Watermelon

Question: We harvested a Carolina Cross watermellon after the bottom turned yellow, which we took as a sign that the melon was ripe, but when we cut it open it was all white inside and had large white seeds in it that looked more like squash seeds than watermelon seeds, and it tasted more like cucumber than watermelon. What went wrong?

Answer: Sounds as though your melon was too immature to harvest. A yellow spot on the bottom is just one of the indications of impending ripeness, but the spot should turn from a straw color, to gold, orange, or rich yellow. If the spot on the bottom of your melon was a pale yellow, you picked it too soon. Another way to judge ripeness is to look for a shrivelling of the tendril where the watermelon attaches to the vine. It's sometimes referred to as a "pig's tail". Leave the rest of your melons on the vine until they exhibit both signs of maturity. Better luck with your next fruit!

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