Answer: Watermelon ripeness is very hard to judge! Some gardeners go by the sound; when thumped a ripe melon sounds a dull thud and an unripe melon rings. Other gardeners go by the color of the spot on the bottom where the melon touches the ground -- this is more reliable in my experience. When that spot turns from white to a pale buttery yellow, it should be ready. You may also see brown tendrils near the fruit and finally, the skin may begin to feel slightly ridged. As a rule of thumb, the smaller melons tend to ripen in less than 80 days, compared to say 100 for some of the larger varieties.
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