The Q&A Archives: when are watermelons ready

Question: I bought watermelon plants at the Home Depot. I lst the litle tag so I do not know the name of the plant.
I see some round, dark green (very green, almost black) melons growing, about the size of a small canteloupe. How do I know when they are ready to pick?

Answer: Congratulations on your first watermelons! There are a few different clues that indicate ripeness, but these vary among the different cultivars. Some are ready when a good thump results in a dull sound. If thumping produces a higher pitch, it's unripe. A dull sound can also mean that it's overripe, so you may need to experiment. I know it's hard to experiment with something as precious as home-grown melon, but what you learn will make future harvests that much sweeter. Some varieties are ripe when the stiff, curly tendril on the vine where the melon stem attaches has turned brown, and others when the pale bottom of the fruit is golden or deep yellow (as opposed to straw colored). Hope this helps!

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