Vegetables and Fruit forum: Anyone a watermellon expert?

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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Sep 10, 2012 11:14 AM CST
I have grown watermellon a few times over the years, and I either pic them too early, or when they are ready to burst. Any good trick to picking them at the right time? I'm growing a variety called Sangria, I grew them last year too. This year I have only 5 on the vines, so I don't want to feed an unripe, or over ripe one to the chickens. lol. I have heard that if you tap them, when the sound has a lower pitch it's riper. Any suggestions would be helpful.
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Sep 11, 2012 5:35 AM CST
Here in watermelon country they look at the pattern of the melon on the stem end. When it begins to break up and look like lightening bolts, it is time to pick.

You also want the bottom of the melon to turn a nice yellow color as opposed to white.

I am sure it is hard to resist picking and sampling but hoping they are ready before your frost. Kristi

edited to add: my apologies, I am NOT a watermelon expert unless eatin' them counts.
[Last edited by pod - Sep 11, 2012 5:37 AM (+)]
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Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
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bitbit
Sep 11, 2012 6:11 AM CST
I can't say I'm an expert, but I do grow a few every year. One trick is to look at the tendril that comes off the vine near the fruit - it will dry up as the melon ripens.

The tapping on it and hearing a hollow sound is also pretty reliable once you have a trained ear, so start thumping all of them to get used to the sounds. When they're ripe, the skin is stretched like a drum, which is what gives it the sound - too ripe, and I've actually had them crack when I tapped (those were still fine to eat, but don't keep outside the fridge).
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Sep 11, 2012 8:19 AM CST
Thanks, I'll look for your signs. I think one is turning nice and yellow on the bottom and is sounds lower pitched when thumped then the others. Maybe I'll give it a try today. Last year I had one literally explode when I started to cut it. It tasted fine, but I had quite a mess.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
tveguy3
Sep 11, 2012 1:16 PM CST
Well, I used your advice, and decided to cut one open today. Boy is it good! very nice and ripe and sweet. There's two more that are ready too. Guess my friends will be eating watermellon too.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Herbs
Composter Container Gardener Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader
Image
bitbit
Sep 12, 2012 5:32 AM CST
Hurray!

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