Vegetables and Fruit forum: Thumping a Melon for Ripeness

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Name: Molly McKinley
Florida Tundra
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MollyMc
Sep 18, 2011 9:46 AM CST
I've seen it done and heard of it done. I've even done it but have no idea what I am supposed to hear when the melon is ripe.
Thumb of 2011-09-18/MollyMc/746389

BTW, this is the melon I need to pick, when it's ready. I don't know what it is, as it grew out of my compost bin. Any ideas?

Molly
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
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ctcarol
Sep 18, 2011 5:23 PM CST
Looks like a pumpkin to me.
Name: Molly McKinley
Florida Tundra
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MollyMc
Sep 18, 2011 6:08 PM CST
Looks that way to me too Carol, but I don't recall ever putting any pumpkin seeds in my compost. We haven't had holloween since we moved here. But it's possible a bird dun it. And if it is a pumpkin it needs to get a lot oranger before it's ripe.

Molly
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
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fiwit
Sep 18, 2011 6:25 PM CST
No clue as to what it is, Molly, but there *are* pale pumpkins... even white ones, these days.

As to the thump... it's a kind of hollow sound. I do better by seeing if the melon is still clinging tight to the vine or is ready to let go. Aroma is a good clue, too... But I pick my melons in the produce dept, not off the vine, so what do I know? Whistling
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Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
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bitbit
Sep 19, 2011 6:58 AM CST
The farmer I used to work for was an expert thumper, but I could never completely get the hang of it.

For melons, look for a tendril that comes out of the vine right at the base of the fruit's stem. When that turns brown and dry, the fruit is ready to go. Pumpkins I like to leave on longer, at least until the stem starts turning brown, and if I plan to store them, I'll actually let the whole vine die before my big harvest.
Name: Molly McKinley
Florida Tundra
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MollyMc
Sep 19, 2011 4:27 PM CST
This one is still tight to the vine. Best to wait then as long as nothing burrows into the rind on the bottom side. I was really hoping for a squash or a watermelon. But I can make pumpkin pie or bars too.

Molly
Baltimore County, MD (Zone 7a)
A bit of this and a bit of that
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bitbit
Sep 20, 2011 6:28 AM CST
If you want to use a pumpkin right away, I think you can harvest it anytime. I grow mine to store overwinter and find that a moist stem lets mold in and they spoil much faster.

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