watermelon - Knowledgebase Question

chicago, Il
Question by larrykoshio
August 20, 2010
i have a couple that i think are ready, sugar baby is variety, but can i tell by thumping ? also i have one small one thats got a big black sspotr, i think i should toss it. thanx, larry k.


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Answer from NGA
August 20, 2010

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There are different ways to determine the ripeness of different varieties of watermelons. I believe the best method is to look for a "mellow yellow belly" - the spot where the fruit touches the ground should be a buttery yellow, not gold. You can use these other signs to help you pinpoint ripeness: there's the "thump" method - if rapping on the melon produces a sharp sound, it's still hard, not ripe inside. A duller thump means it's softening, getting closer to ripe. A really dull dead sound means it's probably overripe. The other clue is the little tendril on the stem closest to the fruit. It looks like a tiny curly pig-tail. When that browns, it signals, true ripeness. The melon with the black spot might simply be showing signs of sunscald, which damages the skin but not the flesh. If the black is not sunken and not oozing liquid, it might just be a cosmetic problem. But, if you're concerned it is harboring disease, go ahead and cut it from the plant and toss it in the trash. Hope you have a great harvest!

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