watermelons - Knowledgebase Question

Picayune, Mi
Question by kaymar22
June 26, 2009
I planted Jubilee, Congo, Delbert, Black Diamond & Sugar Baby. How can I tell when fruit is matured and ready to be picked? How long does it take from transplat to maturity for picking?

Answer from NGA
June 26, 2009


To answer the last part of your question first, there's really no way to predict when melons will be produced and when they will mature - it all depends upon the growing conditions and varieties.

There are different ways to determine the ripeness of different varieties of watermelons. I think the best method is to look for a "mellow yellow belly" - the spot where the fruit touches the ground. It should be a buttery yellow. 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 (in some varieties), true ripeness. Enjoy!

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