Testing Watermelon Ripeness - Knowledgebase Question

Euclid, OH
Question by JoKaNee
July 27, 1998
This is our first year to grow watermelons. We planted "Bush Sugar Baby". How will we know when they are ripe to pick?


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Answer from NGA
July 27, 1998

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There are different ways to determine the ripeness of different varieties of watermelons. I belive 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 (in some varieties), true ripeness. Enjoy!

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