How Do You Know When A Watermelon is Ripe on the Vine

How do you know when a watermelon is ripe on the vine? The article is intended for people wondering if their homegrown watermelon is ripe and ready to pick, but most of the recommendations apply to those rummaging through store produce bins or scanning the farmer’s market. When ripe, watermelons are a bit more devious than muskmelons, which fall off the vine (i.e. come free on their own). We will discuss how do you know when a watermelon is ripe on the vine.

How do you know when a watermelon is ripe on the vine

Because they don’t have the open end where the vine was formerly connected, uncut watermelons are likewise less aromatic than muskmelons. In the grocery store, you’ll never find me sniffing watermelons, but you could find me sniffing cantaloupes.

When the bottom or belly of the watermelon goes from a greenish white to a buttery yellow or cream, it’s time to harvest it. On the dark green-skinned species, this color shift is very noticeable. When the fruit is fully ripe, it loses its smooth look on top and turns bland.

Thumping or tapping the melon is not a reliable predictor of maturity for most people. A metallic ring is produced by rapping an unripe melon with your knuckles. The ring of a ripe melon is hollow or dull.

While expert home gardeners may be able to use the thump test to evaluate the maturity of watermelons, most people will have trouble distinguishing between the noises.

Leave 2 inches of stem attached to watermelons before picking. Watermelons may be kept for approximately a week at room temperature and two to three weeks at 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ripening on the Vine

To guarantee that your homemade watermelons achieve their optimal sweetness, allow them to fully mature. The curly green shoots around the stem have gone brown and dried out, which is one of the first indicators of a completely matured watermelon.

The watermelon’s bottom, where it sits on the ground, has changed color from bright green to a creamy yellow, and the skin has changed from a glossy shine to a duller matte look. The skin of a young watermelon is smooth and readily punctured with a fingernail, whereas the skin of an older fruit is harder and coarser in texture.

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Tell if Your Watermelon is Ripe

Picking out watermelons and cutting watermelon boats for parties were two of my responsibilities at the family catering business when I was in my late teens and early twenties. I was regarded as the resident watermelon expert, nearly always able to identify the ideal melon, if there was one to be found.

1: Check to See if Your Watermelon Is Fully Grown

If you keep an eye on the patch, you’ll notice when a melon is huge, well-filled out, and hasn’t altered in size in a long time. For first-time growers, the best way to know is to examine the melon’s development patterns. You may check the predicted size on the packaging and weigh them if you wish, but the best way to tell is to see the melon’s growth habits.

2. Main Vine for Ripe Melon

There should be a little curled tendril or curly cue of the vine where the stem of your melon joins the main vine. If this tiny tendril is dark and dried, your melon is likely to be fully ripe. The melon is still developing if the tendon is still green and springy. Before you harvest, all of your vines, not just a tendril, may begin to die back.

Whether you’re ready or not, this is as ripe as your watermelons will get. Watermelons, unlike some other fruits, do not continue to ripen after they have been removed from the vine.

3. Examine the Melon’s Underside

Where the watermelon meets the ground, the underside should be buttery to dark yellow. It hasn’t reached optimum ripeness if it’s as pasty white as a bald guy’s head in the middle of a Wisconsin winter.

This is also something to check for on store-bought melons. Different varieties of melons and growth circumstances will yield a variety of hues (inside and out). Our summer was cold and dry for the most part, hardly ideal melon conditions. When the rain eventually came, it was a deluge, causing the slug population to explode.

I was disappointed to see slug damage beneath our first ripe melon as I flipped it over. Thankfully, the rind was thick and the damage wasn’t extensive. This one has a little yellow tinge, as you can see. A deeper yellow bottom is more common in warmer temperatures.

4. Listen to the Sound of Ripe Melon

This is a classic, and the internet is full of descriptions of what a watermelon should sound like when thumped. “Flat” or “dull” is what most people say. That, in my opinion, is an inadequate description. When I rap on something like a big zucchini – or an underripe watermelon – the sound I get is “flat and lifeless.”

The sound of a ripe melon should be similar to that of a drum or banging on a door. I made a little film on it (below). The picture taken with my Powershot D10 doesn’t do it justice, but you get the concept.

And here is the actual outcome. Even with the landscape fabric and other methods to create a warmer microclimate for the melons, they didn’t grow as deep red out far to the rind as I would have liked due to our difficult gardening season, but the flavor was still quite nice and they were extremely juicy due to recent rainfall. The black seeds and holes around the seeds indicate that the melon is ripe.

We believe this article on how do you know when a watermelon is ripe on the vine was helpful.

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