When is Watermelon Ripe?
Learning how to pick a ripe watermelon is not the easiest thing to learn, but there are indicators to look for.
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How to Pick the Perfect Watermelon
Deciding when to harvest a melon is most difficult early in the season when vines are green and healthy, but picking the perfect watermelon can easily be done with a little bit of experience. Watermelon mature rapidly during hot weather. Most are ripe about 32 days after blooming and are easily picked off the vine at that point.
Follow these 4 simple guidelines, and you'll know how to pick the best watermelon in no time:
Qualities of a Ripe Watermelon
Good quality melons are usually firm, symmetrical in shape, fresh, attractive in appearance, and of good color. The external rind color may vary from deep solid green to gray, depending on the variety.
A key indicator of a watermelon’s maturity is the tendrils or pigtails on vines change from green to brown. A ripe watermelon will easily be picked from the vine.
Another indicator to take note of is the color of the spot on the watermelon. The ground spot on the belly of the melon will from white to yellow when it is ripe and ready to be picked.
The Sound of a Ripe Watermelon
Give the watermelon a thump. An immature watermelon will return a dull, metallic ringing noise, where as a mature watermelon will have a soft hollow sound that indicates its ready to be picked.
Store watermelons at temperatures ranging from 60 to 70 degrees F. Temperatures below 50 degrees or above 90 degrees for extended periods will increase flesh deterioration. Once the melon is cut, it can be refrigerated in wedge form or in small chunks in plastic-covered containers. Watermelons should be handled carefully to avoid rolling, bumping or dropping and thus prevent internal bruising of the flesh.