When to Pick Watermelon from Your Garden?

When to Pick Watermelon from Your Garden?

Harvesting watermelons at the perfect time is an art that every gardener aspires to master. There’s nothing quite like biting into a juicy, homegrown watermelon on a hot summer day. But how do you know when your watermelon is ripe and ready for picking? In this guide, we’ll provide you with expert gardening tips to help you determine the optimal moment to harvest your delicious watermelons.


When To Pick Watermelon From Your Garden?

Signs of Ripe Watermelons

Loss of Glossy Color: One of the first signs that a watermelon is ripe is when it loses its shiny, glossy appearance. Ripe watermelons tend to have a more matte finish.

Creamy Ground Spot: Check the underside of the watermelon where it rested on the ground. When this spot turns from green to a creamy or buttery color, it’s a reliable indicator of ripeness.

Dried Tendril: Examine the tendril near the point where the watermelon is attached to the vine. When it dries out and turns brown, it’s a strong signal that the fruit is ready to be harvested.

Brown Stem: The stem of the watermelon should also be brown and dried out. This is another confirmation of ripeness.

Dull Appearance: A ripe watermelon loses its slick, shiny appearance on top and becomes dull.

Brown Pig’s Tail (Tendril): In some varieties, the pig’s tail (a light green, curly tendril attached to the vine near the melon) may turn brown, indicating ripeness. However, this method can be unreliable in certain watermelon varieties.

Checking the “Belly”

Another method to determine ripeness is by examining the underside or “belly” of the watermelon. When it changes from a greenish white to a buttery yellow or cream color, your watermelon is ripe and ready to be harvested.

Thumping and Tapping

Contrary to popular belief, thumping or tapping the watermelon is generally not a reliable indicator of ripeness. It may produce a sound, but this method often leads to false conclusions.

Harvesting Your Watermelons

When you’re confident that your watermelon is ripe, it’s time to harvest it. To do so:

Leave about 2 inches of the stem attached to the fruit. This stem helps protect the watermelon and keeps it fresh.

Storing Your Harvest

Watermelons can be stored at room temperature for approximately one week. For longer storage, consider keeping them at temperatures between 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures that your watermelons remain delicious and refreshing for an extended period.

FAQ’s

When are watermelons ready to harvest?

Watermelons are ready to harvest when the bottom is yellow or cream-colored, the rind is hard, and the tendril at the bottom of the melon is dry and brown. To test the watermelon for ripeness, tap it gently. A ripe watermelon will have a hollow sound.

Can I pick up watermelon early?

Yes, you can pick watermelon early, but it will not be as sweet or juicy. If you need to pick watermelon early, choose the largest melons and give them a few days to ripen at room temperature before eating.

How do I know if my watermelon is ripe?

Here are some tips for checking for ripeness.

What should I do if I pick a watermelon that is not ripe?

If you pick a watermelon that is not ripe, you can try to ripen it at room temperature. Place the watermelon on a counter or table out of direct sunlight and allow it to ripen for a few days.

How long does it take a watermelon to ripen?

Watermelons typically take 80-90 days to ripen from planting. However, the ripening time can vary depending on the variety of watermelon and the growing conditions.

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