when to pick watermelon

granjerito(7 NC)July 28, 2007

Hi all. This is the first year that we have gotten watermelon to grow to a healthy size, but now my wife and I are wondering when to start harvesting. When can you tell if the watermelon is ready? We planted at the end of April if that makes a difference too.



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My husband says when the curl (that comes on the vine where the watermelon forms) dies the watermelon is ripe. Good luck, hope this helps. Dale

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 3:23PM
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pfmastin(8 N. Carolina)

I had the same problem last summer,granjerito. I ended up harvesting some that were pink inside and others that were mush. There is a good program on public TV on Saturdays called Almanac Gardener and it's done by NCSU Extension. Recently, one of their hosts said that watermelons are ready to pick when the bottom part that's been on the ground is yellow. He couldn't vouch for the "thump" method. HTH.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 10:11PM
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fedup321(7 NC)

I agree with disgett,(above)go by the little curl

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 12:14AM
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What I heard recently on Almanac Gardener...on the old fashioned varieties, it is best to go by the curl. However, that doesn't work so well onn the newer smaller seedless varieties, so for those, go by the yellowing of the part on the ground.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 11:14AM
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Hi, granjerito! I had watermelon grow from seed from the compost pile this year. I use the curl method to determine the best time to pick and have been very successful so far this year. Using the yellow spot on the bottom does not work for me since I gently turn my melons during the growing season to get them evenly ripe all over. Works every time.

I heard that pouring CocaCola in the soil where the seeds sprout will make the melons sweeter. Not sure that really works, but it's worth a try. Also, they say to water like crazy while the melons are small, but withhold water near the end....stressing the vines is supposed to make the fruit sweeter.

I have used melon vines for a ground cover in the past. Those really small varieties make a beautiful ground cover/mulch for the roses. Happy gardening, y'all!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 7:06AM
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