How do you know when to pick a watermelon – it’s easy. My grandfather always had a beautiful big iced chilled watermelon in the cement laundry trough every Christmas day waiting for the grand kids.
He was a produce merchant and used to take me out to the local farms he had scoped out a few days beforehand and I remember him telling me the following things to look out for.
First thing to look for – the stem
When a watermelon is ripe it’s stem turns brown. He used to describe it as a slightly brown curly pig tail. Don’t even bother if the stem is still green as it won’t be ripe. When you pick it just twist it and it should come straight off, but don’t do it yet as you haven’t checked the rest of the tips.
Second thing to look for – the underbelly
Just carefully roll over the melon or look underneath. While growing it should be white underneath. If it is yellowish it is a good sign it is ready to pick. Next is the final and last thing to look for before picking.
Third thing to look for – knock on the door
Last thing to do is use your knuckles and tap on the melon. If it sounds like it’s a bit hollow, kind of like the sound when you tape a rainwater tank that is empty, definitely ready to pick. If it sounds like a full water tank, it’s probably not ripe. Practice on a few different melons in the patch so you can tell the difference.
Twist and chill
Twist off the melon and put it on ice.
If this post has made you hungry for watermelon or if you would like to get some seeds click here.
Just in case you are wondering, melons stop ripening as soon as you pick them, so make sure you get the right one. Enjoy!