How do I know when to pick a watermelon?
Jackson County Oregon watermelons
Thanks for using Ask an Expert--- yours is a good question for which many gardeners have answers that involve "secret techniques" . that aren't always fruitful. In the real world, there are 3 signs that are pretty reliable: 1) Look at the tendril (that curly little gizmo on the stem) closest to the fruit. When it turns brown, the melon is ripe. 2) There is always a light , almost white, area where the melon touches the ground and this area will turn yellow when the melon is ripe. 3)Try tapping the melon lightly.If it is ripe, you will hear a "thump" instead of a higher pitched "ping". It is suggested by the author of the " Vegetable Gardeners' Bible" series that you experiment with thumping some clearly UNRIPE melons so that you can understand the difference. (You can also thump some melons that have bright yellow bottoms in the grocery store to listen for the appropriate sound.) Happy watermelon eating!