Farmer Joe Smith, of Smith's Acres in Niantic, Connecticut, shows us what to look for in a ripe watermelon.
- Inspect the curly tendril near where the watermelon attaches at the stem. It should be dead or brown—not green. You may notice that other tendrils along the vine have dried and turned brown. Ignore those. The only one that helps with determining ripeness is the one directly across from the fruit.
- Turn the melon over and inspect its belly. The underside of the watermelon should be creamy white for seeded varieties and golden yellow for seedless varieties.
- Look for a brown spot where the stem attaches to the watermelon. If there's no browning at the base of the stem, it's not ready for picking.
Here are two more methods you can use to determine ripeness.
- Thump. A ripe melon should deliver a deep, low-pitched sound. This has always been a popular way to detect ripeness, but some say it takes years of experience to detect the correct sound.
- Take notice of the color of its skin. Watermelons have a shiny, bright green color on the outside as they grow; when a watermelon matures, this coloring will dull. This method of determining ripeness also takes practice.