When To Pick Watermelon: 6 Of The Best Ways To Tell If Your Watermelon Are Ripe

When To pick watermelons is something that everyone has their own ideas about, some of them are true and some of them aren’t. But how do you know when it’s time to pick a watermelon- we’re going to tackle 5 ways to know if your watermelon are ready to harvest to help you answer that question. 

There is nothing like a cold watermelon slice on a hot southern summer day! Some of my fondest childhood memories are sitting on our elderly neighbor’s porch on a toasty summer evening listening to him talk about his farm, and tractor, and whatever else as the purple martins swooped into their house in the middle of his yard. 

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When To Pick Watermelon

So back to the question, when to pick watermelon? Watermelon is one of the few fruits that does not ripen after it’s harvested so it’s really important to harvest it at the peak of ripeness and not before. Watermelon is ready for harvest in 60-90 days depending on the variety. There are a couple of ways to see if your watermelon is ready to pick:

How To Know When To Pick Watermelon

Way #1: The first way to know when your watermelon is ready to pick is by checking the curly tendril on the stem above the watermelon when the watermelon is ripe the tendril will turn brown and dry up.

Way #2: Another way to know when your watermelon is ready to pick is by checking the spot at the bottom of the watermelon where it has been sitting on the ground. This is called a field spot, or patch. The spot will turn from almost white to butter or dark yellow when it’s ready to harvest. Different types of melon and weather will produce a range of colors inside and out. 

Way #3: The rind of your watermelon will take on a dull hew instead of its shiny coloring when it’s ready to harvest. 

Way #4: This way of checking to see if your watermelon is ready to pick is the way Mr. Cottage always says to check for ripeness. Personally, this isn’t my favorite method but he insists it works. So what is it? Checking the sound, ripe watermelon should have a hallow deep sound when rapped on with your knuckles. Like the sound of a drum or knocking on a door. 

Way #5: Make sure your watermelon has reached it’s full growth before you harvest your watermelon. Harvesting them small will ensure that your watermelon is not ripe. 

Way #6: Another great way to know when to pick watermelon is by poking the blossom end. The blossom end of the watermelon is opposite the stem end, if the melon is ripe it will have some give when you press on it with your thumb. If the watermelon is hard as a rock when pressed on it isn’t ripe. An overripe melon will give little resistance when pressed on and will likely be mealy on the inside. 

Harvesting Watermelon

Harvest the watermelon by cutting the stem connecting the watermelon to the plant with a sharp knife. Refrigerate before eating to bring out the best flavor.

Storing Watermelon 

Watermelon likes it warm! It’s best to store your watermelon at room temperature to preserve the flavor. Watermelon stored at room temperature is also filled with more nutrients. The usual shelf life of a watermelon is 12-14 at 55F after harvest (at refrigerated temperatures such as 41F the watermelon begin to decay after a week). Store your watermelon at room temperature until cut, and then store in your refrigerator and eat up!

Have another sure-fire way to know when to pick watermelon? Have a question? Drop them in the comments and we will be sure to try to answer them. 

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5 thoughts on “When To Pick Watermelon: 6 Of The Best Ways To Tell If Your Watermelon Are Ripe”

    1. Hello, sadly yes the cold weather will harm watermelon plants. You can pick the fruit, but most likely it will not be ripe, you could also cover your plants with a frost blanket and hope for the best if it’s supposed to warm up again.

    1. When a black watermelon is ripe the tendril that is near where the vine connects to the melon will no longer be green. If it has dried up the melon is ripe or starting to be ripe. The upper rind of your melon will be a very dark green and dull looking but the underbelly where the melon touches the dirt will be light yellow color. It takes about 90 days to ripen fully. I hope this helps a little! 🙂

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