It is sometimes not an easy task to figure out if you have a ripe watermelon or not. This is especially true if you have dozens of watermelon plants in your garden. The most accurate way is one that is usually only used by commercial producers, and that involves using a hand refractometer to measure the sweetness of the watermelon. The middle of a ripe watermelon should have a sugar level of around ten percent.
Most home gardeners do not go to the expense of buying a hand refractometer. Most actually just try tapping the watermelon to see what kind of sound it makes. A dull, hollow sound means that it is a ripe watermelon and ready to harvest. Because a watermelon will not continue to ripen after being harvested, it is essential to perfect whatever technique you intend to use as a test for ripeness.
Sometimes it is not one thing but many things combined that will lead you to believe that you have a ripe watermelon. For instance, you can determine if your watermelon has stopped growing or if it is at the expected size for whatever variety you planted. The surface of a ripe watermelon will take on a dullness while a shiny watermelon is definitely not ripe. Next, checkout the color of the bottom of the watermelon. If the color is yellow or even a creamy yellow, the watermelon is ripe. If the bottom is white or pale green, it is not ripe. Watermelon when consumed has several health benefits which is to be noted to remain healthy.
The best way to recognize a ripe watermelon is to walk the patch daily when harvest time nears. That way you can observe what might sometimes be subtle changes toward ripeness. If the tendril near the stem of the watermelon is dry and turning brown, you have a ripe watermelon. As long as this tendril stays any shade of green, the watermelon is not ready to pick.
Another indication of ripeness is the smell of a watermelon. This method of determining whether a watermelon is ripe or not is going to take some practice. One way is to look at two melons of equal size. The riper a melon gets, the heavier it gets, so smelling the heavier one will give you some indication of what a ripe watermelon smells like. If you have picked a watermelon and found it to be just right, try and remember its particular smell. After you have been harvesting watermelons for several years, you will recognize the smell of a ripe watermelon almost immediately.
If all else fails, just cut open a few watermelons to see if they are really ripe or not. This is not the best thing to do unless you have a large quantity of watermelons, but it will educate you as to the size, firmness, and smell of the ripe ones. Trying all of these methods will pay off when you can immediately spot a ripe watermelon. That means that you can have it picked and inside in no time to start enjoying its sweet, refreshing taste.