How to Know a Watermelon is Ripe

In this post, I will talk about all the incorrect ways to know a watermelon is ripe and the true tested way to know you will always either harvest the perfect watermelon or pick the best one at a store or farmers market.

One thing to be aware of is where are the watermelons stored at the stores or markets.  I recently was at a grocery store where they had the watermelons out in front of the store in the direct sun and it had been in the upper 90’s and 100’s.

These watermelons were hot to the touch and when we cut one open it had rotted from cooking in the sun.  Find one that is stored in a cool shady location, remember they are not attached to a vine feeding them nutrients and water to keep them from cooking once they are harvested.

I am sure you have heard how to know a watermelon is ripe, from thumping the watermelon and listening to the sound it makes to know how ripe it is.  This is one of the oldest wives tales that are out there and what is the sound supposed to sound like to tell you the watermelon is ripe?

If you can get this correct every time you should join a band since you can tell what the perfect pitch is when thumping a watermelon and I know that most people cannot do this correctly to select a watermelon that is perfectly ripe.

Another great wives tale is to pick the heaviest one and you will select the best watermelon, this actually would be better than thumping them but still not the best way since you may select one that is over-ripe and contains a lot of water.

How to Know a Watermelon is Ripe

A sure way to get the best watermelon for ripeness is to look at the color of the skin of the watermelon.  It should be darker green on the majority of the watermelon skin and a yellow patch where it sat on the ground.  Above you can see two different examples of a ripe watermelon.

I cut this watermelon so that you could see the two sides and the perfect coloring to get the best-tasting watermelon.

The other indicator of a ripe watermelon is to look at the skin for no darker spots or soft spots which can indicate it has started to rot.

I have tested this method and found that I pick the sweetest and perfectly ripe watermelon every time.  When I have brought these melons to gatherings I always get people asking where and how did I find this watermelon since it is the best they have ever had.

Knowing How to Harvest a Ripe Watermelon

This is just as easy as it is when selecting a watermelon in the store except you have one more factor to look at beyond the color of the skin.  The tendril and vine of a ripe watermelon should be brown indicating the melon is ripe and ready to harvest.

Typically when harvesting a watermelon from your garden it will last for up to two weeks if kept in a cool location out of direct sunlight.

Watermelons are like tomatoes in that if they get too much water towards the end of their growing season they will split open.

If you follow these instructions on How to Know a Watermelon is Ripe when harvesting a watermelon or selecting one at a store or farmers market you will get a great-tasting watermelon that the texture is perfect and the sweetness is incredible.

You too will have people coming up to you to ask how you selected this watermelon since it is the best they have ever tasted.

About The Author

Scroll to Top