How to Tell if Your Watermelon is Ripe

GardenRx: How to Tell if Your Watermelon is Ripe / PBS-TV’s Garden Rx starring Loren Nancarrow reveals how to know when your watermelon is ripe and ready to pick.

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Watermelons are a delightful summer fruit, and there’s nothing quite as satisfying as biting into a juicy, perfectly ripe one. But how can you tell if a watermelon is truly ripe? PBS-TV’s gardenRx can help you with some tips and tricks to ensure you pick the best watermelon every time.

1. Check the Field Spot: The field spot is the area on the watermelon that was in contact with the ground as it was growing. A ripe watermelon will have a creamy yellow or orange field spot. If it’s still white or green, it’s likely not fully ripe yet.

2. Tap It: Gently tap the watermelon with your knuckles. If you hear a hollow sound, it indicates that the fruit is ripe. However, if it sounds dull, it may not be fully ripe.

3. Look for Uniform Shape: A ripe watermelon will have a symmetrical and uniform shape. Irregularities in shape might indicate uneven ripening or damage during growth.

4. Check the Rind: The rind of a ripe watermelon should have a dull appearance rather than a shiny one. Additionally, it should feel firm and not too soft.

5. Weight Matters: A ripe watermelon will feel heavy for its size because it’s filled with water. When you pick up different watermelons, compare their weights—the heavier ones are likely to be riper.

6. Observe the Stem: If the watermelon still has a stem, check its condition. A dried-up stem indicates that the fruit is ripe. However, if the stem is still green, the watermelon may need more time to ripen.

7. Trust Your Senses: Finally, trust your instincts and use your senses. A ripe watermelon should give off a sweet aroma. Plus, if the watermelon has a vibrant color and smells deliciously sweet, chances are it’s ripe and ready to be enjoyed.

Remember, these are general guidelines and may not guarantee a perfect watermelon every time. Each variety may have slight variations in appearance and ripeness indicators. So, use these tips as a starting point, and with practice, you’ll become an expert at selecting the ripest and juiciest watermelons for your summer enjoyment.

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