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watermelon question

 
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does anyone have a full proof method of telling when a watermelon is ready that doesn't have to do with arbitrary thumping sounds, matt versus glossy rind or a weird yellow color underneath? I've found all these different ways and so far I've picked 5 melons that were not even close to being ready. Even the chickens don't like unripe watermelons.
 
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This is a slightly humorous guide to picking a ripe watermelon from YouTube. It still relies on sound; not thumping, the squishiness.
 
John Brownlee
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Alright thanks very much Dave, I'm going to try it. If it doesn't work my wife will hold you personally responsible!
 
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This was a good question because I often wondered about this. However I was thinking that this would be hard to test while the watermelon is still on the vine. And correct me if I'm wrong but I thought melons don't continue to ripen after you pick them, so if you pick it to do this test and it's not ripe then you just wasted a melon. I was thinking however that you might be able you use one of these to do this test right in the garden.
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Location: South central Illinois, USA
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I'm no expert, but the heirloom melons we grow have little curlycue, tendril-like thingys where the melon stem connects with the main vine. If you wait until the curlycue thing-a-ma-jig is brown where the melon stem attaches, AND the 2 adjacent curlycue dealys are also brown, you have a sweet, ripe melon... Works for us, good luck! Best, TM
 
John Brownlee
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Tim, I have found in the last couple of weeks that your method seems to work well. I look for the tendril and leaf directly opposite the melon to be dry. Also a friend of mine from church told me that his grandfather said that if you wait till the stem coming out of the melon is brown it will be perfect every time.
 
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