How to Tell if Watermelon Is Ripe on the Vine

Have you ever looked at a field of watermelons and not known which to pick? You're not alone. Knowing when a watermelon is ripe can be tricky. But don't worry, you can learn the signs.

By paying attention to these clues, you'll know exactly when your watermelon is perfect to pick. Ready to become a watermelon whisperer?

Signs of a Ripe Watermelon

Determining the right time to pick a watermelon is challenging. But, knowing some key signs can guide you. This ensures you get a juicy and flavorful watermelon.

The first clue that a watermelon is ripe is seen in its tendril. The one closest to the melon turns dry and brown. You'll also notice the shiny outer skin lose its gloss.

The ground spot changes, too, from white to yellow. When you tap the watermelon, it should sound deep and hollow. This is the opposite sound of a not-yet-ripe one, which rings high and hard.

Finally, ripe melons are easy to pick from the vine and feel heavy. An unripe melon won't come off easily and will feel lighter for its size. These signs together help you find the best watermelon.

Timing and Variety Considerations

Knowing when a watermelon is ripe involves timing and the type of watermelon it is. Watermelons normally take 80 to 120 days to grow from seed to ripe fruit. This gives a good idea of when it should be picked. But, this can change based on the watermelon type.

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'Sugar Baby' watermelons can be slow to ripen, even after the vine tendril turns brown. This sign might show up sooner or later, depending on the kind of watermelon. So, it's smart to watch for a few signs of ripeness, not just one.

Watermelon Variety
Maturity Timeline (Days)
Crimson Sweet
Sugar Baby
Charleston Gray

By learning about the time it takes for watermelons to mature and the features of various watermelon types, people can guess better. They can tell when a watermelon is at the best stage of growth. This is the perfect time to pick it or eat it.

Observing Rind Appearance

Watermelons change a lot as they grow. Their smooth rind turns from shiny to dull and rough. For those who know, even the difference in color stripes tells if the fruit is ripe. This is on varieties like striped watermelons.

If you're looking to pick a watermelon, its rind is your main clue. A dull, not shiny rind shows it's time to harvest. It means the watermelon is fully mature and ready to be enjoyed.

Ripe Watermelon Rind Characteristics
Unripe Watermelon Rind Characteristics
Dull, matte finish
Shiny, glossy appearance
Rough, slightly bumpy texture
Smooth, uniform texture
Faded, less vibrant stripes (for striped varieties)
Distinct, bold stripes (for striped varieties)

Aside from looks, feeling the watermelon can also tell us if it's ripe. It should be heavy for its size with a firm yet slightly soft rind when ready. This hints at a delicious, juicy inside.

Understanding a watermelon's rind helps us pick the best time to enjoy it. By checking its appearance, texture, and weight, we can savor the best of this sweet, summertime treat.

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How to Tell if Watermelon Is Ripe on the Vine

Figuring out when a watermelon is ripe is not easy. There are reliable tests to check ripeness. Mastering these can lead to the best-tasting and sweetest watermelons when you pick them.

The Thumping Test

The thumping test is popular. Give the watermelon a gentle tap. A ripe one makes a hollow sound. An unripe watermelon will sound high-pitched. Look for that perfect "plunk" sound to know it's ripe.

Checking the Underside

The underside color is a sign of ripeness. Look for a creamy yellow or white spot. This means the watermelon is ripe. If it's a white or very light yellow, it's not yet ripe.

Stem and Tendril Inspection

Looking at the stem and tendril helps too. A ripe watermelon has a dry, brown stem that easily comes off. The closest tendril to the fruit should be brown and not green.

Heft and Texture

Pick the watermelon up and pay attention to its weight. A ripe one feels heavy for its size. It should also have a slight give when you press it. Its rind will look waxy and creamy, not shiny and green.

Use these methods together to know when watermelons are ripe. With some practice, you can enjoy delicious watermelons all season.

Watermelon Ripeness Apps

Technology has advanced in helping us pick the perfect watermelon. There are now mobile apps like iWatermelon Deluxe and Melony. They use special algorithms to analyze a watermelon's sound and tell us when it’s just right to eat.

Users simply tap the watermelon and the app does the rest. By listening to the sound, the app can figure out how ripe the watermelon is. This method is new and much more precise than guessing from looks or feel.

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These watermelon ripeness apps offer a clear and dependable way to check ripeness. They beat the old ways which were hit or miss. They are perfect for beginners or anyone wanting to pick great watermelons.

Plus, mobile apps for testing watermelon maturity are great for growers too. They can time their harvest better. This means fresher, more flavorful watermelons for us to enjoy.

App Name
Key Features
iWatermelon Deluxe
  • Sound analysis-based ripeness detection
  • Guide on how to select the perfect watermelon
  • Storage and shelf life tips
4.5/5 (Apple App Store)
  • Tap-and-analyze watermelon ripeness detection
  • Personalized watermelon quality score
  • Watermelon selection and storage recommendations
4.7/5 (Google Play Store)

Whether you're buying for yourself or selling to others, finding the perfect watermelon is crucial. These new watermelon ripeness apps are changing the game. They make sure we all enjoy the best-tasting watermelons possible, thanks to tech and smart science.


This guide has shared important tips on how to tell if watermelons are ripe. You can use what you see, feel, and hear to choose the best time to pick them. This ensures you get the sweetest and juiciest watermelon.

Look at the tendril, the rind's color and feel, a yellow spot, and listen for a hollow sound. Also, check the weight and for soft spots. These steps help determine if a watermelon is ready.

For both new and experienced growers, these tips help pick the best watermelons. By learning how to check for ripeness, you can enjoy the taste of summer even more.

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