Is It Ripe?

— Written By and last updated by

Do you agonize over the bin of watermelons at the store as you try to choose a good, ripe melon? It’s hard to know what’s going to be on the inside when you get your melon home and make that first, exciting cut.

There are some techniques to use when choosing a watermelon. They aren’t foolproof but should make your choice a bit more scientific:

  • The melon should be heavy and the rind should be dark
  • The underside should be a creamy color-not yellow(too ripe) or white(not ripe)
  • The surface color should be dull, not shiny
  • There should be little contrast between the color of the stripes
  • Ribbed indentations can be felt with the fingertips

When picking from the field, the curly tendril closest to the fruit should be brown but the rest of the vine should be green.

Try these tips on your next melon purchase. It takes practice but I can’t think of a better excuse to buy lots of watermelons this summer.

Written By

Photo of Donna Teasley, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDonna TeasleyExtension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture (828) 439-4460 Donna_Teasley@ncsu.eduBurke County, North Carolina
Updated on Jul 3, 2018
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