A key indicator of a watermelon’s maturity is the tendrils or pigtails on vines change from green to brown. A ripe watermelon will easily be picked from the vine.
Melons don’t ripen as they age like other fruit. “In general, melons will not change significantly once they’re harvested from the vine,” Green explains. Since melons don’t ripen, an under- or overripe or bad one will never become good the way a green banana eventually becomes yellow.
If picked too soon, they will not ripen off the vine. If picked too late, they turn to mush. The window in which a watermelon goes from ripe to ruined is apparently quite small.
A yellow or creamy underside indicates ripeness. If this area is white or pale green, it isn’t ripe yet. Scratch the surface of a watermelon with your fingernail. A greenish – white color beneath the outermost layer of the rind signifies a ripe watermelon.
Like any fruit, it will last well if you leave it on the vine, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it forever. The plant will cut off water and nutrient supply to the fruit after it’s ripe, and the fruit will start to lose its flavor and sweetness, and it will eventually start to decay in the heat.
Watermelon does not ripen after harvesting, but it can get mushy in the refrigerator if it is a little overripe when picked, even before you cut into it. Store uncut watermelons in a warm, dry place for two to three weeks. Once you have cut the watermelon, you can store it in the refrigerator for two to three days.
A sweet and ripe watermelon should feel heavy for its size. This usually means that it’s full of water and therefore juicier. In fact, water and fiber content seem to determine a healthy weight in fruits, including watermelon ( 7 ). Watermelons are 91% water — a characteristic that explains its name.
Use a knife to slice a lemon or lime in half and squeeze about 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of juice over sliced or cubed watermelon. Some people find that a boost of acidity makes the melon taste sweeter. Try adding salt and pepper to round out the flavor. Or, if you like spicy foods, add some cayenne or hot sauce!
Generally, watermelons reach harvest 70 to 85 days after sowing. As might be expected, smaller varieties will usually be ready before larger ones, but not always. Some early watermelons, of six to 10 pounds, ‘Golden Crown,’ ‘Sugar Baby,’ ‘Yellow Baby’ and ‘Yellow Baby,’ mature in 70 to 75 days.
Uncut watermelons will last 7-10 days on the counter and 2-3 weeks in the fridge, cut watermelon are also listed in our table. The shelf life of watermelon depends when the watermelon was picked and how it is stored.
Healthy watermelon vines produce 2-4 fruits per plant. The vines produce both male and female flowers. Both are needed to set fruit and there are fewer female flowers compared to male, about one female for every seven males.
Temperature – Watermelons like it hot, between 60-70 degrees F. If temperatures are low in your area, this may very possibly be the reason for small watermelons. Pests and disease – If you have small, misshapen fruit, the culprit might be an aphid infestation. The aphids act as vectors introducing the mosaic virus.
The ideal, perfectly ripe watermelon should be dark green in colour and dull looking. If it’s shiny, it’s not ripe yet. It should be a creamy yellow colour. The darker the yellow, the sweeter the melon is!
Sultan is one of the sweetest varieties you’ll find, this one measures 12.3 on the Brix scale. The fruits average 15 pounds and ripen within 95 days.
Watermelon season runs throughout the summer — from May to September — but the exact range depends on where you live, Keep an eye out at your local farmers market. You can’t miss these big guys, and there will be plenty at peak season.