Growing and harvesting watermelon is a wonderful summer tradition on our backyard homestead. But picking a truly perfect melon can be tricky. If you harvest too early you’ll have a tasteless melon that will probably be chicken food and fodder. Or harvest too late and it may crack on the vine, or be a mushy mess on your plate.
But fear not! I have some simple tips that will have you harvesting watermelon perfectly every time! And if picking a perfect melon were not enough, I’ve included some yummy recipes for you to use up your delish watermelon.
Tips for Harvesting Watermelon
- First things first – know your variety. If you’re growing a Sugar Baby, it is going to take less time to reach maturity than your Georgia Rattlesnake. So make sure you know the average growth time for your particular melon.
- Check your vines. The tendrils on the vine will change from a green to brown when the watermelon is ready. This is not the vine itself but the little “pigtails” on the vine.
- Next, give that baby a little thump with the palm of your hand. It should make a hollow sound. Not all ripe watermelons will, but it is a strong indicator of readiness.
- Pick ‘er up. Look at the underside of the watermelon. You’ll want to look for a nice yellow belly before harvesting your watermelon.
Treat those melons with care so you don’t bruise the fruit during its growth. But following these simple tips you should be a harvesting watermelon ninja!
Now what to do with all the glorious sweetness? Well if eating it right off the vine isn’t enough…
- Add some chilled watermelon to your salad for a sweet boost
- Make a watermelon salsa
- Cook up some Watermelon Jelly
- Or enjoy a Watermelon Gazpacho
- Or chill is way down with a Watermelon Sorbet