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by Marina on July 28, 2006 12:43 PM
Hi all (I know I have been gone for awhile, long long frustrating story, some of you already know).

But I was wondering, I have this pretty large watermelon on my vine, its one of those "smaller" types, sugar baby I think. How big should it be before I can eat it?

Thanks guys [Smile]
by Longy on July 28, 2006 12:50 PM
There are various schoools of thought on the best time to pick a watermelon.
Some people say tap on the melon. When it gives a hollow sound it's ripe.
Or, roll the melon over and when the white underside turns a yellowish hue it's ready to pick.
Finally, the little tendril which grows off the stalk where your melon is attached to the vine will turn brown when the fruit is ready. I use the three of these methods. The brown tendril is most reliable IMHO.
As for size, it'll get about the size of small melon [grin]

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The secret is the soil.
by DeepCreekLake on July 28, 2006 12:52 PM
Youll probably get a few different responses to this but 3 ways you can tell:

Thump test- you hear a punk sounds instead on pank when you flick the melon with your finger

The tendrils nearest to where the melons is brown and dead

Last the spot under the melon where it rests on the ground is yellow.
by Woodland Garden on July 28, 2006 04:08 PM
Let me give my two cents from past experience. The yellow on bottom is not a reliable sign. The thump test has always left me scratching my head. I think the browning tendril is the best signal of the bunch.

Also, it should have been at least 32 days from the time the baby watermelon blossom first set the fruit. Since you never want to pick it too early, I like to add a week to that number.
by Triss on July 28, 2006 04:42 PM
I have always used the thump test. That is how I get good melons in the store too!

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by Patty S on July 28, 2006 07:25 PM
32 days? Hmmm! I guess I should mark my calendar, cuz my watermelons are just now going from blossoms to little berry-looking things. I didn't think they were that fast!

The first year I raised melons I was so tickled to be growing them, that I just left them out there until one rotted on the vine... I figured it was time to harvest the other ones! [Roll Eyes] They were kind of dry, so I saved the seeds for the next year. (I'd previously lived in a zone with a very short growing season, so I had never been able to raise them before!)
Marina, it's nice to see you again! [wavey] I'm wondering if you ever got your tomato plants to re-root after they'd been broken by those rude people that were cutting trees down next door to you.... and did your watermelon make it after all, or is the one you're talking about here one of those that the nice lady replaced? I'm glad that you didn't wind up totally without a veggie garden this year! [thumb]

If the watermelon you mentioned is a Sugar Baby, it sure shouldn't be "pretty large"! I've never seen them get bigger than 6 or 8 inches. Maybe the plant was mis-marked. [dunno]

Speaking of how to tell when melons are ripe: I have to laugh every time I see someone picking out cantaloupe at the store! They smell one - put it down - pick up another one & smell it... & they do that several times before they decide which one they want! [nutz] Some day, I swear, I'm going to ask one these people exactly WHAT they expect them to smell like! (A cantaloupe smells EXACTLY LIKE A CANTALOUPE, no matter how ripe it is!!) [Big Grin] [Big Grin] Maybe it's some sort of weird "tradition"! [grin]

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by 'Sparagus on July 29, 2006 12:48 PM
Oh Im glad to see this thread! I was wondering the same thing. I have 2 sugar baby plants that Im growing in a raised bed, direct seeded on 5/15ish.

Biggest one is "pretty big" but still small for a watermelon [Frown] The thump test is confusing me too. The big one sounds different than the 3 littler ones (about grapefruit size). It seems to be developing some subtle ridges now. But that tendril is still very green......ALTHOUGH....the teeny leaf closest to the melon is brown. [dunno]

I dont want to pick it too early!! But tomorrow would be's my birthday [party]

by Deborah L. on July 29, 2006 01:41 PM
Good to see you again, Marina !
Guess what I had for lunch today?

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