We have an abundance of small watermelons scattered here in there in the patch this year. With two varieties growing, we’re expecting more than enough to enjoy during the late summer months (and probably give away too!). We planted only one variety last year and were so very happy with the results of our labor!
Last years watermelon harvest was quite impressive considering it was our very first attempt to grow them. We stumbled upon one question as we observed the melons spread all over the ground… how does one know when it’s time to harvest a watermelon?
Thankfully, there’s more than just one way to tell, so even if one method isn’t quite working another should give you a clue!
Knowing the right time to pick a watermelon is probably the most difficult part about growing them. We don’t want to pick them before they’re ripe, but we also don’t want to wait until they’re too far gone either. Continue reading below if you’d like to learn about 5 methods for determining if it’s time to pick a watermelon. We’ll also discuss how to harvest and the best way to store them after pulling from the garden. Everything you need to know about determining harvest time for watermelons is right here!
5 Ways to Know When to Harvest Watermelon
- Know when you planted them. Most watermelons are ready within 60-90 days after planting (depending on the variety), so check you seed packets and do your best to remember when you planted the seeds!
- The curly tendril on the vine just above the watermelon is brown and wilted. This shows that the plant is no longer feeding the fruit, so harvest time is at hand! This method is my personal favorite!
- The part of the watermelon that is touching the ground (called its field mark) will turn creamy yellow.
- Give the watermelon a thump. If the sound produced is dull and hollow, it’s ripe and ready for harvest! While I can tell the difference between the sound of a ripe watermelon and an unripe one, I find that I don’t fully trust this method alone. I usually pair it with one or two others just to be sure the melon is good to pick.
- The color of the watermelon will become dull in comparison to its original vibrance and shine.
How to Harvest Watermelons
Just cut the stem with a sharp knife in order to remove the fruit from the main vine.
Be sure to keep a portion of the stem on the plant. This will help the melon to last a bit longer.
How to Store Watermelon
This sweet fruit likes best to be stored at room temperature. Watermelons can last for up to three weeks if stored in this kind of environment. Also be sure to keep them dry in order to prevent mold.
Once cut, store the watermelon in the fridge for up to one week’s time.
More on Gardening
- How and Why to Prune Tomato Plants
- 5 Tips for Transplanting Seedlings to the Garden
- How to Cage in Tomato Plants
- How to Harden Off Seedlings
- The Basics to Starting Seeds Indoors
- A Guide to Caring for Indoor Seedlings