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Author Topic: Tapping Watermelons  (Read 3604 times)
Summerbee
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« on: July 19, 2006, 11:17:54 AM »

I have several watermelon plants in my veggie patch this year.  They are doing well; no bugs or anything (except the bees!).  My watermelons are about the size of a dinner plate, maybe 9 inches in diameter, they're very round, not oval.  My greatuncle has a watermelon farm, and he always said you can tell when a watermelon is ripe for picking by knocking on it.  If it is hollow sounding, it's ripe.  

So I gave some of my melons a whack and what do you know, it sounded hollow. I tapped an immature one too, and it just made a thud. Only problem is, my watermelons are only 9 inches! Maybe they're just going to be runt sized this year.  I'm starting to wonder if they're maybe not ripe.   Anybody heard of this tapping watermelon theory?
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pdmattox
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2006, 04:43:14 PM »

Thumping may work but this is how I did it this year.  Where the vine goes from the watermelon to the main vine there is a pig tail that starts out green and when the melon is ripe it will turn brown.  What kind of watermelon did you plant?
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Summerbee
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2006, 06:48:45 PM »

I really don't know; I got the seeds from a huge watermelon from my greatuncle's farm last year. I thought "what a melon! I'm gonna plant these next year".  I've compared a couple pictures online and it looks like the sugar baby variety.  But it's parent melon sure wasn't that small!  

Darn those genetics. angry   Guess the parent plant got pollen from a runty plant; who knows.  Anyway, just wondered on how to tell when they're ripe.

Thanks for the idea on stems, certainly makes more sense.  I'll check next time i'm out there.
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pdmattox
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2006, 08:29:58 PM »

Sugar baby is a hybird watermelon so if you took last years seed from that watermelon there is no telling what you would end up with but usally a small runty version of the parent of the seed.
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Understudy
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2006, 08:31:08 AM »

You live in Florida. You are growing what is sometimes called swamp mellon. They are a smaller version of waermellon but they are excellent mellons none the less. They do not get as big as standard mellons but they grow well in Florida despite drought and florida's other bizarre weather conditions.

Enjoy your mellons there is nothing wrong with them.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Summerbee
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2006, 11:01:56 AM »

Swamp melons, awesome.  Thanks.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2006, 04:24:26 PM »

Here's an old farmer's method of testing melon for ripeness.  I've tried it and it's work the few times I've tried it the problem is that there is not always straw around when you're looking for a ripe melon so I use the thump method most of the time.

Take a piece of straw and place it crossways on the melon, if the straw turns so that it points lengthwise along the melon it's ripe.
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2006, 02:00:58 PM »

i find thumping to be the last test i would give a watermelon to check for ripeness. the tendril turning brown is first. then the part on the ground should be yellow. the watermelon should lose its luster. its hard to judge the thumping unless you have several to compare. i have about 225 cantaloupe and watermelon plants this year.
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Summerbee
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« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2006, 01:52:38 PM »

I have 10 plants.  To be on the safe side, I:  

1. thumped the watermelon (sounded hollow)
2. noted stem was brown.
3. couldn't find any straw, used alfalfa instead, it just sort of fell off, but I do think it moved before it did...
4. noted the  bottom was yellow.

Upon cutting it open it was a succulent, juicy red inside, very sweet, mmm.
Thanks everybody!
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Understudy
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2006, 06:48:04 PM »

No problem just remember to send a piece of the action to the West Palm beekeeper . Smiley

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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