How do I tell when Cantalopes and Watermelons are Ripe.


I have heard that watermelons should have a yellow spot on the part touching the ground. and they should have a certain thump when you tap them with your finger.
And cantalpes must let go of the vine easily..
Is this true and what other ways can I tell
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It's true about cantaloupes. Just pull them away from the vine. You can also tell by the color and odor. They will definitely pick up a more musky smell. They will also start to turn more yellowish instead of greenish. That's how you know when to start testing them by pulling on em a little. If they are ripe they will disconnect from the vine very easily.
Make sure it practically falls off the vine -- if you have to pull it off it was not ready -- because if you've never had a true ripe cantaloupe before you're in for a real treat and you won't be able to go back to that stuff they sell in the stores (which should be called styroloupe or something :).
For watermelons that's what I've heard too, but I haven't been able to get it right yet. I usually wait too long.
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old whats his name said:

Those are both signs, but here are two more.
Most varieties, take a look at the tendril nearest the watermelon. If it has dried up naturally (not been bent or broken off) it's an indication of ripeness.
Feel the rind of the watermelon. When the melon is ripe, you will feel a sort of ropiness when you grip the melon and draw your fingers over the rind. On an underripe melon your fingers will slip across more easily.
Ripe watermelons will not slip the vine. They must be cut off.

They will also change color under the netting and begin to smell like ripe cantaloupes.
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Pat in Plymouth MI

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On Mon, 21 Jul 2003 18:40:29 -0500, old whats his name

I don't understand why a yellow area indicates ripeness of watermelons (which I have never grown and cannot offer expert advice for). Seems to me a "yellow spot" would mean a place the sun don't shine (on).
Bob Provencher's post echoes my own experience with canteloupes. They practically shout "pick me" when they're ripe; the color changes; they become very fragrant; and the stem slips off with the slightest pressure. And oh boy, are they good!
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Yellow spot is only applicable to those growing dark colored watermelons. All watermelons change skin color slightly as they ripen . This change is more visible on the underside where the melon lies on the ground, On dark green melons like Black Diamond, Kleckly Sweets, Tom Watson, Sugar Baby...., this area will appear yellow. On the white type melons, Charleton Gray, Sweet Princess, Ice Cream ..... It will merely show as an off white. The browning(dying ) of the tendril is perhaps the best indicator for a novice. Most varieties of watermelon will hold for an extended period on the vine so I would err on that side when uncertain as to ripeness.
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On watermelons, the underside is usually white on unripe melons. When ripe the white turns to yellowish where the sun don't shine.
wrote:

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wrote:

Thank you. That makes sense. I need to get a watermelon soon (farmers mkt), and will save seeds.
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