When Should You Harvest Your Sugar Baby Watermelons?
Just a few of my six Sugar Baby's currently growing from 2 plants
While an experienced melon grower has little problem determining when to harvest their sugar baby watermelons, the rest of us may need a little help to get it right.
Here are 6 ways to determine the right time to harvest and enjoy your sugar baby watermelons:
Follow instructions and harvest when you're supposed to. On a calender, note and keep track of the maturity date. This is usually listed on the back of your seed packet. If you don't know your specific type of sugar baby watermelon, most are ready for harvest around 80 days (give or take a week).
Check the curly tendril that attaches your sugar baby watermelon to the stem. If it is still green, then it is very much alive, healthy and growing and NOT ready for harvest. If the tendril is brown and dry, it may be prime for picking. NOTE: Start paying close attention daily as it begins turning from green to brown. This will ensure peak ripeness.
Thump it with your fingers. This method works best with experience, but can give you valuable clues. When ripe, the sound will be deeper and more low-pitched than younger melons.
Look at the skin color and feel it's texture. When harvest nears, the color gradually turns from bright green to a slightly duller hue and the texture starts to feel somewhat rough. These methods are also born from experience but are an excellent determining factor for ripeness.
Test it with your fingernail. When ripe, the skin of the sugar baby watermelon will be more difficult to indent with your fingernails.
Check the underside of your watermelon. If the belly is creamy-white (for seeded varieties) or golden yellow (for seedless), it may right for picking.
Notice the tendril attached to the stems on 2 of my melons. They are not brown and dry yet - therefore they could use more time
As your sugar baby watermelons get close to harvest, reduce or stop watering completely. This prevents hollow craters inside the melon, and promotes higher sugar content - resulting in better taste.
When brought inside, store your melons between 50 and 60 degrees.
DISCLAIMER: Before using any information contained in this blog entry, you are advised to do your own due diligence and research on the topic and/or consult with a qualified expert or professional.