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How to Tell When Melons are Ripe

Summer is a wonderful time for eating homegrown melons, but sometimes it is hard to tell when the melon is ripe. For cantaloupes and other melons with netted rinds, the color under the netting (ground color) will change to a golden color. When ripe, the melon easily separates from the stem (slipping). They will also smell sweet and the end will be slightly soft. Honeydew melons are a little different, they don’t easily detach from the vine or develop a strong aroma. The rind will change from green to a creamy yellow. Don’t try to pull the honeydew from the vine, remove it with snips. For watermelons, look for when tendril and the spoon have dried up. The tendril is a curly part of the vine that emerges from the stem and the spoon is a small, spoon-shaped leaf (looks different from the other regular leaves). Also where the melon sits on the ground, this spot remains green, as melon ripens it turns a yellowish color (as long as you don’t turn the melon). Watermelons also don’t slip off the vine, they need to be cut off.
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