This is the first year we tried planting watermelons here on campus and truly, knowing when they're red inside is a trick. Just looking at them tells you nothing and neither does thumping on it. We've learned on the fly that there are several things which must occur in order to be sure they're ready to be picked.
1. the thin curly string hanging from the stem and vine must dry up completely and it also helps to let the melon sit for a few extra days after noticing the dried up curly string.
2. the spot where the melon sits on the ground must have turned from green to white to yellow/brown
3. It should be difficult if not impossible to cut into the skin with your fingernail
4. the color should fade from bright to dull and some say get a rougher texture although rough is doubtful.
So here we are today with the very first red watermelon. Holding my breath as I cut into it.
We planted Sugar Babies which are smaller than the norm, about 8 pounds and dark green. We did this so we'd get more melons in order to give them away to students. It tastes about as perfect as a watermelon can. It's amazing to walk into the kitchen right now, the air is fragrant with the smell of watermelon.