How To Tell When A Cantaloupe Is Ripe

Will a cantaloupe ripen on the counter?

Let a not-quite-ready cantaloupe ripen at room temperature for up to two days (keeping it in a closed paper bag will speed up the process). Refrigerate a whole ripe melon for up to five days.

Does cantaloupe get soft when ripe?

How to determine a ripe melon Choosing a properly ripened, locally grown melon is easy in the summer, but how do you determine ripeness in the dead of winter? A sure sign of summer in Michigan is the number of locally grown, vine-ripened melons available at farm stands and farmers markets.

However, with modern transportation, watermelon, cantaloupe and other melons are available year around. So how does a buyer in the dead of winter determine a flavorful melon? It is important to understand that, Some, like watermelon, do not continue to ripen once harvested. Therefore, flavor will not improve nor will they become sweeter—t is what it is at harvest.

However, cantaloupe and similar fruit will continue to ripen after harvest. Once into the ripening process, fruit will gain sugar, flavor will improve and flesh soften. For the consumer, this means watermelon and similar fruit can be eaten as soon as you bring it home no matter what time of the year it is.

However, cantaloupe and similar melons bought in winter probably need to be held at room temperature for a few days or more to allow it to improve. The most reliable way to determine if a watermelon is mature is to observe it while it is still on the plant. Since that is not possible in winter, consumers have to use the next step and that is looking at the “ground spot” (Photo 1).

The ground spot is where fruit was in contact with the soil. It is easy to recognize since it will not have the same stripes and color of the rest of the fruit—it will have a more solid color. A mature watermelon will have a yellow ground spot (Photo 1). Photo 2. Summer cantaloupe showing typical golden color and the “dimpled” stem end where the stem has pulled free from the fruit. CC0 Public Domain. Honeydew melons are the hardest to know when they are mature. Being light colored, the ground spot technique does not work and they do not “self-pick” like cantaloupe.

  1. However, like cantaloupe, they continue to ripen off the plant.
  2. To eat a honeydew early is not a bad experience, but you do not want to wait so long that it goes bad.
  3. The fruit does not provide the signals watermelon and cantaloupe do.
  4. For honeydew, you have to rely on the grower picking it at a good time no matter the season since once you cut it open you have to eat it or refrigerate it.

Left on the plant, cantaloupe fruit begin to disconnect when mature and the fruit will essentially pick itself and be ready to eat right away. Summer melons have a noticeable dimple at the stem end and generally have a golden color (Photo 2). Since ripe cantaloupe are quite soft, they have to be harvested in winter production areas when they are less than fully mature so they are able to survive the transport process in good shape. Photo 3. Winter cantaloupe with the stem still attached. Look for cantaloupe where the stem end has begun to crack (arrow), thus indicating the melon is approaching maturity but will improve in flavor if allowed to sit at room temperature for a few days.

  1. Photo by Ron Goldy, MSU Extension.
  2. For winter-grown melons, the stem attachment is still evident on the fruit—no dimple (Photo 3).
  3. As the fruit matures, you will be able to see the abscission zone form as a slight crack that gets larger over time and will eventually form a circle around the stem (Photo 3).

When selecting a winter cantaloupe, look for one where the remaining stem has started to crack and break away from the melon. When you can see that crack starting to form, that means the fruit was harvested mature enough that the ripening process will continue.

How do you know when a melon is ripe?

California melons are at the peak of flavor! California melon season begins around Memorial Day in El Centro at the southern end of the Imperial Valley in the desert. As the weather continues to get warmer, melon production moves north to the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley to Bakersfield and Coalinga.

  1. By July melons are coming out of the northern end of the San Joaquin Valley in Firebaugh and Los Banos and by mid-July melons will move up through the San Joaquin Valley into Yolo County near Sacramento.
  2. Picking a ripe melon is very difficult and is not an exact science.
  3. Melons ripen on the vine and do not get any sweeter once picked although texture and flavor can improve.

Netted varieties such as muskmelons, Galia and Charentais will “slip” off the vine when ripe. There will be a slight cracking in the area around the stem and the melons will separate from the vine naturally. The skin under the netting will slightly change to yellow. Orange Crush Cantaloupe has a golden netted rind with deep orange flesh and high sugar content There are no hard and fast rules but you can use these suggestions as guidelines when shopping. Melons covered in netting such as a Cantaloupe, Galia, or Haogen will be very fragrant when ripe.

  1. Make sure to smell the stem end before buying.
  2. You can check the ripeness of most melons by gently pressing on the blossom end of the melon, the end opposite of the stem.
  3. A melon should be ready to eat when it gently yields to pressure.
  4. If your finger breaks the skin of the melon it is over ripe and past its time to eat.

As mentioned above melons with hard smooth skins are harder to tell when ripe. The Honeydew melon for example will become waxy and almost sticky when ripe. Your best bet is to cut them open and taste them. Watermelons are too thick to do the press test.

One way to try and determine the ripeness of a watermelon is to thump on the rind with your knuckles and listen for a dull thunking sound. The juiciest melons will be heavy for their size. Picking watermelons in a field by ripeness is an art and not a science. Melons that have been well tended to will have a small area called a couche that has been flattened and is discolored from sitting on the ground.

If the couche is too prominent or large it means the melons were not turned over or propped up during the growing season. The best way to tell if they are ripe is to cut one open and taste it. Download Earl’s Summer Melon Guide.

How long does it take for a cantaloupe to fully ripen?

Harvest and Storage – Melons typically ripen over a short period of time, up to 3 to 4 weeks for cantaloupes. As soon as one melon is ripe, the others won’t be far behind. About a week before a melon is ripe, minimize watering to just enough to keep vines from wilting.

  • This lets vines concentrate sugars in the fruit.
  • Too much water dilutes the sugar and, of course, the sweetness.
  • You can judge a cantaloupe’s ripeness by skin color and stem.
  • The rind of a cantaloupe changes from gray-green to yellow-buff, and the netting pattern becomes more pronounced.
  • At the stem, a crack appears that encircles the base of the stem.

A ripe melon should slip right off the vine. Cantaloupes also develop a musky odor that’s noticeable as you approach the melon patch.The smooth-skinned honeydew melon becomes cream colored when ripe, and the blossom end should give slightly when pressed. A permeable black tarp, landscape fabric, or black plastic (with weep holes punched) traps heat so that the soil is warm enough to encourage growth of cantaloupe at the beginning of the season. It also keeps melon vines clean and helps prevent diseases that may live in the soil. As cantaloupe ripens, the skin under the netting turns a yellow-buff color. This cantaloupe plant spills out of a raised bed and spreads on the ground where it produces fruit. To prevent rot, the fruit rests on gravel mulch instead of on the bare soil. Keep foliage healthy because it is the source of sugar for the fruit. As melons ripen, the leaves naturally begin to look rough. The yellow-colored melon in front is ripe, while the greenish melon in the back needs more time.

How long does a cantaloupe take to ripen?

How to Tell When a Growing Cantaloupe Is Ripe – Cantaloupes ripen 35 to 45 days after pollination, depending on weather conditions. After that, the skin turns from green to creamy yellow-beige, the surface “netting” becomes rough, and the tendrils near the fruit turn brown and dry.

  • Experts advise you not to wait for the fruit to fall off the vine,
  • Instead, watch for signs it’s ready to be harvested, then gently twist the fruit from the stem.
  • It should slip away easily.
  • If not, stop and let it ripen for another few days.
  • Cantaloupes do not ripen once they are removed from the vine.

Grocery store cantaloupes that still have little stems attached were harvested too early and probably won’t be very sweet. Cantaloupes can be stored at 45° to 50°F for about one to two weeks.

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What happens if you pick cantaloupe early?

When is a cantaloupe ready to pick? – Timing is key when it comes to picking cantaloupe. If you harvest them too early they won’t be as sweet as you desire as the sugars won’t have fully developed, and they can be hard. On the other hand, pick them too late and they can be soft and watery.

That makes it important to pay close attention to your cantaloupe, making sure to check them regularly and be able to identify the tell-tale signs that the fruit is ready to pick. You can help get that timing nailed down and harvest your cantaloupe at the perfect moment by using the indicators of smell, color, and texture.

Lucy Chamberlain, the fruit growing expert for Homes & Gardens, says that a ripe cantaloupe ‘is a treat not just for your taste buds but also for your nose’ and the scent they give off will be a sign it is picking time. ‘The fruits take a tantalisingly long time to ripen, but as they mature the skin softens and, for many varieties, a delicious scent emits from the fruit,’ she adds.

  • This is a good way to tell if a cantaloupe melon is ready – along with looking for small cracks appearing on the top of the fruit, where it attaches to the stem.’ When the cantaloupe has ripened and it is time to pick the fruit, the color of the rind changes.
  • It will go from green to a more golden or yellow color.

Along with the color, the texture should also be slightly soft to the touch – too soft and it might have been on the vine too long. If you think a cantaloupe is ready to pick, then give it a feel, a close look, and a sniff. It is the right color, firm, and emits a sweet smell then it is time to remove the fruit from the vine. Lucy was a Horticultural Advisor at RHS Wisley and has been Head Gardener on a 100-acre estate in England for many years, but writes regularly for titles such as The Garden, Gardeners’ World, The Guardian and Amateur Gardening, She’s also the author of RHS Step by Step Veg Patch, available from Amazon, which covers 50 types of fruit and veg. The feel of a cantaloupe can show how ripe it is (Image credit: Getty/Visoot Uthairam)

Why is my cantaloupe still hard?

Avoid any cantaloupes with discoloration. The perfect cantaloupe should have some give when you press on the stem end. If it is rock-hard, it is an unripe melon. If too soft it may be overripe or rotting.

Should cantaloupe be hard or soft?

By Touch – Pick up a melon and get a feel for its weight. If it feels heavy for its size, it’s ready to eat. If it’s light or feels hollow, move on to the next melon. If the melon you picked passed the smell, sight and weight tests, run your fingers around the rind and give it a very gentle squeeze.

Why is my cantaloupe ripe but not sweet?

Garden Q&A: Many factors affect sweetness of cantaloupe Some years my cantaloupes are sweet and tasty, and other years they have no flavor at all. What could be causing this to happen? Cantaloupe ( Cucumis melo ) flavor depends upon environmental conditions.

High rainfall or excessive irrigation as the cantaloupes near maturity will adversely affect fruit flavor. Also, diseases which reduce the vigor of the plant and the leaves’ ability to produce sugar will affect fruit flavor. Maintaining the plants in a healthy growing condition and avoiding excessive watering near maturity will improve cantaloupe flavor.

Lack of flavor is not caused by cantaloupes crossing with other vine crops, such as cucumbers. The variety of cantaloupe grown affects flavor. Choose one of the new hybrid varieties such as Athena, Galia or Ambrosia. Galia has green flesh. Days to maturity from seed are between 85 to 110 days.

  1. From transplants the days to maturity are between 70 to 90 days.
  2. Harvest when the fruit cleanly separates from the vine with light pressure.
  3. Once cantaloupes are removed from the vine they stop ripening.
  4. I’ve heard the term solarization.
  5. What is solarization and what does it do? Soil solarization is one of the most effective methods for ridding a site of weed seeds, insects and some disease pathogens.

The high heat and humidity produced by covering moist soil with clear plastic are lethal to most organisms. To be effective, however, the procedure must be done properly, during the hottest months of the summer. Here’s how to treat your soil with the sun’s radiant energy.

• Clear the area or bed of all existing plants and debris. Break up any clods of dirt and rake the surface smooth. Dig a trench 3 to 4 inches deep around the area. Water the soil thoroughly until it is soaking wet. • Before the soil has a chance to lose moisture, spread 1 to 4 mil clear plastic film over the area, and press it down so that it touches the soil.

Black, opaque,or translucent plastics are not suitable for solarization • Mound the dirt over the plastic in the trench to seal off the edges. Keep the soil covered for four to six weeks. Solarization may be impaired by overcast skies and rainfall during the warmest summer months.

In order to counteract these effects, the solarization time could be prolonged. Is it a good idea to apply iron to a lawn? Plants with root problems caused by mechanical injury, root rot diseases or nematodes may exhibit iron deficiency symptoms.

Symptoms appear on newly emerging leaves as a sharply delimited interveinal chlorosis. In severe cases, new leaves may emerge reduced in size and nearly white in color, often with necrotic spotting. Iron deficiency is primarily a problem in high pH soils. An application of iron, applied as a foliar spray, may improve the color of the turfgrass for a short period of time. Having your soil’s pH checked would be something you would want to have done to see if it is the cause of the iron deficiency. Tom Bruton is a master gardener with the Duval County Extension Service and the University of Florida/IFAS. : Garden Q&A: Many factors affect sweetness of cantaloupe

Will my melon ripen if I cut it open?

Will a honeydew melon ripen once it’s cut? – Nope. Unfortunately, melons don’t ripen after they’re harvested, so what you buy is what you get. But if you slice into a honeydew and it happens to be underripe, don’t despair. You can try blending it into smoothies or making a gazpacho, or tossing slices on the grill to bring out some of its sweetness.

Do melons need sun to ripen?

Make Room for Melons There is nothing like a vine ripened melon picked right from your own garden. Bite into a slice of sweet juicy watermelon on a hot July day, smell the aroma of a vine ripe muskmelon, or savor a sweet honeydew or specialty melon you grew yourself and it’s love at first bite.

  • WHY GROW YOUR OWN While melons are readily available in the grocery store there are many reasons to grow your own.
  • Home growing allows you to try many new varieties and old heirlooms not available in the supermarket.
  • Organic gardeners can avoid using any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers on their melons.

Flavor is another reason to grow your own. While a muskmelon will continue to ripen after harvest, sugar content no longer increases after it is detached from the vine. Let’s face it, for a melon to be put in a field truck, rolled down the belt of a packing house, boxed and trucked across the country it needs to be a little less ripe than one that need only be hand carried from the garden to the back porch! And last but certainly not least, it’s just plain fun to grow your own at home.

There’s a sense of accomplishment in growing it yourself. SPACE ISSUES Many gardeners have avoided growing melons because of the space required. A single plant of some melons can grow into a sprawling patch 20 feet across. Unless your garden is large there may not be room for including a traditional melon patch in the summer plan.

Vertical growing allows almost any gardener to find a space for melons. There are many advantages of going vertical with your melon vines. Space is the most obvious. What may have engulfed a 10 to 20 foot wide swath through the garden can be trellised to take up no more than a 3 foot wide “footprint” of garden space.

  • A sprawling melon patch means there is a lot more ground to keep weed free.
  • Once melon vines enter an area weeding can become more difficult.
  • With trellised melons the small space beneath the vine is easy to access for weeding or better yet mulching to deter weeds.
  • Walking through a melon patch to inspect or harvest fruit usually resembles some new slow motion dance or an outdoor version of the game Twister as we carefully turn and step to avoid crushing a vine.

Melons laying on the ground are more prone to rotting and attack from certain chewing pests such as pillbugs and sowbugs. The foliage too is more prone to disease because of splashing soil and reduced air movement. The foliage of vines on a trellis dries out quickly after a rain and is generally less prone to problems.

  • MELON CULTURE Melons are not that difficult to grow if provided with a few basic growing conditions.
  • First of all they need good sunlight.
  • Leaves need sun to make carbohydrates and without it yields will suffer and flavor will be disappointing at best.
  • Melons grow best in a well drained loamy soil.
  • Sandy soil is great if you make sure to provide adequate added nutrition and frequent watering.

Clay can be improved with compost to help increase its internal drainage. If your soil is heavy clay you may do best to create a raised bed by importing some loamy or sandy soil mixed with a generous supply of compost. This effort need not be justified for the melons alone as such a bed is great for fall strawberry planting, for summer southern peas as well as for several other garden crops.

Plant melons when the soil warms up in mid spring. This would be about mid April in north Texas, late March to early April in central parts of the state and mid to late March along the coastal region. Prior to planting work 1 to 2 cups of a complete fertilizer into the soil per 50 square feet of garden bed area.

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If using an organic product double the rate to 2 to 4 cups per 50 square feet. For trellising, plant two seeds every 3 to 4 feet for muskmelons or 4 to 6 feet for watermelons. Thin to one plant in each location a week or so after the plants emerge. Optimum spacing will vary with species of melon, variety and soil conditions.

  • You can get a little head start on the season by starting transplants for setting out into the garden about 2 to 3 weeks later.
  • Just don’t grow them for too long in the seedling tray as large melon plants don’t respond well to transplanting.
  • Eep the seeded areas moist until the seeds sprout, then water as needed to maintain even soil moisture.

Melons can take our summer heat but need moist soil to grow and bear well. Gardeners in sandy soils will find regular watering to be especially important. Watermelons can develop blossom end rot, just like tomatoes do, when soil moisture varies from one extreme to another.

After the plants have four true leaves (the two original “seed leaves” don’t count) fertilize them again at about half the above rate. Then install the trellises if you haven’t already done so. In light sandy soils the vines may benefit from one more fertilization when the vines grow to about 2 feet long.

TRELLISING THE VINES Melon trellises can be made of many different materials as long as they are strong. I have seen everything from hog fencing to wooden lattice. My favorite system for trellising melons is to use livestock panels (16 feet by 4 feet) and steel posts driven into the ground.

  1. The panels can be set upright or leaned slightly toward the support posts.
  2. Drive at least three steel posts per 16 foot panel into the ground about 8 inches away from the row of plants along the shadier side.
  3. Then set the panels so the base sits on the soil about 8 inches away from the plants along the sunnier side of the row and lean the tops over against the posts.

Attach the panel to the posts with jute twine or wire. This creates a slightly leaning panel which provides good sun exposure and seems to help to keep the fruit toward the lower, shadier side of the trellis. Another option is to lean the panels against an existing fence such as a privacy fence.

  1. Livestock panels are very strong, last forever, and are easier to handle and store than wire.
  2. A 16 foot section is difficult for one person to handle so you might want to cut it into two lengths with bolt cutters.
  3. You’ll find many uses for these 4 feet by approximately 8 feet panel sections in the garden.

As the melons grow they’ll need some encouragement to train them onto the trellis. Melons are poor climbers and can grow quite rapidly. Plan on going out every day or two and orienting the vines on the trellis to create a solid fill of vines and foliage.

  • While they have tendrils to help them attach to the trellis you will probably want to tie them to it here and there as they grow.
  • Pieces of hosiery cut across the leg into inch wide strips work great.
  • They are easy to tie and give a little to allow the vine room to grow.
  • Planted at the spacing mentioned above melons will more than fill a trellis during their growing season.

I find it best to train the main vine up the trellis and orient the side branches more horizontally. In good growing conditions you’ll find the vines reach the top of the trellis fairly rapidly and can be allowed to grow back downward again. Additional fertilizing will most likely not be needed in good soil conditions but be ready to apply a little extra if the vines appear to be lacking.

  1. Excessive nitrogen will result in delayed maturity and poor fruit quality.
  2. Maintain good soil moisture but don’t keep it excessively wet.
  3. Drip irrigation works best.
  4. As an alternative in heavier textured soils you can build 3 foot diameter berms of soil around the plants and between plants down the row.

This makes it easy to provide a good soaking by filling the berms with water. The berms prevent water from running off of the bed surface before it has a chance to soak in. SUPPORT YOUR MELON PATCH By now you may be thinking, “Yeah but what keeps the fruit from pulling the vines off of the trellises?” Melon fruit do indeed require support and it’s old hosiery again to the rescue.

  • Eep in mind that as a father of 5 daughters I am acutely aware of the fact that a new pair of hose will likely have a run in them before you even arrive at your first destination.
  • There is little to be done with old hosiery but throw it away, unless you are planning on robbing a convenience store, so such recycled usefulness in the garden is a welcomed idea.

To make melon supports, cut a leg off of an old pair of pantyhose. Tie a tight knot in the hose about 8 inches from the toe end and more tight knots on up the leg about 8 inches apart. Then cut an inch below each knot to create the individual fruit supports.

  1. Slip a section of hose over a fruit when it is tennis ball to golf ball size and then tie it to the trellis pulling it up a little higher than it was originally as it will stretch the hose and sag down a bit as it grows in weight and size.
  2. Don’t wait too long to attach the support as ripening muskmelons are ready to release from the vine and large fruit of many types of melons can pull the vine off of a trellis.

Hosiery works great for smaller melons such as muskmelons and if the hose are the heavy duty type (!) for the smallest of watermelon varieties. Heavier fruits such as watermelons will usually require something stronger such as a section of onion sack or other mesh material, or pieces of old T-shirt formed into slings by tying each end to the trellis.

  1. Use your imagination to come up with other support options.
  2. Small fruited melons are definitely the easiest to trellis but if your trellis is strong and the supports up to the task even large fruited melons can be grown vertically.
  3. Just make sure the fruits are adequately supported as growth and wind movement can cause one to take a tragic “jump.” Whatever melons you decide to grow, a trellis with supported melons growing on it is quite a conversation piece like your neighbors needed something to talk about anyway! HARVEST TIPS While I have generalized about melons as a group up to this point, when it comes to harvest things get more specific.

It is important to harvest your melons at the proper time: too early and they lack flavor and sweetness, too late and they become mealy and lose quality. Muskmelons yield their harvest over a longer time period requiring repeated harvests over several weeks.

  • Watermelons generally ripen their fruit almost all at once for a much shorter harvest period.
  • Muskmelons are the types with a netted fruit surface which we commonly but mistakenly refer to as cantaloupes.
  • Muskmelons naturally break loose from the vine when they are ripe.
  • The spot where the vine attaches to the fruit begins to crack around the perimeter of what will be the “belly button” on the fruit, which is called “slipping.” Once they are at about 3/4 to full slip they are ready to harvest.

Most gardeners prefer to leave them until they reach full slip for the sweetest fruit and top quality. A ripe muskmelon will detach when slight pressure is applied to the vine. As a muskmelon ripens the color of the fruit behind the netting turns from green to a creamy tan hue and the fruit gives off a rich aromatic smell.

Harvest honeydew melons when the rind color turns creamy yellowish white. When pressed gently at the blossom end the melon will be a little soft and the fruit will have a faint, pleasant odor. Charentais melons turn from grey green to creamy white when they ripen. Charentais melons and most honeydews do not slip from the vine and should be cut leaving about an inch of vine attached.

Most other melons including Casaba and Crenshaw types must also be cut from the vine. There are numerous other melon types and in recent years many new hybrids between types have appeared on the market making it difficult to generalize about how to determine the optimum point to harvest them.

  1. With these less common types it is best to read the information from the seed supplier and gain personal experience with a particular type of melon to determine the best harvest time.
  2. Watermelons are a bit more of a challenge when it comes to deciding when to harvest the fruit.
  3. They do not detach naturally from the vine when ripe nor do they have a distinct fragrance.

When watermelons are grown on the ground the spot where the fruit sits on the ground will change from green to cream colored when ripe. Trellised fruit won’t show that distinct ground spot but some change in rind color or sheen may be discernable. The tendril across from the watermelon on the vine will dry up.

The ripe fruit develops a more dull, muffled sound when thumped. However the sound of various watermelons will be quite different and so it takes some experience with a particular variety to become better at judging ripeness, much less discerning the distinctive thump! Cut the watermelon from the vine leaving about an inch of stem attached.

CREATIVE MELON SPACES Growing vertical opens up the possibilities of growing melons in the home garden and landscape. This space saving technique means you can find room to grow melons in medium to small sized gardens. It also means that melon enthusiasts can grow a lot more melons in a given space by planting several rows about 4 feet apart.

  • If you have a privacy fence around the property a sunny fence line can become a productive melon patch.
  • Melons can also be grown adjacent to a patio or deck by planting them in a small bed beside the patio and using the trellis to create an outdoor wall to the patio or deck area.
  • Gardeners in apartments, garden homes and town houses without a spot of earth in which to garden can select a large container such as a half whiskey barrel and along with some trellis material create a melon patch on a sunny balcony or driveway.
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Use a quality potting mix for the container rather than garden soil and make sure the container drains well. Container grown melons will require more frequent watering to prevent stress and lots of sunlight like their garden dwelling counterparts. They’ll also need to be fed a little more often since their root zone is limited.

  • A full size (16 feet) livestock panel can be bent into an arch shape using stakes to hold the two ends in place on the ground.
  • This creates an arch tall enough to walk under.
  • Plant a melon on each side to create an attractive addition to the landscape or garden.
  • Use your imagination to come up with some other creative ways to grow melons in less space.

Start with your favorite varieties but experiment with others to find which perform best for you and which spacings and cultural techniques work best in your garden’s soil. : Make Room for Melons

What does an unripe melon look like?

2. The Look – If you’re not growing cantaloupes in your own backyard, not to worry! We have more tips for those of you who need to know how to tell if cantaloupe is ripe while perusing through the fruit department at grocery stores. The easiest indicator to assess is the cantaloupe’s look.

  • If the fruit’s rind is green, that means that it’s unripe.
  • A sweet and juicy cantaloupe will have a yellow, beige, or tan hue beneath its netted texture.
  • A small discoloration, however, is fine: that’s probably the side where the cantaloupe rested on the ground while it was still attached to the vine.

Next you should check the side of the cantaloupe where the stem would have been attached. It should have a little smooth depression. If, instead, the indent looks flat, then this is a sign that the cantaloupe might not be ripe yet. If you’ve already purchased the cantaloupe and cut it open, another indicator that you’ve made the right choice is if the fruit is a bright orange color.

What do you sprinkle on cantaloupe?

Perk up cantaloupe chunks with spirited spicy goodness – marcin jucha/Shutterstock Fruit and spice hookups have been around for ages, from common apples and cinnamon to strawberries and vanilla, cilantro and lime, and countless others. Popular chili-based spice mixes such as Tajin even purposefully entered the spice scene in Jalisco, Mexico, as an accompaniment to fresh fruits and vegetables, including melons.

  1. When visiting Latin American countries, you may encounter melon sticks dipped in Tajin or other spice combinations — but it’s simple to just create your own.
  2. From “spicy spices” to the genteel, earthy ones, they’re all fair game as cantaloupe cohorts.
  3. Chilled ripe cantaloupe is a willing recipient for intoxicating spices such as coriander or cardamom paired with punchy paprika and a crunch of sea salt.

Or go for an earthy flavor with a dusting of cumin, curry, turmeric, achiote, chili powder, or garlic — in any combination you’re brave enough to try. When creating an Italian or Mediterranean meal, finish it off with cantaloupe steeped in tarragon, thyme, oregano, marjoram, or rosemary.

Can you ripen fruit after cutting it?

Q Why do fruits such as peaches and melons stop ripening when they are cut open? A Cutting fruit damages cells and removes the protective peel, exposing the flesh to the environment and altering its chemistry. Some fruit does actually continue ripening.

  1. However, it also starts to rot much faster, said Rebecca Harbut, an assistant professor of horticulture and fruit expert at the UW-Madison.
  2. Fruits that can ripen after picking — including melons, peaches, apples, avocados, mangoes, pears and tomatoes — are called climacteric fruits.
  3. In these fruits, ripening is hastened by chemicals, primarily ethylene gas, that are produced inside the fruit and convert stored starch into sugar even after picking.

Non-climacteric fruit produce little or no ethylene gas and therefore do not ripen once picked; these stubborn fruits include raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, watermelons, cherries, grapes, grapefruit, lemons and limes. “If you buy a grapefruit or a pineapple and think it is going to ripen, it simply won’t,” Harbut said.

  • Storing fruit in a paper bag will help ripen climacteric fruits because the bag retains the ethylene.
  • But the biggest myth is that people think any fruit can be ripened in a bag,” she added.
  • With a pineapple or a grapefruit, “this won’t do anything to improve the sweetness or flavor,” Harbut said.
  • The pineapple may become softer and juicier as the fruit breaks down, and the rind may turn yellow, but the flavor will not improve.

Pineapple has to be picked ripe. In North America, it’s very rare to taste a truly ripe pineapple unless you are in Hawaii where pineapples are grown.”

How long do melons take to ripen at home?

How to Know When Your Melons are Ready to Harvest Melons are a sweet summer treat in San Antonio. End of the school year pool parties wouldn’t seem complete without sticky melon juice running down children’s faces. Melons can offer immediate, cool, refreshing reprieve on a hot summer day. (See those creamy-yellow spots on some of these watermelon? That’s the “ground spot” color you want for a ripe watermelon.) (This ripe muskmelon has a gorgeous golden-orange hue under it’s webbing.) (Creamy white is dyn-o-mite on this ripe honeydew.) (Look for a dull, matte finish on watermelon rinds rather than shiny.)

If you’ve trellised your watermelons, they won’t have the ground spot, but you can look for a matte sheen as opposed to a shiny, glossy appearance. There should be little contrast of color between the stripes on the melons.

Muskmelons: Observe the color behind the netting of these melons. When ripe, the color changes from green to a creamy tan/golden-orange hue. Honeydew melons: These melons should have a creamy, yellowish white color over the entire surface when ripe. Like watermelon, honeydew melons should have a more dull, matted appearance rather than shiny.

  • Attention to changes in the attachment points of melons to their vines is probably the most dependable way to judge when your melons are ready to harvest.
  • Watermelons: Wait until the tendril (a curly, short stem-like, part of the vine) closest to where the melons are attached to the vine, has dried up.

Use a sharp knife to cut melons from the vine leaving about half an inch of the vine attached. Muskmelons: Wait until the area where these melons attach to the vine is cracked about ¾ of the way around. A ripe muskmelon will detach easily with slight pressure to the vine as these melons naturally separate from the vine when ripe.

  • Best to harvest at this point rather than waiting for it to slip from the vine naturally (unless you are prepared to then eat it right away, as it will over-ripen in a matter of 36-48 hours).
  • Honeydew melons: Check for a slight softening at the attachment point when given slight pressure with your thumb, then use a sharp knife to cut melons from vine leaving about an inch of the vine attached.

Watermelons: This technique works, but it’s a learned skill. Take a finger or two and knock the melons sharply and quickly while listening for a hollow sound, which indicates ripe melons. Muskmelons: While giving the end of the melons a little pressure and feeling for a slight softening, smell for a fresh, slightly sweet fragrance that is emitted when these particular types of melons are ripe.

Remember your planting dates to better judge when harvest time is close. Most melons require about 80-100 days from planting to harvest. If you are within that range, begin checking for the above signs that your melons are ripe. Find your sweet spot. Once melons are cut from the vine, they don’t continue to ripen or increase their sugar content. But left on the vine too long, melons can get mealy and their appeal goes downhill. Diligent observation in the garden close to your harvest dates will have you slicing into sweet, juicy melons in the perfect timeframe.

~The Happy Gardener : How to Know When Your Melons are Ready to Harvest

What color is the best cantaloupe?

The rind should be a sandy gold, not green, color. Avoid any cantaloupes with discoloration. The perfect cantaloupe should have some give when you press on the stem end. If it is rock-hard, it is an unripe melon.

What Colour is a ripe melon?

How to tell if honeydew is ripe: – Unlike cantaloupe, honeydew doesn’t become quite as fragrant when it’s ripe enough for harvest, which means finding one that’s ready to eat can be a bit tricky. And like most melons, honeydew won’t get sweeter once cut from the vine (although it will get softer), so it’s especially important to buy a ripe one at the store.

  • Here’s how to do it.1.
  • Consider the color.
  • The rind of a ripe honeydew will be a bright, creamy yellow color.
  • If it looks particularly green, skip it—it’s probably underripe.2.
  • Test the texture.
  • Is that rind smooth and waxy? It’s ripe for the pickin’.
  • Does it look dingy and dusty? Do not pass go, do not collect that melon.

According to Gardener’s Supply, that’s a sign that it was harvested before fully ripening.3. Give it a feel. Find the blossom end, which is opposite the end where it was attached to the vine. Give it a press with your thumb and it should feel slightly springy with a slight give.

Is cantaloupe orange or yellow?

Fragrant and sweet as candy when ripe, cantaloupes have a rough, web-like skin and a dense, orange-coral-colored flesh. Enjoy cantaloupes as part of any salad (perfect when cubed in a summer panzanella) or peel and serve a wedge just by itself.