Examine the spot where the melon has been resting on the ground. A yellow-white spot indicates ripeness-white or pale green suggests immaturity. Scratch the surface of the rind with your thumbnail. If the outer layer slips back with little resistance showing the green-white under the rind, the watermelon is ripe. Scratching unripe melons only leaves a darker depressed line. Choose a melon with a smooth surface, dull sheen and well rounded ends.
When you’re done with the sweet flesh of the watermelon, make good use of the rinds in this sweet and spicy, hot and tangy relish. It will keep for two months in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container, but opt to can it and you’ll thank yourself in the winter.