Use this guide to find a ripe melon every single time.

Meghan Overdeep
June 2, 2018
Patrizia Savarese/Getty Images

For most shoppers, the act of picking out the perfect melon is more like a shot in the dark than a science.  Do you knock on it, or smell it, or both? Does color matter? What about weight?

As Katy Green, a produce field inspector at Whole Foods, recently explained to Self, picking a good melon isn't as straightforward as it is with other fruits, however there are plenty of subtle signs that can be used as guides.

Cantaloupe:

Between July and September, Green told Self that shoppers should look for cantaloupes with green, nickel-sized indentations towards the stem end of the melon, and the opposite end (the blossom end) should give slightly when pressed. Ripe cantaloupes will also have a strong golden color and an aroma you can smell without having to cut it open.

Honeydew:

According to Green, the best honeydew will have a white or creamy color, and should and feel tacky, kind of like a basketball. Slight scarring around the stem can indicate sweetness, as can a strong scent in the same spot, so get ready to give it a sniff.

WATCH: The Best Way To Cut Watermelon

Watermelon:

Green recommends watermelons with a large deep gold, yellow, or straw-colored mark on the outside known as a “ground spot.” This is where the melon rested on the soil during the growing process. These spots start out white and change color as the melon’s sugar content increases. A gold ground spot means it’s ready to be harvested.

A good watermelon should also have a firm and shiny rind and feel heavy relative to its size. Lastly, a hard, green stem is a sign the melon is good, while a brown stem indicates it’s likely past its prime.