Growing cantaloupes require a lot of nutrients, so it’s best to improve your soil by mixing in several inches of compost or other rich organic matter. The plant will then put all of its energy into growing those fruits to a nice, large size. Check the points where the melons connect with the vines for maturity. Melon will yield best if grown in a light, well-draining soil, rich in organic matter and with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Each plant can produce anywhere from four to eight delicious melons. Between 2 cantaloupe vines and one zuchinni plant I am amazed the green beans are still growing underneath all of that. Cantaloupe seeds require evenly moist soil to germinate effectively. This process can be skipped by using bone meal on the seeds. Once blossoms appear, you can fertilize again, this time with a fertilizer that… Read more ». If the soil temperature is around 90 degrees, the seeds may germinate in less than one week, according to Cornell University's Growing Guide. Grow cantaloupe in rows spaced 3 to 4 feet apart or in "hills" with groups of 2 or 3 plants per "hill". If your outbreak is limited to a few sturdy vines, you can hose the bugs off with water and sprinkle diatomaceous earth atop the fallen pests, and on the soil around your plants. Within the muskmelon family, cantaloupes develop a hard rind and soft, orange flesh. I now have some great tips for next year. I’m glad your efforts succeeded. Thank you for reading, and I’m sorry to hear your plants are struggling a bit. You’ll first need to make sure that the soil in your raised beds or old-fashioned row garden is loose, well-draining, and ready for the melons. Too much water at this point can cause the rinds to swell and split. Rich, moisture-retentive soil with plenty of compost dug in. You can protect the fruit from insects and keep them warm by covering them … All melons require a growing season of at least 100 frost-free days. Once seedlings have two sets of true leaves, thin them so that there’s only one plant every 18-24 inches. And by the way, it’s HUGE! First, watch the color. Growing cantaloupes require a lot of nutrients, so it’s best to improve your soil by mixing in several inches of compost or other rich organic matter. May 19, 2013 - Wandering what your cantaloupe spouts will look like or how your cantaloupe will look like 2 weeks in? Using raised beds for cantaloupes helps, because the soil in raised beds and containers often thaws earlier than the ground. It sounds like the temperatures are just right for the plants, so that shouldn’t be the issue. As the melon grows, the sling will expand and support it so that it does not break the vine. Most varieties mature in 65-90 days and produce round fruits that weigh up to 3-4 pounds. Your Cantaloupe Plants Are Wilting and Dying. Most cantaloupe cultivars take between 65-90 days from germination to reach maturity, so let that be your guide. To sow in seed trays, add a good quality potting mix to each cell and then use your finger to make a 1/2-inch-deep hole in each one. The cantaloupe is a juicy, orange summer fruit that’s related to the watermelon and honeydew melon. Answer Save. Read our full guide on cantaloupe harvesting here. Growing cantaloupe can be done through seed or starters. Under the right weather and water conditions, pumpkin vines can increase by as much as six inches (15 centimeters) each day! I learned the same lesson about growing mine near pumpkins. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Ground temps should be at least 70 degrees before you plant your seeds. Once seeds start to germinate, lower soil temp slightly to the mid 70s, for 1-2 weeks, also decreasing water. While you watch them develop, notice the growth stages of cantaloupe to ensure they are growing properly. Can’t wait to taste. Melons grow best in warm weather, with plenty of sunshine and generously-watered soil. Cantaloupes are sprawlers, so plant them 36 to 42 inches apart in fertile, well-drained soil. Cantaloupe is like candy in melon form. Pollination problems can come from several situations: Cantaloupes produce separate male and female flowers as well as some flowers with both male and female parts. You can use heat mat to ensure the soil stays at a consistent 70°F – the ideal temperature for germination. Annuals and Perennials: What’s the Difference? Propagating Cantaloupe . If you live in a hot, humid, rainy area, watch out for Alternaria leaf blight caused by Alternaria cucumerina. As frosty fall weather approaches and your melons begin ripening, pinch off any new flowers to allow the energy to focus on ripening existing fruit. Cantaloupes can also be trained on a trellis or fence to save space. Laura also writes novels and holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. The life cycle of cannabis can be broken down into four primary stages from seed to harvest: Germination (5-10 days) Seedling (2-3 weeks) Vegetative (3-16 weeks) Because I love cantaloupe so much, I decided to grow it here in Alaska. Cantaloupe is in the same family as squashes, pumpkins, gourds and cucumbers. There are three main things to look for when you’re thinking about harvesting your hard-won melons. I have a melon that seems to be ripening but about a third of it is still green and smooth, no netting formed. Let us know in the comments below! Once harvested, take your melon indoors and out of the sun to prevent water loss and over-ripening. Cantaloupes—or muskmelons—are a delicious, heat-loving fruit with a relatively long growing season, but well worth the wait. Feeding. Cantaloupe will grow in zones 4-11, with a bit of extra care and attention required in colder zones, since fruit flavor depends mostly on watering and warm temperatures. After you thoroughly scrub the rind with soap and warm water to remove bacteria, which can contaminate the flesh when you cut into it. To grow large melons, trim each plant at the leaf node just past the one bearing the fruit and consider only keeping two to three fruits on each plant. Double Danger has you covered with cantaloupe pictures. You can start picking them when the curly string tendrils that grow near the fruit begin to dry and turn brown. Yields are very good, and melons are excellent for home or market. The original strain is from France. Plant cantaloupe in an area with warm soil (70°F+) and plenty of sun. Spacing. Because cantaloupes are a warm-season crop, they should not be transplanted until the soil temperature 3 inches beneath the soil surface reaches 60°F. Leaving them on can inhibit the plant’s growth. As a freelance writer, she contributes to several websites and blogs across the web. If needed, apply fungicide. Cantaloupes and specialty melons grow as prostrate vines with andromonecious flowering, both perfect (with male and female flower parts) and imperfect (male flowers). Just as an aside, the best area for farming is 200-650 m above sea level. One of the hardest parts about growing your own cantaloupe is that it may flower but not produce fruit. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I don’t like cantaloupe. The other option is to cut the cantaloupe into cubes or balls, layer it on wax paper and freeze. Save With a strange texture, slimy seeds, and an abundance of, well, wateriness, the watermelon just isn’t my type of fruit. Cantaloupes are closely related to cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins and, therefore, share similar growing conditions. These brightly colored bugs can damage vines and leaves and contribute to bacterial rot. If there is a light level of 9 or higher one block above the seeds, the seeds will slowly turn into a stem by going through a total of eight stages. ... “shipping” cantaloupe. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. Full sun. Cantaloupe, though, is one of my favorites. Use the following information to identify and treat some common cantaloupe diseases. These rather beautiful beetles come in three pertinent forms: the Western striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittata), the Western spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata), and the banded cucumber beetle (Diabrotica balteata). They’d be ready somewhere in mid to late October, and if typical temps in NC are warmish during those months, they’ll be fine. Cucumis melo. If you want to try hand-pollinating your melons, we have an article on hand-pollinating pumpkins that also applies to cantaloupes. The cantaloupe plant is a warm loving fruit which has a long growing season. For a big, 3- to 4-pound beauty with sweet, rich flesh, try ‘Honey Rock,’ an heirloom cultivar that matures in 75-90 days. Cantaloupe vines spread wide and thick, so if you’ve got limited space, use a plant support to encourage them to grow upwards. Cantaloupe should be planted in full sun and are heavy feeders and water users. Ha! Tip 1 – Location. For some reason, watermelon gets all the summertime hype. If the plant gets a lot of water at this point, the sugar content will be less and the melons won't be nearly as sweet. While you watch them develop, notice the growth stages of cantaloupe to ensure they are growing properly. You can add fresh or frozen cantaloupe to smoothies or eat it as is. You can start this fruit from seed indoors or outdoors, or from seedlings purchased at a garden center. My cantaloupe plant is healthy and growing beautifully. I have bookmarked this article for next year. The name came from one of the first places to grow this version, Cantalupo, a town near Rome where the Pope enjoyed a villa retreat. Use fungicide on affected plants. This will give the plant the best chance to concentrate the sugars in the fruit. I love garden surprises like that. The first flowers to appear are male and will fall off. Cantaloupe Plant Care Tips. Depending upon the variety, these can harvested at three stages … You don’t want to accidentally rot the melons by sticking them in a plastic bag. Enjoy! You can either sow seeds directly in the garden or in flats inside (do this well before their initial planting outdoors), or you can use transplants purchased from reputable nurseries or garden centers. For extra warmth, you can insert hoops and floating row covers over your garden to act as a greenhouse during the early days of growth. To jump start the season start seed indoors 2 to 4 weeks before transplanting into the garden. Try sprinkling sugar on the cubes before freezing for an extra-sweet treat. The "true cantaloupe," the European cantaloupe, C. melo cantalupensis, displays a sutured rind without netting. In their 1896 book, “Vegetables for the Home Garden,” available at Amazon, the author writes, “Burpee’s Netted Gem was first named and introduced by us 15 years ago. When temperatures average between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, cantaloupes grow and develop energetically in a home garden. You can store unwashed, uncut melons in the refrigerator for up to one week, and seal cut melon in a plastic bag and store for three days. what are the growth stages of cantaloupes? Next Comes the Flowers. But if you don’t mind smaller melons and want a fuller crop, you can let the vines grow as they will and only trim them back if they are spilling over the edge of your raised bed or encroaching on other plants. Delicious 51 is a customer favorite. When planting cantaloupe, wait until the threat of frost has passed and the soil has warmed in spring. Most cantaloupe diseases develop late in the growing season and during high-humidity periods. We will see how it goes next year. Like strawberries, melons send out runners. Cantaloupes thrive in warm, sunny locations. Use your frozen cantaloupe within one month for best results. I’m a first time cantaloupe grower, I’m doing it in a greenhouse. The roots emerge from the point, and while they may still germinate if you place them rounded-side-down, the seedling will have to work that much harder to figure out which way is up and which is down. Thin growing cantaloupe seedlings to 1 foot apart for best growth. Should I just harvest it or give it more time? Once the ground temperature is about 70 °F, plant the cantaloupe in the middle of the mounds, and keep the soil moist. Cantaloupe and specialty melons are members of the cucurbit (Cucurbitaceae) family, which also includes several warm season vegetables such as watermelon, squash and cucumber. To do this, take a clean vegetable brush and clean the whole of the outside of the melon under running water. A juicy American cantaloupe, that is, because I’ve never tried the European variety. Simply put the net around the melon and tie it to the trellis, frame, or pole. To prevent this unpleasant fungus, avoid overhead watering and consider covering your crops with rainproof tarp if wet conditions last longer than a couple days. This plant’s native range is a warm climate so warmer temperatures suit it better, but it does not take well to drought. Some of that needs to go straight to cantaloupe, which in my unpopular opinion, is much tastier than watermelon. It can also infect the fruit, causing it to crack. Find seeds today in 1-ounce, 4-ounce, and 1-pound packages at True Leaf Market. 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