Cantaloupe Plant

The cantaloupe or muskmelon may be a tender, warm-weather plant. Cantaloupes grow best in very consider weather .

  • Sow cantaloupe (muskmelon) seed within the garden or began transplants 3 to 4 weeks after the last average frost date in spring.
  • Start cantaloupe seed indoors about 6 weeks before transplanting seedlings into the garden. Start seed indoors in biodegradable peat or paper pots which will be set directly into the garden.
  • Cantaloupes require 70 to 100 frost-free days to succeed in harvest; cantaloupes will tolerate no frost.
  • The tan, netted melon commonly mentioned as cantaloupe is really a muskmelon. a real cantaloupe features a rough warty rind.

Muskmelons along side watermelons are termed summer melons because they are available to reap from mid to late summer.

Winter melons—which are grown during the summer like muskmelons–are ready for harvest in late summer and autumn. Winter melons include casaba, Crenshaw, honeydews, and Persian melons.

Cantaloupes, muskmelons, honeydew melons, and other summer melons, also as winter melons, have an equivalent growing requirements.Pre-warm the soil for melons

Pre-warm the soil by placing black plastic or permeable black garden fabric across the planting area. When planting cut x-shaped slits within the covering.


  • Plant melons fully sun.
  • Melons grow best in loose, well-drained, loamy soil rich in organic matter.
  • Add several inches of aged compost and aged manure or commercial organic planting mix to the planting bed before planting. Turn the soil to 12 inches (30cm) deep.
  • Melons prefer a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.8.
  • Melons are often grown on mounds, raised beds, up trellises, or in flat planting beds. Pre-warm the soil by placing black plastic or permeable black garden fabric across the planting area fortnight before planting. When planting cut x-shaped slits within the covering.


  • Sow melon seeds within the garden or began transplants 3 to 4 weeks after the last average frost date in spring.
  • Start melon seeds indoors about 6 weeks before transplanting seedlings into the garden.
  • Start seeds in biodegradable peat or paper pots a minimum of 4 inches in diameter which will be set wholly into the garden so as to not disturb roots.
  • Starting melons indoors is suggested briefly season regions where the soil warms slowly in spring.
  • Melon seeds will germinate in about 10 days at 65°F (18°C).
  • Melons grow best in air temperatures starting from 70° to 90°F (21-32°C).
  • If temperatures exceed 90°F (32°C)
  • for several days, flowers will drop without setting fruit.
  • Melons require 70 to 100 frost-free days to succeed in harvest and can tolerate no frost.
  • In cool or short-season regions, grow smaller varieties that come to reap the quickest.
Planting on mounds

Plant melons on raised mounds or hills that are 24 inches (61cm) across or wider. Mounds warm quickly in spring and stay warm through the season .


  • Sow melon seed 1 inch (2.5cm) deep.
  • Space seeds 18 inches (45cm) apart within the garden.
  • Plant melons on raised mounds or hills that are 24 inches (61cm) across or wider. Mounds warm quickly in spring and stay warm through the season .
  • Sow 4 to six melons seeds on each mound; when seedlings have developed three or four true leaves, thin to the two or 3 strongest seedlings on each hill.
  • Cut the thinned seedlings at soil level with scissors so as to not disturb the roots of the remaining plants.
  • Space mounds 4 to six feet (1.2-1.8m) apart.
  • Mounds can home in height from a couple of inches to quite 12 inches (30cm) tall; mounds will allow vines to run away down the slope.
  • Move an in. or two of soil across the highest of the mound to make a rim round the top of the mound. The rim will protect young plants from heavy rains which may wash away the soil leaving shallow roots exposed; the rim also will hold irrigation water during weather .
  • More melon planting time tips: Planting Melons and Squash Early.Melons on trellis
Melons on trellis

Muskmelons are often trained to grow on a trellis. Don’t worry, they won’t fall until they’re fully ripe.


  • Muskmelons and other summer melons are often grown up trellises or fences.
  • You can also train melon vines up an A-frame. Lean two trellises into one another and tie them together at the highest .
  • A trellis set against a solid fence or the wall of a building will enjoy reflected heat.
  • Make sure the vertical support is well anchored. Heavy fruits can tip a trellis late within the season.
  • Space melons at the bottom of vertical supports 12 inches (30cm) apart.
  • Train vines up a trellis or other support with elastic horticultural tape.
  • Melon plants can get older to eight feet (2.4m) tall and wide or more.
  • Most melon vines will support the load of a melon, but you’ll use garden netting tied to the support to support melons.
  • Melons grown on vertical supports will get full sun exposure and good air circulation which may help prevent fungal diseases.


  • Melons are usually overlarge to grow in containers.
  • Select a bush, dwarf- or mini-cultivar to grow during a container.
  • Choose a container a minimum of 18 inches (45cm) wide and deep which will support a vining plant.
  • Place a trellis or other support next to the plant to save lots of space and increase yields.
  • In short season regions, extend the season by starting melons in containers indoors then move them outdoors when the weather warms.


  • Plant melons with corn, radishes, beans, and nasturtiums.
  • Plant herbs like dill or bee balm near melons to draw in pollinators.
  • True cantaloupe in garden
True cantaloupe in garden

True cantaloupe and other melons require consistent water to ripen sweet.


  • Melons require plentiful regular, even watering for quick growing.
  • Give melons 1 inch of water (16 gallons/60.5 liters) or more hebdomadally .
  • Water with drip irrigation or a soaker hose to avoid wetting leaves. Wet leaves are vulnerable to fungal diseases.
  • Keep the soil around melons evenly moist from planting until the fruit begins to develop.
  • You can crop on watering once fruit begins to develop but don’t let the soil go dry. Less water will enhance sweetness.
  • Dry soil every week before harvest will produce the sweetest melons.
  • Avoid watering plants overhead which may end in mildew.


  • Prepare planting beds with aged compost; add aged manure to beds the autumn before planting.
  • Side dress melons with compost or manure tea every 2 to three weeks during the season.
  • You can also feed melons a diluted solution of fish emulsion every 2 weeks.
  • Flat, tasteless melons may suffer from a scarcity of magnesium or boron within the soil. Fruits are often sweetened by giving them a dose of Epsom salts and borax. For home garden use, use about 6½ tablespoons of Epsom salts and 3½ tablespoons of household borax added to 5 gallons of water. Spray-mist the vines with this solution.
Four melons on one vine

Prune away flowers in order that each melon plant grows no quite four fruits at a time.


  • Cultivate carefully around vines until they cover the bottom and smother out competing weeds.
  • Mulch around melon plants with straw or dry, chopped leaves to retain soil moisture, slow weed growth, and keep fruits off of the soil.
  • Support melons on a coffee tripod or A-frame trellis to stay them off the wet ground; use netting or a bag to support trellis- or fence-grown melons.
  • Pinch back flowers to allow just 4 fruits to make on each vine. Fewer melons on a plant are going to be larger, sweeter, and are available to reap quicker.
  • You can also pinch away some flowers in order that a replacement ly pollinated flower begins growing a new fruit every fortnight this will stagger the harvest of fruit from one plant.
  • For melons sprawling across the bottom , place a shingle, tile, half milk jug, or clay pot under each melon to stay it dry and stop rot. these things also will take in solar heat and keep the fruit warm in the dark .
  • Avoid pruning leaves off of plants until just before harvest. Leaves help produce the sugars melons need for sweetness. Pull back leaves that cover fruits to offer fruits maximum sun exposure.
  • Remove all new blossoms that appear within 50 days of the primary frost in autumn. this may allow the plant to ripen fruit already on the vine before the primary frost.
Melon flower


  • Melons produce male and feminine flowers on an equivalent plant.
  • Male flowers appear every week before female flowers. Female flowers have alittle bulge (an unfertilized fruit) near the stem end of the blossom.
  • Bees or other pollinators must carry pollen from male to female flowers for pollination, flowering, and fruit set to occur.


  • Aphids and spotted and striped cucumber beetles will attack melons.
  • Hose away aphids with a blast of water or pinch out infested foliage.
  • Handpick and destroy cucumber beetles promptly; they will transmit cucumber bacterial wilt to melons. you’ll also dust or spray adult beetles with rotenone or a pyrethrum-based insecticide.

Cucumber beetles will melon leaves and may spread diseases including bacterial wilt.


  • Melons are vulnerable to wilt, Alternaria leaf spot, blight, powdery and false mildew, and plant disease.
  • Plant disease-resistant varieties.
  • Keep the garden clean and free from weeds and plant debris which will harbor pests and diseases.
  • Remove and destroy disease-infected plants immediately.
  • Bacterial wilt is spread by cucumber beetles.
  • Bacterial wilt and blight will cause melons to suddenly wilt and die.
  • Control cucumber beetles as soon as they seem.
  • Powdery mildew and false mildew are fungal diseases that will cause melon leaves to show gray-white late within the season. Protect leaves against fungal disease by spraying with compost tea or an answer of 1 part skimmed milk to 9 parts water.
  • Select disease-resistant varieties.
  • Improve air circulation by spacing plants properly.
  • Honeydew melon near harvest
Honeydew melon near harvest

Smooth-skinned honeydew melons will turn from green to cream-colored as they ripen.


  • Cantaloupes are going to be ready for harvest 70 to 100 days after sowing.
  • Most melons on one plant will come to reap within a 3 to 4 week period.
  • Limit water for every week beforehand of the harvest to concentrate fruit sweetness. an excessive amount of water will dilute the sugars within the fruit.
  • When muskmelons reach full size rinds change from green to tan or yellow and stems turn brown they’re ready for harvest. The skin under the netting will turn yellow-brown when the fruit is ripe and therefore the netting will become more pronounced
  • Smooth-skinned honeydew melons will become cream-colored when ripe.
  • A ripe melon will develop a circular crack where the stem attaches to the fruit.
  • Ripe melons will have a sweet aroma at the stem end.
  • Ripe melons will slip easily off the stem; a half-ripe melon would require more pressure and should come off with half the stem attached.
  • Harvest melons once they are dry.
  • A ripe melon will soften after harvest but it’ll not still sweet off the vine.
  • Leave melons on the vine until they’re ripe.


  • Melons will confine the refrigerator for up to at least one week, but sweetness and flavor may diminish.
  • Melon slices or balls are often frozen or pickled.
winter melons

Casaba, Honeydew, and Honey White melons

Leave a Reply