The art of growing cantaloupe isn’t limited to those with green thumbs or gardening expertise. If you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll grow that cantaloupe just right. Melons, honeydews and cantaloupes are grown the same way.
Where to Plant Cantaloupes
The best place to start planting would be indoors. Plant these around early spring. The soil temperature should be 60 to 80 F.
Planting the Seeds
When planting, the seeds need to be a half an inch to an inch deep in the soil. The ideal number of rows is four to six. Give each seed some space so they’ll grow without getting entangled with one another. When growing cantaloupe, use rich soil with plenty of compost.
Proper Care and Maintenance
If the leaves grow to a large number, thin it. Try to keep three or four of the strongest plants. Of course, sunlight is necessary. The younger the plant is, the more sunlight is required. Watering should be done once or twice a week. Use fertilizers to help the plant grow more quickly.
The fruit will ripen in the summer time (about 90 days after planting). Always pick the fruit before it ripens. The cantaloupe will ripen after the stem gets dry.
Part of maintaining and growing cantaloupe means watching out for diseases and pests. You need to use fungicides to keep fungus at bay. You can also use insecticides to keep insects away. Mice are another common pest, so having mouse traps will be necessary.
Don’t wait for the diseases to spread before using fungicides and insecticides. When disease appears, eliminate it as quickly as possible. Left untreated, it might spread and destroy other plants.
There are some non organic treatments available too. It’s up to you to decide what to use for your plants. You’ll need to keep a constant eye on pests and insects. These are attracted to rich soil which the cantaloupe needs.
Tips and Warnings
If the ground temperature gets to 70 F, plant it two weeks before the last frost. Also keep in mind that when growing cantaloupe, variants have different characteristics. For example, some cantaloupes can be grown on trellises.
These are common among the small cantaloupe kinds. These types of fruits are ideal if your garden space is limited. But do make sure it doesn’t crowd the other plants.
If you’re planting in a container, it’s got to be at least 2 feet deep. As with ground soil, the container’s soil needs to have good drainage. The potting soil and compost must be of good quality. Fertilization or fish emulsion should be done every six weeks. Also keep in mind that some cantaloupes mature in less than 70 days.
A note on plastic mulch: make certain that the sheet is fastened tight. If it moves, the small plans will be snuffed out. If you are going to plant the large variety, you need plenty of room. The big ones can take up to 40 sq ft.
The process of growing cantaloupe is not that different from other fruits. With proper care, fertilization and sunlight, reaping the tasty fruits is a sure thing.