If you have enough space, you should learn how to grow cantaloupe in your garden.
It’s often confused with the honeydew melon. While they look almost exactly the same, cantaloupes have softer, orange flesh. And makes for a great snack during the summer!
Grow cantaloupes can easily be done with the perfect combination of organic soil and full sun. Though pollination can be a bit hard.
In this article, I’ll help you understand when to plant cantaloupe, when to harvest cantaloupe, or how to grow cantaloupe from seeds.
- 1 How to Grow Cantaloupe
- 2 Tips for Growing Cantaloupe in Garden
- 2.1 1. Choose the right spot
- 2.2 2. Choose the right cantaloupe type
- 2.3 3. Plant it at the right time
- 2.4 4. Decrease the chances for diseases and pests
- 2.5 5. Give sufficient space for them to grow
- 2.6 6. Care for cantaloupe fruits in the growing season
- 2.7 7. Grow sweet cantaloupe fruits
- 2.8 8. Harvest at the right time
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 4 Final Thoughts
How to Grow Cantaloupe
Before you grow these big juicy fruits, there are a few things that you should know.
Planting Cantaloupe in Your Backyard
Plant these fruits in well-drained soil and under full sun. After you sow the seeds, wait for 85 days for their maturity.
Be careful and be patient though. Cantaloupe seeds can only germinate properly when the soil temperature exceeds 50 degrees Fahrenheit. So don’t rush to plant the seeds if the weather is still a bit chilly or winter just ended.
While sowing seeds, remember to maintain 2 feet distance from each other. You can sow 2 or 3 seeds together at a spot. You can keep the healthiest seedlings when they emerge.
Also, don’t forget to get rid of weeds that sprout nearby where you planted the seedlings.
You should always irrigate the plants once or twice per week. The frequency depends on the temperature, topography, and soil type.
Try to water in higher volumes directly to the soil in early cantaloupe growing stages.
After some time, you should reduce the watering frequency when fruits start appearing. Too much water can affect the sugar content of fruits.
Growing Cantaloupe Fruits
These plants may either produce male and female flowers separately or together. You should be careful while pollinating them, though bees can do this work.
If you don’t notice any bees’ activities in your backyard, I suggest you grow the vines in a dense formation. When fruits appear, reduce the use of nitrogen fertilizer.
Tips for Growing Cantaloupe in Garden
Here are some tips for you to grow juicy cantaloupes in your garden.
1. Choose the right spot
These fruits prefer to grow in a sunny spot and organic soil.
If your garden soil does not contain sufficient organic matter, amend it with compost, vermicompost, kitchen wastes, and other organic materials. It will increase microbial activity and soil quality.
2. Choose the right cantaloupe type
There are a few types of cantaloupe fruit, and you may choose depending on your preferences.
- Ambrosia – These are sweet varieties and are resistant to powdery mildew.
- Mini-Sugar Cube – These cantaloupes are disease-resistant. Their fruits are smaller, but you can harvest them after 75 days.
- Hale’s Best Jumbo – They are large and sweet, and you can harvest them after 80 days.
- Planter’s Jumbo – They grow in hot climates and are resistant to powdery mildew.
- Hearts of Gold – This variety has a sweet flavor. You can harvest it after 80 days.
- Minnesota Midget – This variety has a compacted type of vine.
3. Plant it at the right time
Cantaloupe fruits grow best in warm weather.
You should always wait until the winter ends and spring arrives. Sow the seeds during the early spring, and they will grow gradually from February to July. These are considered an ideal period to plant cantaloupe.
If you’re living in a colder climate further up North, then you should consider growing indoor cantaloupes instead.
Similar to growing them outdoors, you’ll need to wait until the soil temperatures go above 50-degree Fahrenheit.
4. Decrease the chances for diseases and pests
To do this, you should follow a few techniques:
- Always rotate the plants. You can rotate these fruits with cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, etc.
- Raise the fruit up when it forms. It can enhance air circulation and decrease the chance of pest attacks.
- Grow them vertically. It’s a great way to grow more in smaller spaces. Since cantaloupes can climb, you can use a hammock to support the vine.
- Grow the variety that is pest or disease-resistant. If mildew becomes a problem, you can grow Ambrosia or Planter’s jumbo.
- Spray with insecticidal soap. When aphids or other pests damage the leaves, treat the leaves with insecticidal soap.
5. Give sufficient space for them to grow
Cantaloupe grows better if you can provide sufficient space. For this, you may plant them 30 inches apart from each other.
6. Care for cantaloupe fruits in the growing season
Cantaloupe requires moisture to grow. You can use mulching materials, which help the soil to retain moisture for a longer period.
Try to water them in the morning, and don’t let the water stay on the leaves.
7. Grow sweet cantaloupe fruits
Some cantaloupes don’t taste good and aren’t sweet. So make sure they taste better, follow these tips:
- Never overwater when the fruit starts growing.
- Provide magnesium-rich fertilizer.
- Remove additional fruits.
- When the fruit starts appearing, don’t prune the leaves.
- Harvest them at the right time.
8. Harvest at the right time
It’s important to know when to harvest cantaloupe because many people don’t know the right time. As a result, the taste gets bitter or the fruit becomes overripe.
- Rind condition – Yellow rind indicates that the fruit is ready to harvest. Cracking indicates that the cantaloupe is overripe.
- Netting roughness – Ripe cantaloupe has rough netting, while unripe cantaloupe has smooth netting.
- Aroma – Ripe fruit has a sweet and musky aroma.
- Stem – Unripe cantaloupe has a hard stem, while ripe one can be separated easily from the stem.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I grow cantaloupe from seeds?
Yes. Sow the seeds when soil temperature exceeds 50-degrees Fahrenheit.
How long does it take for cantaloupe to grow?
It depends on the variety. But on average, it takes around 80-85 days.
What are the stages of cantaloupe?
There are four cantaloupe growing stages – seeds, seedling, vining and pollination, harvest.
Is it easy to grow cantaloupe?
Yes. If you can follow all of my above-mentioned tips, I will find them easy to grow.
I hope that you’re now clear about everything about growing cantaloupe in your backyard.
The only problem that you may face is diseases. If you can take care of these plants perfectly, then there is nothing to worry about.
Enjoy growing cantaloupes in your garden!