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All About Cantaloupe

CAN I GROW CANTALOUPE?

This easy growing specialty melon can be direct sown after all danger of frost, or started indoors 3-4 weeks before setting out. Melons take some space to grow and vine, so leave enough room for cantaloupe to spread.
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PLANT HISTORY

Legend has it that cantaloupe seed was brought to America on one of Christopher Columbus's voyages.
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CANTALOUPE SEEDS OR PLANTS?

Cantaloupe can be direct sown after all danger of frost, or started indoors 3-4 weeks before setting out.
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CULTIVATION

Thin growing cantaloupe seedlings to 1 foot apart for best growth.
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GROWING TIPS

Grow cantaloupe in rows spaced 3 to 4 feet apart or in "hills" with groups of 2 or 3 plants per "hill". Cantaloupes can also be trained on a trellis or fence to save space. Cantaloupes need a constant supply of water, and particular attention should be paid during summer dry spells.
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INSECTS & DISEASES

Cantaloupe is rarely bothered by pests and disease. It's best to rotate your melon crops each year ensuring that you are not planting in the same spot each year.
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HARVEST TIPS

Melons need to ripen fully on the vine. They do not ripen well after they are harvested. Cantaloupes develop a wonderful fragrance when they are ready to pick - you can't miss it. The fruit should slip easily from the vine and the blossom end should feel soft to the touch.
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RECIPES & STORAGE

Cantaloupes are delicious and refreshing summer snacks as well as a gourmet breakfast and dessert specialty. They will last for a week or more in the refrigerator.
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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • If the best looking melons in the garden had little or no flavor last summer, the problem may be the variety planted. Some melon types do better in a region than others and only trial and error or an experienced local gardener or county extension agent can guide you.

    Occasionally the problem is the soil. It may lack sufficient nutrients or the pH can be too low. Dig in compost or rotted manure before planting. Melons do best in neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Have your soil tested and if the pH is below 6.5, amend with lime. Sometimes a lot of rain near the time of harvest will dilute the sugar in melons affecting taste. Watermelons will regain their sugars if you hold off harvesting for a few days. Cantaloupes will not.