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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

  • Potting healthy plants in dirty containers invites disease pathogens. Scrub used pots inside and outside with a soft brush using a solution of mild dish washing detergent and warm water. Place small plastic pots on the top shelf of the dishwasher for an even more thorough cleaning. Remove the crusty residues from fertilizer salts by wetting them with vinegar and scrubbing with a stiff brush.

    To clean stained and moldy terra-cotta pots simply soak them in a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water for a few minutes. Air-dry and rinse in clean water.
    To clean pots containing plants, cover the plant with a paper or plastic bag. Spray the bleach solution on outer pot surfaces rather than dipping it. Allow to dry and then rinse. Scrub stubborn spots gently with a vegetable brush while rinsing.