The biggest cantaloupe we have ever seen! Sweeter-than-sweet too.
75-85 days. Can't believe this cantaloupe! ‘El Gordo’ is the biggest cantaloupe in the garden. The colossal, sweeter-than-sweet fruits weigh in at 15 lbs. One melon will feed the whole family—and a friend or two or three. And how sweet it is, with a brix rating of 10-12 brix. Small cavity means more sweet, delicious flesh and fewer seeds. Full-vining plants.
Sow in fertile, warm soil after danger of frost. Sow seeds 2-3" apart in groups of 4-6 in raised hills.
Cover with 1/2" of fine soil. Keep evenly moist. Space hills 4-6' apart each way. Seedlings
emerge in 7-14 days. To get a head start, sow 2-3 seeds in individual biodegradable pots
indoors, 3-4 weeks before outdoor planting time. Grow in a sunny spot or under plant
How to Grow
Thin to 3 or 4 strongest seedlings in each group when they are 1-2" high. For indoor started
plants, thin to one seedling per pot. Move indoor starts outdoors to a sheltered location for
one week prior to transplanting into the garden. Allow plants to ramble across the ground or
train melons on a fence or trellis. If allowing to ramble, mulch around plants to keep soil
warm and moist, control weeds and keep fruits off the ground, using straw, newspaper, or yard
Provide plants with extra water during especially dry periods. If fruits are not forming on
your plants, you can also hand-pollinate the flowers on your melons. Do not plant squash family
crops in the same place 2 years in a row.
Allow your melons to ripen on the vine. Generally, fruits are ripe when they smell aromatic and when stems start to crack and slip off easily with light pressure from the thumb. Harvest cantaloupes when the fruits change from green to yellow or tan and they break away from the vine easily. Harvest winter melons when they turn the appropriate color and their blossom ends are soft. Watermelons are ready for harvest when their undersides turn from white to yellow. The tendrils closest to the fruit will also turn brown and dry up, and the skin will become dull and hard at harvest time. For best flavor, eat at room temperature.