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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

  • Preparing the garden in the spring often means waiting until the beds dry before the soil can be worked. This can steal a week or two (or more!) from the start of the planting season. If the soil is prepared in the fall, however, you can get a jump on spring crops.
    After clearing the garden of debris in the fall, till the soil to break up the surface of the beds. Blanket the soil with a thick layer of compost and/or shredded leaves. In the spring, rake off any leaves that haven’t decomposed and discover a fertile, friable soil ready for planting!