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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

  • Tailor the menu at your bird feeders to discourage unwanted visitors. Thistle seed attracts finches, pine siskins and redpolls, but most sparrows, squirrels and blackbirds do not care for it.
    Safflower seed attracts cardinals and discourages squirrels and sparrows. To discourage pigeons avoid ground feeding and use seed mixes without cracked corn.
    Before filling feeders for the first time this fall, thoroughly clean them using a 10% bleach to water solution. Do the same for birdbaths and houses.