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Lawn & Garden

Growing Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe makes a great treat on a hot summer day. It grows as a vine and it is loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants. It is relatively easy to grow and will be ready to harvest about 3 months after planting.

Soil Preparation

Soil preparation for the garden has to start February 1st. If you do not plan ahead then your plants will be struggling while your soil is trying to play catch-up.

You will need to wait until soil temperatures reach 70 degrees. By putting black weed fabric down over the soil, you can warm the soil early and get a jump on the growing season no matter where you live. Melons require 2 to 3 months of heat, therefore covering the soil in early spring up north is recommended, as this will also eliminate weed competition. Keep the black fabric down and simply cut a X where you are planting. Never use plastic, as this will not allow water to the plant.


Because melons are 90% water, it is critical that you keep them hydrated. Soaker hoses are recommended, as overhead watering in the summer heat can subject them to diseases. Trellising cantaloupe will help increase air circulation and light. This allows you to plant your plants 12 inches apart rather than the 3 to 4 foot apart that is required without a trellis.

Like all melons, cantaloupe requires a nutrient rich, pH neutral soil consisting of 4 to 6 inches of compost or manure to be worked into the soil. It also likes a moist but not soggy soil in the warm summer months during fruiting.

Knowing your regions first frost date is helpful because if your plant is blooming 50 days out from that date, you might as well remove any flowers to divert nutrients to the fruit that will produce.


Every plant has particular insects that are attracted to it. Cantaloupe is particularly prone to Squash Bugs, Aphids, and Cucumber Beetles. The Home Depot has the quickest and safest ways to treat your garden.

Prevention is the best way to keep your garden healthy. By avoiding insecticides and incorporating beneficial organisms and insects into the garden that naturally occur, you can feel safe and know exactly what you are eating.

The Home depot sells Beneficial nematodes that are parasitic to all those insects with larva or pupal stages in the ground as well as those that pupate and turn to adults above ground. These Nematodes are responsible for the killing of over 200 different insects.

Using organic insecticides is a great way to insure that what we are eating, stays safe to eat while not killing the bees that are critical to a healthy ecosystem. When spraying insecticides, spray in the later evenings, once the bees have left.


Incorporating plenty of organic matter and compost into your garden is critical before planting your crops. Continuing to feed with slow release granular fertilizer works well for those people with limited time. This fertilizer will continue to feed for 3 months and it includes micronutrients that may have been depleted from gardens of years past. For those people with a little more time, water soluble fertilizers like Miracle Gro  will feed your plants every 2 weeks and will help produce large yields. For those Organic gardeners, fish fertilizer works great as well. Crop rotation is imperative to insure that your plants do not develop nutrient deficiencies.


Vigoro 3.5 lb. Tomato and Vegetable Garden Plant Food Plus CalciumMiracle-Gro 1.5 lb. Tomato Plant FoodAlaska 1 Gal. 5-1-1 Fish Fertilizer


Cantaloupe are ready to harvest when the green rind changes color to tan or yellow. The netting pattern on the rind will also become much more pronounced. Look for a crack in the stem, where the vine meets the melon. If you see this crack then the melon is ready to be picked. Depending on the variety and growing conditions, cantaloupe will be ready to harvest within 70 to 90 days of being planted. A cantaloupe can be stored for 5 or 6 days if stored in a cool place. If your melon is small, do not wait for it to get bigger if it is showing symptoms of being ripe.

Related Articles:

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How to Grow Vegetable Library

Using annual ryegrass as a cover crop for your garden

Difference Between Hybrid, GMO and Heirloom Vegetables

Amending Different Soil Types

12 Vegetables to Plant this winter

Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors

What is Lime and Why is it Important

Pollination problems with cantaloupe, cucumber, pumpkin, squash and watermelon

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Posted 2017-04-13T17:50:20+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL