What are cantaloupe plants
Planting Cantaloupe - How to Grow Cantaloupe Melons
The cantaloupe plant, also known as wart melon, is a popular melon that is often grown in many home gardens as well as commercially. It's easy to spot by the reticulated peel and the sweet orange color inside. Cantaloupes are closely related to cucumbers, squash, and gourds and therefore share similar growing conditions.
How to Grow Cantaloupe
Anyone who grows pumpkins (squash, cucumber, squash, etc.) can grow cantaloupes. When planting the melon, wait until the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed up in spring. You can either sow seeds directly in the garden or indoors (do this well before planting them outdoors), or you can use transplants purchased from reputable nurseries or garden centers.
These plants need plenty of sun with warm, well-drained soil - preferably with pH values between 6.0 and 6.5. Seeds are usually planted 1 to 2.5 cm (½ to 1 inch) deep and in groups of three. Although not required, I like to plant them in small mounds or hills, as I do with other pumpkin members. Cantaloupe plants are generally about 61 cm apart, with rows 1.5 to 1.8 m apart.
Transplants can be done once temperatures have warmed up and they have developed their second or third set of leaves. Purchased plants are usually ready to plant immediately. These should also have a distance of 61 cm.
Note: You can also plant cantaloupes along a fence or allow the plants to climb onto a trellis or small stepladder. Just make sure you add something to weigh the fruit as it grows - like a noose of tights - or put the fruit on the steps of your ladder.
Caring for and harvesting the cantaloupe plant
After planting cantaloupe plants, you need to water them thoroughly. They also require 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of weekly watering, preferably by drip irrigation.
Mulch is another factor to consider when growing cantaloupes. Not only does mulch keep the soil these plants enjoying warm, but it also helps retain moisture, minimize weed growth, and keep fruit off the ground (of course, you can put them on small planks, too). While many people prefer plastic mulch when growing cantaloupes, you can use straw too.
The cantaloupes should be ready for harvest within a month of the fruit setting. A ripe melon comes off the stem with ease. If you are not sure when to harvest, you can simply check the stem that your melon is attached to and see if the melon comes off. If it doesn't, leave it a little longer but check it often.
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