Cantaloupes are a deliciously sweet and succulent fruit that’s easy to grow in pots. If you’re a newbie gardener or have limited space, growing them in containers can be an ideal solution!
Before planting, amend the soil with a rich mixture of aged manure or compost. You’ll also want to incorporate a neutral range of pH.
Cantaloupe, also known as muskmelon, is a sweet-tasting and nutritious fruit that’s a popular choice for home gardens. It can be grown indoors or outdoors, depending on your climate.
To grow cantaloupe, choose a site that receives full sun and well-drained soil. You can amend the soil with organic matter like compost or aged manure before planting.
Sow seeds 1-2 weeks after the last frost date in small hills or rows spaced 36” apart. After germinating, thin seedlings to one plant per hill or every 36” in a row.
During growth, water evenly and often to keep the soil moist. Avoid over-watering, which can lead to blossom end rot.
Once the melons begin to ripen, scale back watering to about 1/2 an inch per week. This will concentrate the sugars in the fruit and maximize sweetness.
Before you plant cantaloupes, make sure your soil is prepared properly. It needs to be well-draining and nutrient-rich, with a pH of 6.0-6.5.
To amend the soil, add aged manure or compost to it. If you don’t have any, use a commercial fertilizer that contains phosphorus and nitrogen.
Once you’ve made the proper amendments, prepare your planting site with plenty of space. Choose a spot that gets full sun, which will help dry off the leaves and reduce fungal diseases.
If you don’t have enough room, train the vines to grow up a trellis or fence; this will give them support and also protect them from pests and diseases in the soil. Tie the vines to the trellis daily using soft plant ties that won’t crush their stems.
Cantaloupes do best when the weather is warm and sunny. If the temperature goes above 95 degrees Fahrenheit for several days, you may have to water your crop less frequently or mulch with straw to cool the roots.
A cantaloupe’s succulent flesh depends on plenty of water – about an inch a week. You can give your plants that much by spraying them with water every few hours or by putting down a layer of mulch.
Mulching also helps reduce fruit contact with the soil, which can lead to disease and rotting. Mulch can be made with black plastic, pine shavings, or straw.
To grow cantaloupes from seed, direct sow seeds into the ground about 1-2 weeks after your last frost date. Plant them about 1/2″ deep in small hills or rows spaced 36” apart.
Once they germinate, thin the seedlings to 1 plant per hill or every 18″ of row.
If you have trouble keeping a consistent water supply to your cantaloupes, try using a drip system or soakers. These systems are easy to set up and allow your plants to get the water they need without having to run out and refill their water bottles.
Cantaloupe is a versatile and delicious garden fruit that can be enjoyed year-round. It is also a great source of vitamin A, C, and other nutrients.
If you want to enjoy a cantaloupe that is sweet, juicy, and has a pleasant texture, harvest it when it is fully ripe. There are several ways to tell when the melon is ripe, but one of the best methods is to simply smell it.
A ripe cantaloupe will have a scent that is both sweet and musky, which is why they are often referred to as muskmelons. Another sign that a cantaloupe is ripe is when you can easily lift it off the ground.
You can also determine if a cantaloupe is ripe by looking at the rind behind the netting pattern. If it’s yellow or cream in color, it’s ready to be picked!