How Much Room Does Cantaloupe Need To Grow? Planting Guide 2022

The cantaloupe plant also referred to as muskmelon, is a well-liked melon that is frequently grown in many backyard gardens as well as commercially. It can be identified by its net-like rind and sweet orange interior color. Cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins are related to cantaloupes, so they all require similar growing conditions.

How much room does cantaloupe need to grow?

Usually, cantaloupe plants are spaced apart by about 2 feet (61 cm).) apart with rows 5 to 6 feet (1.5-2 m.) apart.

If you’ve ever contrasted a freshly picked, ripe cantaloupe with one purchased at the supermarket, you know what a treat it is. You’ll have a thorough understanding of cantaloupe planting once you’ve finished reading this article.

Read More: How Much Room Does Squash Need To Grow? 

How To Grow Cantaloupe?

Anyone who grows cucurbits (squash, cucumber, pumpkin, etc.) can grow cantaloupes. Wait until springtime soil has warmed up and the risk of frost has passed before planting cantaloupe. Either direct seeding in the garden or indoor flats (do this well before their initial planting outdoors) or the use of transplants purchased from reputable nurseries or garden centers are both options. These plants require lots of sun and warm, drained soil, ideally with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. The typical planting range for seeds is between ½ and 1 inch (1-2.5 cm).) deep, and in groups of three. Although it’s not necessary, I prefer to plant them in little mounds or hills as I do with other cucurbit family members. Plant spacing for cantaloupes is typically 2 feet (61 cm) apart.) apart with rows 5 to 6 feet (1.5-2 m.) apart. Once the weather has warmed up and the second or third set of leaves have emerged, transplants can be planted. In most cases, newly purchased plants are ready for planting right away. These should also be separated by roughly 2 feet (61 cm).) apart.


How Can You Grow Cantaloupes Vertically?

Numerous materials can be used to create a vertical trellis, but if you’re growing cantaloupe, you need to make sure the one you choose is strong. Remember that there is a lot of weight to support because you are working with long, densely packed fruit and heavy vines. You might think about using livestock panels, hog fencing, welded wire, and concrete reinforcing wire mesh as strong materials. Additionally, you need something that will make gaps that are small enough for the vines to cling to. Take into account whether you want a tall trellis or arbor or just shorter vertical support. If you’re building an arbor, the arch will need extra support, so some PVC pipe might be in order. Solid posts are also necessary so that the support material can be fixed on them. U-posts, other steel posts, or even solid wood posts, should work. Make sure the vertical support you have built over your melon hill is tightly zip tied or otherwise wired together after you have finished.

Care For And Harvest Of Cantaloupe Plant

You should thoroughly water your cantaloupe plants after planting them. Additionally, they will require weekly watering of approximately 1 to 2 inches (2.5–5 cm).) worth, preferably through drip irrigation. Mulch is yet another aspect to take into account when growing cantaloupe. Mulch helps retain moisture, reduces weed growth, and keeps the fruit off the soil (of course, you can also set them on small pieces of the board). It also keeps the soil warm, which these plants enjoy. If you’re growing cantaloupes, you can use straw in addition to plastic mulch, which is what many people prefer. Cantaloupes should be ready for picking within a month or so of the fruit set. Cantaloupes that are ripe will easily detach from the stem. Therefore, you can simply check the stem to which your melon is attached and see if the cantaloupe comes off if you’re unsure when to harvest. If it doesn’t, wait a little longer but keep checking.

Tips For Growing Cantaloupe

1. Choose The Best Location Is Vital

Cantaloupe prefers a sunny area with soil that drains well and is rich in organic matter. Compost and a balanced organic fertilizer should be added to the soil before planting. 

2. Choose A Cantaloupe Type Suited To Your Needs

  • The sweet variety Ambrosia is resistant to powdery mildew.
  • Mini Sugar Cube: small, disease-resistant fruits that can be harvested in just 75 days.
  • Only 80 days are needed to harvest Hale’s Best Jumbo, a sweet and large tomato.
  • Planter’s Jumbo thrives in warm climates and is resistant to powdery mildew.
  • Spanish relic from New Mexico: Chimayo Melon.
  • Hearts of Gold* — An antique variety with a sweet flavor that matures in just 80 days.
  • Minnesota Midget: Compact vines; short-season variety. 

3. Plant Cantaloupe At The Correct Time

Cantaloupe prefers warm weather, so don’t plant it before temperatures have warmed in the spring. Direct sowing is the best method for cantaloupe. When the soil is about 65°F, sow seeds outside about 2 weeks after the last date of frost. In Arizona’s low desert, February 15 through July is the best time to plant cantaloupe. 

In cooler zones, start seeds indoors about 3 weeks before the last frost date, and transplant outside when the soil is at least 65℉ and nighttime temperatures are above 50℉. When planting, take care not to disturb the roots to prevent transplant shock.

4. Give Cantaloupe Plenty Of Room To Grow

  • Thin seedlings and keep only the strongest seedling in each group. 
  • Space plants 24-36 inches apart if left to sprawl on the ground. 
  • Space plants about 12 inches apart if growing up a trellis. 
  • If using square foot gardening methods, allow 2-3 square feet for each plant.

5. Care For Cantaloupe Correctly Throughout The Growing Season

  • Mulch cantaloupe plants help retain moisture, regulate temperature, control weeds, and keep fruit clean.
  • Water in the morning and avoid getting water on leaves, which can encourage disease. 
  • Fertilize when vines begin growing. 
  • Observe bees carefully. Female flowers will emerge after the male flowers. Consider hand-pollinating upcoming blooms if female fruit withers and dies. 

6 Reduce Possibilities Of Pests And Disease

  • Rotate where you plant cantaloupe and members of the cucumber family (Cucurbitaceae), such as other melons, squash, or pumpkins.
  • Once fruits have formed, raise them up off the ground with melon cradles or pots; this increases air circulation and helps with rot and insects. 
  • Grow cantaloupe vertically; they love to climb. If desired, support the hanging fruit with a melon hammock, but this isn’t always necessary. 
  • If powdery mildew is a problem, consider growing a disease-resistant variety like ambrosia. 
  • Inspect leaf undersides daily for aphids and other pests. If the issue persists, take into account using an insecticidal spray or soap. Read this post for more ideas for pest control. 

7. Learn How To Grow Cantaloupe That Is Sweet And Full Of Flavor

  • Avoid overwatering while the fruit is developing. Fruit with an excess of water (or rain) has a bland flavor.
  • Consider giving vines and fruit an extra magnesium boost with an Epsom salt foliar spray. Add one tablespoon of Epsom salt to a gallon of water. When fruit is growing and the leaves start to vine, spray again. 
  • Once several fruits have formed, remove additional fruit. The sweetness is maximized by only letting one fruit mature at a time. Less sweetness will result from more fruit ripening on a vine at once.
  • Never remove any shoots or leaves by pruning. The sugars that make the fruits sweet are made by the leaves. 
  • About a week before melons are ripe, cut back watering as much as possible to concentrate the fruit’s sugars. 
  • Harvest cantaloupe at the right time.

8. Harvest Cantaloupe At The Right Time

Even after being picked, cantaloupe won’t become any sweeter; it will only continue to soften. The sweetest flavor results from leaving it on the vine for as long as possible.

9. Don’t Let Cantaloupe Harvests Go To Waste

If kept at room temperature, melons last 3–5 days. Uncut cantaloupe keeps for up to two weeks at 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Fruit that has been cut will keep in the refrigerator for approximately 3 days.

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