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CANTALOUPE

Growing cantaloupe, as established since its creation near Rockyford, Colorado 

in 1885, involves the gardener’s unique judgement and technical abilities.

How To Grow Cantaloupe Overview

  • Grow cantaloupes in well-drained dirt, in full sun.
  • Cantaloupe plants need to grow for around 85 days but do not hurry to plant.
  • Sow seeds only when temperatures above 50 to 60 degrees F remain reliable.
  • Plant in two or three seed pairs spaced 2 feet apart.
  • When seedlings grow, hold just the best individual plant in each group and remove the others.
  • Several weeks before the last frost date, you can start cantaloupe seeds in indoor containers. Note that melons are especially vulnerable to root disturbance; if you are not cautious when transplanting them outdoors, the vine development may be stunted.
  • Pull out the weeds as soon as you see them, make sure the cantaloupe seedlings or vines are not pulled away.
  • Cantaloupes need roughly 1 to 2 inches of water a week.
  •  If you don’t get that much rain every week, water deeply but rarely to hit that level.
  • As the fruits grow, the irrigation slowly reduces and ceases as too much humidity will cause the rinds to break. Too much water will dilute the melon’s sugar content, also.
Whole and sliced of Japanese melons,honey melon or cantaloupe (Cucumis melo) Glass Of Melon Smoothie

Cantaloupe Nutrition Information

Raw Cantaloupe, 1 cup (156 grams)

NameAmountUnit
Water141g
Protein1.31

g

Total lipid (fat)0.296

g

Carbohydrate12.7g
Fiber, total dietary1.4g
Sugars12.3g
Vitamin C57.3mg
Choline11.9mg
Name Amount Unit
Calcium, Ca 14 mg
Magnesium, Mg 18.7 mg
Phosphorus, P 23.4 mg
Potassium, K 417 mg
Sodium, Na 25 mg
Energy (calories) 53 kcal
Carotene, beta 3150 µg
Zinc, Zn 0.281 mg
Iron, Fe 0.328 mg

Garden Vegetables & Fruits Plant Preferences Profile

Specific Plant Growing Requirements and Information

Cantaloupe

Annual

Full Sun 

Ready for harvest 80 to 90 days after planting

C. melo subsp. melo

Cantaloupes range in weight from 1 to 11 lb (0.5 to 5 kilograms)

Sweet or mildly alkaline soil. The pH of the soil should be at least 6.5, but ideally higher

Does Not Apply To Annuals

Cantaloupe Detailed Growing Information

Cantaloupe Seeds

Seed can be picked more diligently in respect to the fruit’s taste and appearance; good characters with minimal cavities and heavy netting; and a willingness to grow average size melons. Seed should only be purchased from most reliable suppliers. 

Ideal Soil for Cantaloupe

Experience has shown that a sandy loam is the soil ideally suited for cantaloupes, and that its tilth state and the fertility available are the prime important in taking cantaloupes to rapid maturity.

The secret of getting soil is largely one of experience in that ashy, mellow condition so desirable for cantaloupes, for hardly two farms can be treated the same. In general, moisture must be present in the soil over the winter to get the frost disintegrating effect and plowing should not be done until the soil is dry enough to pulverize mellow.

Barnyard manure has long been a way of supplying fertility for pressuring cantaloupes to mature early. Old land of alfalfa is ideally suited for cantaloupe cuisine. Bermuda sod plowed up and exposed to the sun without irrigation the previous summer allows excellent cantaloupe soil, the extensive cultivation needed serving both to support the crop and to curb this formidable vine.

How to Water Cantaloupe

The irrigation furrow generally supplies moisture for the cantaloupe hill. It should always take soaking through the soil to reach the seed or plant. Irrigation should never cause the soil to over-soak or flood, as the soil then becomes tough and does not create for proper growth. A rather mooted issue is the connection of irrigation to a new collection of cantaloupes. 

Some growers argue that frequent watering is used to secure a good set during the setting period. Others prefer to keep the cantaloupe vines slightly dry and even let them show the need for water before they irrigate during the setting stage. Results have appeared to support both theories, yet close observation would not warrant following either plan to an extreme, but rather an ordinary course of supplying sufficient moisture for an even, healthy growth, which seems to be the essential condition throughout. An abundance of irrigation during the hot weather in July will undoubtedly continue to grow vines at the cost of fresh fruit. 

The most catastrophic consequence of so much water is having the soil soaked until the surface is almost entirely saturated. Affording the warm, dewy state favorable to its growth as is the production of rust. The problem of rust in Colorado’s cantaloupe culture is a serious one. Controlling it by correctly applying irrigation is only a palliative measure. Yet a marked contrast is often seen in two parts of a field; one over-irrigated, and the other comparatively dry, aside from the moisture needed for the vines to grow. 

Rainy weather and dewy nights provide the right conditions for rust spore production, and although the gardener is unable to alter climatic conditions, while carefully applying water, keeping the rows well-drained, and sufficient lateral waste to avoid over-soaking and flooding, the surface of the field should dry quickly after a rain or irrigation. Thus the night-time dews will be less, and in one measure will alleviate the effects of rust.

How to Harvest Cantaloupes

Depending on environmental conditions, cantaloupes ripen 35-45 days after pollination. The skin transforms from green to smooth yellow-beige, the “netting” surface transforms rough, and the tendrils discolor and dry around the fruit.

Research suggests not to wait until the fruit falls off the vine. Look instead for indications that it is ready to harvest, then gently loosen the cantaloupe from the stem. This can simply break away. If not, then stop and let it ripen for a couple more days. When separated from the vine, cantaloupes don’t ripen.

Cantaloupes from the grocery store that still have little stems attached were picked too early and will probably not be very sweet.

The cantaloupes can be kept for about one to two weeks at 45 to 50 degrees F

Cantaloupe Sorbet

Prep Time5 hrs
Cook Time10 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fresh cantaloupe, fresh cantaloupe sorbert
Servings: 6 People
Author: KH Foxtrot

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Freezer
  • Baking Sheet

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups fresh cantaloupe cubed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp water more as needed

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the cubed cantaloupe onto the baking sheet, leaving space in between the cubes to allow for even freezing and not touching so they don’t create a giant glob of frozen cantaloupe.
  • Place the tray into the freezer and freeze the cantaloupe overnight, or until completely frozen - at least 4-6 hours.
  • Place the frozen cantaloupe into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cantaloupe becomes crumbly.
  • Add the lemon juice, honey, and water at this time and then pulse again. You may need to add more water until the mixture becomes more fluid, but not slushy.
  • You're looking for a soft sorbet texture at this point.
  • Taste and add any additional honey as needed at this time if it needs to be a little sweeter.
  • If the mixture becomes too slushy and does not resemble sorbet, you can return to the freezer for 30 min. to an hour to allow it to re-solidify.
  • Serve immediately, or store in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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