Cantaloupe & Honeydew Melon (Cucumis melo)

When to Plant

Sow directly into the garden once the danger of frost has passed or for an earlier crop, start indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost using 3-4” Jiffy peat pots and make sure to weather/harden off the plants before setting them in the ground.

When transplanting take great care not to disturb the root system.

Location/Soil

Best when planted in a rich, moist, well-drained soil in full sun. Transplants should only go into the garden once soil is completely warmed. Plants will do better if there is some shelter from winds.

Planting & Growing Information

Sow seeds 2.5 cm (1″) deep and sow 5-6 seeds per hill or 5 cm (2″) apart. Plants should be spaced/thinned to 2-3 plants per hill or 15 cm (6″) apart. Rows should be spaced 1.5-1.8 m (5-6′) apart.

Seeds germinate in approximately 5-10 days.

Days to Maturity: From date directly sown in garden.

Other Information

Adequate moisture is essential during the growth of the plant and during pollination while fruits are setting. After this, water only when soil becomes dry as high rainfall or excessive irrigation as the melons near maturity will adversely affect fruit flavor

Water around the base of the plant and be careful to avoid splashing dirt onto the leaves which can transfer diseases from the soil to the plants.

To improve the chances of having nice, sweet, matured fruit by the end of the season, it can be helpful to limit the number of fruits on each plant (by removing blossoms) after you have 3-4 melons forming will allow the plant put all its energy into those remaining fruits.

Harvesting & Storage

Melons are ready to harvest when the stem easily separates from the fruit. To avoid over-ripening, harvest melons before they naturally separate from the vine. The best way to check maturity is to place your thumb beside the stem and gently apply pressure to the side. If the stem separates easily, the melon is ripe.

Store at room temperature as cooler temperatures will cause them to loose flavor and texture.

Companion Planting

Likes: Corn, radish.