Today we are going to talk about a type of melon variety that is known to have a high amount of beta-carotene, vitamin A and good antioxidant action. It is the cantaloupe melon. Learn all about how to plant cantaloupe seeds in this full guide.
Table of Contents
When to Plant Cantaloupe Seeds
Surely, we wonder when to plant cantaloupe seeds, well the best time to plant these seeds in late winter and early spring.
How Deep to Plant Cantaloupe Seeds
This is another question gardeners are always asking. Cantaloupe seeds are planted in seedlings at a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm). (Order it here).
How far Apart to Plant Cantaloupe
When repotting, you can plant in a row, with a little more than 40” (100 cm) between each melon plant. If you make more than one line, respect at least 60” (150 cm).
How to Plant Cantaloupe Seeds Step by Step
We already know the depth, distance, and sowing time we need to know how to plant cantaloupe seeds, now we will learn the steps to plant them. Use a substrate enriched with compost and peat.
1- We will start by wetting the cantaloupe seeds for at least one hour before sowing them in the seedbeds.
2- The first step is to germinate the seeds before planting them in the ground, in the meantime, we can prepare our garden and choose the best conditions for our plants.
3- The seeds can germinate in the seedbeds in any season; however, it needs sun and a place with warm temperatures.
4- Therefore, it is recommended that if you are in a place with long winters and short summers, you carry out your germination process indoors until the warm conditions of the environment allow repotting.
5- Keep in mind that seeds will not germinate if there are temperatures below 68°F (20º C), that is why we recommend planting in early spring after the last winter frost.
6- To know how long it takes for melon seeds to germinate, we should count on at least a period of 10 to 15 days, however, this will depend on the growing conditions.
When the seedlings are bigger and the weather is suitable, they will be transplanted outdoors or in a large pot.
Growing and Caring for Cantaloupe
Now that we have seen when and how to sow and plant cantaloupe, let’s proceed to see the necessary care to take into account for them to develop properly. Follow these indications if you want to know how to plant cantaloupe successfully:
One of the most important points to take into account for the correct development of the cantaloupe is the temperature because it must be warm enough. This plant is very sensitive to low temperatures, and if you want your melon tree to develop well and bear good fruits, you must keep it between 73.4°F and 86°F (23 and 30ºC). For this reason, it is important to dedicate a location with good lighting. Additionally, on cold days you can cover the plant with some type of plastic or tarp that will not crush it and will help it maintain a stable temperature.
Cantaloupe has huge water content. With this in mind, it is not hard to imagine that the plant needs a good supply of it to grow healthy and bear large fruit. In the warm months, water your cantaloupe plants daily, making sure that the soil is always moist and does not dry out completely. In the cold months, you can space watering a little to prevent the soil temperature from dropping too low.
Cantaloupe is very demanding when it comes to soil nutrients. They need soil rich in organic matter, fertilized with compost or humus twice a month in the warm months, and once a month or every two months in the cold months.
Although we have already said that this plant needs a lot of water, the soil mustn’t become waterlogged at any time. That is why we recommend that you provide good drainage to the area where you plant cantaloupe.
When to Harvest Cantaloupe
The ideal time to pick cantaloupe is between late summer and early fall. The characteristic smell of the fruit will tell you if it is time to pick it or not because if you can smell the cantaloupe even through the peel, it means that everything has gone well and you can pick your cantaloupe calmly.