Growing Muskmelon, Cantaloupe

Muskmelon is a warm-weather plant that will not tolerate even the slightest frost. It also has a long growing season, which means you must select a variety suited to your region's climate. In cool areas, grow muskmelons from transplants; use individual, plantable containers so the root system is not disturbed when you transplant. Set the plant in the garden when the ground is warm: two to three weeks after the danger of frost.

Muskmelon, cantaloupe can be grown from seeds or by transplants.
Muskmelon, cantaloupe can be grown from seeds or by transplants.

Muskmelons must have full sun and need a well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. Grow muskmelons in inverted hills spaced 4 to 6 feet apart. If you're planting from seed, plant six to eight seeds per hill and then thin to the strongest two or three seedlings. If you're using transplants, put two or three in each hill. Muskmelons need a lot of water while the vines are growing, but stop watering when the fruit ripens.

Harvesting Muskmelon, Cantaloupe

The time from planting to harvest is 60 to 110 days, depending on the variety. Leave the melons on the vine until they're ripe; mature melons will easily slip off the stem.

Types of Muskmelon, Cantaloupe

  • Ambrosia Hybrid, 86 days, produces thick, firm fruit about 61/2 inches in size.
  • Sweet 'n' Early Hybrid, 75 days, is an early variety that is good for short seasons.
  • Burpee Hybrid, 82 days, produces deep orange, firm fruit.

In the next section, we'll show you how to select muskmelon, cantaloupe.

Want more information about muskmelon, cantaloupe? Try: