9 Tips for planting and growing Cantaloupe in your garden
Who doesn’t go crazy for sweet fragrant Cantaloupes! In addition to its unique taste, Cantaloupe has a high nutritional value, as it is rich in vitamins and fiber, while being very low in calories. We prefer to plant Cantaloupes in our garden or field, as planting them in a flower pot on the balcony is not so practical. We should know that Cantaloupe is a relatively demanding crop for a beginner, but in today’s article we will reveal all the secrets to enjoying the most delicious Cantaloupes from our garden, because summer without Cantaloupe is not possible.
What are the best known Cantaloupe varieties?
The well-known Greek Cantaloupe variety is Argon Cantaloupe, also known as jellyfish Cantaloupes, with oval oblong fruits, relatively hard flesh and especially strong aroma. The pineapple Cantaloupe variety is late, drought resistant and makes oval fruits weighing about 1.5-2 kg with orange flesh. Another Greek variety is the “bananas” Cantaloupes with small african yellow aromatic fruits that are characterized by early age. Also, Thrace Cantaloupe or “Golden head” with round fruit, yellow in color, with green spots, late ripening and having a long life after harvest. The most widely used varieties of Cantaloupe in the market are Galia hybrids, Cantaloupes that have round yellow fruits, with a smooth surface, and a soft aromatic flesh. Finally, well-known varieties of Cantaloupe are lollipops or Italian or European Cantaloupe, an early variety, with medium-sized fruit, very productive, with orange flesh.
What is the right time to plant Cantaloupes?
After selecting a variety of Cantaloupe, depending on the planting time and local climatic conditions, we plant in late spring the young Cantaloupe plants we have created in our bed as the Cantaloupe thrives in warm seasons. For later Cantaloupe plantings, we plant the seed directly on the ground in early summer to root the Cantaloupe better in its natural environment and to produce rich autumn produce. We plant the Cantaloupe plants at appropriate planting distances, every 80-100 cm between the posts and 120-180 cm between the planting lines. If we have small space in our field, we plant fewer plants and avoid dense planting to achieve better ventilation and more exposure to the sun. This contributes to improved Cantaloupe production and to the reduction of fungal and entomological diseases.
What care does watering and lubrication need for Cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe is demanding in the water and needs watering every two days in the spring and every day in the summer to keep the soil relatively moist. Excessive amount of water during the Cantaloupe bloom period contributes to the decline of the flowers and reduced Cantaloupe production. Also, when the soil is not well drained, watering the Cantaloupe can cause various fungal diseases such as fusarium and mildew. On lubrication, Cantaloupe cultivation is particularly demanding on nutrients and especially on potassium. When planting Cantaloupe it is necessary to add a biological fertilizer containing a significant amount of potassium as well as an organic substance in the form of well digested manure and compost. Then we add whole biological fertilizer every 3 weeks to ensure good Cantaloupe growth and significant quality fruit production.
How do we protect Cantaloupes from diseases and insects?
In order to prevent the Cantaloupe plants from fungal diseases such as mildew and quince, we dust them with dust around the root and on the leaves. For preventive protection against migraine, chickpea and thrush, we sprinkle Cantaloupe plants every week by dissolving one tablespoon of green soap and one tablespoon of sweet alcohol in a liter of water. Alternatively, we supply eco-friendly fatty acid soaps from the Japanese shops to spray.
What other care do Cantaloupes need?
The peaks in Cantaloupe cultivation ensure the balance between the growth of the shoots and the foliage and the production and good ripening of quality fruits. We prune half the original Cantaloupe shoot when it reaches about one meter to develop two lateral shoots, which we re-peal at half when it reaches one meter in length. Make a third peel when the fruits appear, pruning over the second pair of leaves over the Cantaloupe. Cantaloupes are also susceptible to intense sunshine and can be sunburned in the hot summer months to the extent that they are unfit for eating. To protect them, we cover the fruits with nearby Cantaloupe leaves, place dry grass and hay on top of them or a special sun protection netting.
And one last secret to growing Cantaloupe
Harvest the Cantaloupes 1-2 months after flowering, when ripe. We understand that they have matured when the Cantaloupe pod is cut with relative ease. Cantaloupe continues to ripen after harvest, so we should consume the Cantaloupe cut immediately as over-aging causes its quality to deteriorate.
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