The cantaloupe plant is a muskmelon species, which has the Latin name Cucumis melo var Cantalupo. Initially, this fruit was quite well known in Europe, but later it became a great-demanded fruit all over the world.
From the outside, this fruit looks like a typical watermelon plant. However, when split open, the flesh is orange with a nice texture and aroma. Besides, you can also enjoy a sweet, refreshing taste in every part like dragon fruit taste.
This fruit also turns out to contain extraordinary benefits when consumed. It contains essential vitamins and nutrients for the body. Therefore, it is not wrong for the cantaloupe plant to be one of the most cultivated fruits.
However, growing this fruit in the garden requires special handlers to produce maximum yields, but you can also do it if you pay attention to the steps that we will discuss this time.
Read also how to grow sugar baby watermelon, if you are interested in those too.
The Benefits of Cantaloupe Plant
Some of you may not have found the reasons why growing cantaloupe plant in your garden. Therefore, you need to know the benefits of this fruit to be motivated to make it a necessity. Here are some of them:
- Having a sweet and refreshing taste, you can eat them straight away or turn them into delicious food and drinks;
- Increasing the immune system;
- Reducing the risk of cancer;
- Vitamin C can help treat skin and hair;
- Vitamin A can help maintain eye health;
- Smooth digestion;
- Helping lower blood pressure; and
- Containing various other nutrients that the body needs.
Apart from those mentioned above, there are many other benefits that this fruit produces. With regular consumption, you can live a healthier life. It would be nice if you enjoy it all the time from your garden.
Cantaloupe Plant Stages
Growing a cantaloupe plant cannot be done carelessly. You need to pay attention to several things from the first time you sow the seeds. As with any watermelon plant stages, there are four phases must be through.
Cantaloupe Plant Seedlings
The seedlings are the most significant phase in growing a cantaloupe plant. You must choose the best seeds with a purity level of at least 95 percent and germination of at least 80 percent. Besides, the seeds must also be healthy, free from defects, and pests.
For the planting process, the soil must have a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Apart from that, plants will not be able to absorb nutrients properly. The planting area should also expose to sunlight. Prepare several hills 3 to 12 feet apart.
Initially, plant six seedlings on each hill. Each of them should be approximately 0.5 to 1 inch below the soil surface. Once the cantaloupe leaves start to appear, you can move some of them so that there are only three seeds per hill in density.
Young Cantaloupe Plants
In general, the cantaloupe growing time reaches 80 to 120 days. After ten days of seeding, it will develop into young plants. It is a phase, which requires warm air, adequate soil nutrients, and moisture protection.
To keep the soil moist, you can add bark mulch. Thus, the growth can be maximal until the pollination phase arrives. Remember, each process will determine how many cantaloupes per plant you will get.
Following the melon plant leaves, the flowers will appear after the plants reach 18 inches in length. After that, the branches will grow and connect to the main stem. Now, plants are starting to enter the next phase.
The pollination process requires the help of bees, butterflies, or other possible insects to help pollinate. Therefore, for attracting as many insects as possible, you need to design a garden that they like best. One way is to place several types of vegetable and fruit plants around the area.
After pollination, it can take 35 to 45 days for the cantaloupe plant to harvest. When the fruit starts to change color from green to yellow, the fruit is ready to be used. You can start picking them when the curly string tendrils that grow near the fruit begin to dry and turn brown.
Those are the four stages in planting a cantaloupe plant. Just as an aside, the best area for farming is 200-650 m above sea level. Also, make sure that the water is good and that the wind is not blowing too hard. You also need to add fertilizers such as POC GDM or GDM SAME.
Besides, the ready-to-harvest cantaloupe plant is easy to pick, so you do not have to work hard to pick it up. For melons that are not completely ripe, you should provide extra protection, for example, with a net, to avoid wild animal disturbances.
How to Plant Cantaloupe Plant in Various Conditions
It is undeniable that everyone may have different land conditions for gardening. You may not have enough land to make hills. Do not worry. There is always a solution to every problem. The following are some alternatives for growing a cantaloupe plant in less than ideal conditions.
How to Grow Cantaloupe Plant Vertically
Ideally, cantaloupe plant and other melon breeds do grow horizontally, but for several reasons, for example, the narrowness of the land, you cannot apply the density distance according to the instructions described above. In this case, you need to plant it vertically.
To grow it vertically, you need the help of the cantaloupe trellis. It should be large enough, between 8 and 20 feet, and placed in a location that has a warm climate. You can use wire as the medium.
Next, the tendrils were tied in such a way to the trellis. Be careful when doing this so that you do not damage the stem. Carry out the planting process according to the stages discussed above.
Growing Cantaloupe Plant in Raised Beds
Planting cantaloupe in this medium is the same as in hills. It is just that the land provided may be narrower and not directly in contact with the earth.
For this planting medium, you can prepare a raised bed with the soil of the best quality that the cantaloupe plant likes. Carry out maintenance and process according to what described above.
Using a raised bed is more profitable if done at a home scale. You do not need to depend on the soil conditions in your environment because you can take samples from other locations.
The raised bed is now even easier because of the various facilities and equipment sold in agricultural shops. You can get a complete set of tools for growing with this medium at an affordable price.
Growing Cantaloupe Plant in Containers
How to grow cantaloupe from seeds with media containers is the same as the others. Every step must be with great care, from seed selection to harvesting. It is just that you may need to make a few adjustments.
Containers generally have a higher temperature than direct planting in gardens. You need to regularly check the temperature so that the seeds that do not overheat. If the temperature increases, you need to do watering so that conditions return to stability.
How to Grow Cantaloupe Plant Indoors
Growing cantaloupe indoors might be a little different from other media. As is known, this fruit requires adequate sunlight to grow well. Therefore, if you want to do it indoors, you need a few devices that allow plants to develop properly.
You may need to build a greenhouse that contains temperature and light control instruments according to the cantaloupe’s needs. Even if you have succeeded in providing the best environment, you still have to work hard during the pollination process.
If you do not use the help of insects, then you have to use several cutting-edge technologies so that the pollination process runs smoothly. However, it is not impossible.
How to Grow Cantaloupe Plant in Pots
The planting media is very diverse and not only fixed in the garden. You can even grow cantaloupe plant in pots. Although it may require a little special treatment, this is not impossible at all.
First, you do the seeding process as usual. After a few days, the leaves will start to grow. In this phase, you have to start giving extra, including diligent watering when the soil looks drying out.
It is a good idea to use a soil moisture meter to ensure when the right time to water. After that, you need to water it when it looks dry once the melon is the size of a tennis ball.
Do checking regularly, and do not forget to add fertilizer if needed. The cantaloupe plant also needs to get a lot of sunlight to grow properly.
Farming is a tricky thing, but you can do well as long as the environment is supportive. You do not need to be afraid that you will not get good results just because you do not have enough land.
With media such as those reviewed above, you can make your dream garden come true. Apart from the alternatives discussed above, of course, many more ways can be taken to anticipate less ideal land.
In the end, we can conclude that the cantaloupe plant must be planted in ideal conditions to produce a satisfactory harvest. However, for home gardeners, this is not a priority because the results obtained are not for commercial purposes.