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Topic: Growing Cantaloupe  (Read 1762 times)
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Salome
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« on: March 09, 2006 02:20:20 PM »

I'm planning a small garden at my home in San Antonio. I'm rounding up the usual suspects: tomatoes, peppers, herbs, cucumbers, squash. I wanted to try something a little sweeter and in the Jung catalogue, I found these: https://www.jungseed.com/jungsite/jungsiteviewproduct.aspx?ProductID=27336&gcitem=189004ea83cf21 .

Does anyone have any tips about growing melons? I've never tried it before. Do they need a lot of room? Sun? Do they grow on the ground, or would they do better climbing somewhere?
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her_own_invention
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2006 06:50:02 PM »

I have grown melons several times with some success. Personally I have never tried climbing, just on the ground.
Though I'm sure that's something to try as cucumbers do well as climbers and they are of the same family. I would worry about the weight of the melon pulling off the vine before it is ripe though.
Anyhow, they like a lot of sun and A LOT of water. When you see a melon appear put a board underneath it. This way it won't rot on the soil when you water and it wont get a weird discoloured spot where it touches the ground. The melons I have grown in the past didn't seem to take up too much space, the same amount as a cucumber plant.
I am in Vancouver so I'm sure they will do just fine in San Antonio!
Good luck!
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curlykel
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2006 07:14:40 PM »

I'm in Mississippi but lived for 8 years in San Antonio and our climate is very similar.  Melons are easy to grow,  the hard part is having the patience to wait for them.  They do vine and take alot of room and my personal experience has been that if you let them run on the ground they do very best but just when they are perfectly ripe, the box turtles around here start eating them and then the ants take advantage of the holes in them that the turtles leave.   

I've had better luck letting them grow up a trellis.  You would think the weight of them would cause them to break but they hold on tight until they are ripe and when you see the stem starting to dry  you'll know they are about ready.  I pile hay or grass clippings under them so when they fall, which they will when they are ripe, they have a soft landing.  If it's at all possible to control the amount of water they get, let them have plenty when they are growing but when they start heading toward the home stretch, back off of the watering.  That concentrates the sugar in them and they are much sweeter.  an old farmer told me that

I've had even better luck with banana melons.  They are bigger and shaped more like a zucchini squash that has gotten completely out of control than a banana but the insides taste just like cantaloupe.  The outside turns a yellow color when they are ripe so maybe that is where the name comes from. If you are growing them up a trellis, they don't take any more room than cantaloupe and your fruit is much bigger. I get the seeds at the feed store. 

   
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