Cantaloupe: Just not growing.
First of all, IÂm very new to gardening. I grew up with a garden but we never grew cantaloupe so I wasnÂt able to learn anything from that so please bear with me. I have a pretty small garden. My Tomatoes, Peppers, Zucchini, Squash, Carrots, Cucumbers, and Strawberries are all doing really well. My cantaloupe plants are not. I have probably gone through 6 plants now and cannot seem to get them established and growing. The first few plants were hit by rain/hail in May and just died. The next set I think I planted a bit early because they still have their starter leaves and just wilted and died. The last set I still have and I ended up covering them up for the first week after transplanting them so the sun would not hurt them and they are living and look very healthy but really havenÂt shown any growth in 3 weeks.
The temperatures have been in the mid 80s to low 90s during the day and the nights have been in the low 60s. I have been hand watering them (the rest of the garden is on a drip system) until they get a bit bigger so I do not drown them with water.
I have done quite a bit of reading here and elsewhere and I believe I am following the recommendations with regard to watering and food.
Here are my questions:
If I do a soil test what would be an ideal growing environment for cantaloupe?
I have used a generic fertilizer for the rest of the garden, should I be using something specific for cantaloupe?
Covering the plants (giving them shade really) was a recommendation from the local gardener during their transplant shock period, do you think this has/is stunting their growth?
Any other recommendations or thoughts?
Thanks for the advice in advance. IÂm glad this is all happening actually because IÂm learning so much about what to do and not to do.