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Cantaloupe: Just not growing.

Posted by henrick ID (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 21, 08 at 9:22

First of all, Im very new to gardening. I grew up with a garden but we never grew cantaloupe so I wasnt 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 havent 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. Im glad this is all happening actually because Im learning so much about what to do and not to do.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cantaloupe: Just not growing.

Cantaloupes are not especially particular. If you grow squash and cucumbers, you should have no problems with cantaloupes. Cantaloupes are not prone to as many insects and diseases as squash and cucumbers. They need a little more heat than cukes or squash. They do a lot better direct seeded than transplanted, which may be your problem if every thing else is equal.


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RE: Cantaloupe: Just not growing.

direct plant them in the ground you want them to grow i have personally found that if i transplant cantelope it does have a hard time picking up not sure why but some times the same plant will work much faster when direct planted than transplanted in the same spot


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RE: Cantaloupe: Just not growing.

I will keep the direct seeding in mind for next year given that its almost the end of June and I would assume that its really too late to plant now? It sure sounds reasonable that they would do better.


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RE: Cantaloupe: Just not growing.

Direct seeding is fine for later melons. I transplant all mine. Granted it can be touch and go some years when the weather is chilly and wet at transplanting time. So I start some spares for that reason.

If you are a more serious melon grower like me, you want some early melons too so you get them started earlier...at least some of them. I hand pollinated about a dozen watermelon blossoms this morning and a couple cantaloupes. One loupe is set on and growing. I don;t believe that that would be the case with just seeding direct...been there.


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RE: Cantaloupe: Just not growing.

Wayne-

Thats interesting. I have a decent size cantaloupe going, but no flowers yet. I direct seeded, it was late, but then again this spring was very chilly.


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RE: Cantaloupe: Just not growing.

Yes, chilly and wet.

Here is a link that might be useful: May weather...+100 other years


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RE: Cantaloupe: Just not growing.

First year of gardening for me. I planted 2 rows of cantaloupe (about 6 inches apart).four of them came up and actually look pretty good (like the pictures I've seen of what they are supposed to look like) but they are all in the same row and they are about 6 inches apart. Because of our late season I planted them about the second to last week of May. Here's my question. The directions said I was supposed to thin them to about 12 inches apart. I didn't. So what I've got is what appears to be 4 pretty good growing plants 6 inches apart. Should I take two of them and transplant them in the mound that none came up in to give them more room to grow? Or just leave them and hope for the best? Thanks in advance for your input........Mike


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RE: Cantaloupe: Just not growing.

Wow....I plant mine about 5' apart and I consider them to be too close. I have about 110 canteloupes on 12 plants. I'm interested in seeing how your's do.


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RE: Cantaloupe: Just not growing.

This my first year growing watermelon and canteloupe also. I've found they done well growning by direct seed method. I've got about 10 plants and fruit on all of them. I've been giving them plenty of water when we don't get any rain and I've supplemented them with a round of all purpose fruit and veggi fertilizer 6-10-10. I'll have my first melon and canteloupe in about a week or so....They do take up a lot of room though. It took them about a month from the time they bloomed to see any size of the fruit though. I did notice once they got baseball size they seem to start growing faster.


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RE: Cantaloupe: Just not growing.

Well? So far so good. It's been a little over a week since I transplanted 2 of my cantaloupe plants and "they ain't dead yet"! I dug around the plants about 8 inches around and about the same deep and carefully removed the whole works out of the ground and into the new "hole" that I made. Threw a little vegetable plant food in there and have been giving them about 30 to 60 minutes of water in the morning every day. First couple of days the plants looked a little peeked but now they look like the two that I didn't transplant. I'm guessin' the jury is still out but I'm pretty optimistic at this point. Later.........Mike


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RE: Cantaloupe: Just not growing.

Several have said this, but cucurbits do not like to be transplanted. Over the years, I've run several experiments where I direct seeded and transplanted from plastic pots and in peat pots. In every case the direct seeded ones yielded fruit around the same time as the transplanted ones and often earlier. Transplants have a tendency to just sit there for quite a while.


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