Muskmelon & Cantaloupe

After all danger of frost and when the soil temperature reaches 60°F, sow directly into the garden. Sow 6-8 seeds 1" deep in hills that are 6-8' apart (crowded vines will not produce well). Allow 12-14 days for germination. When plants are established, thin to 3-4 of the strongest plants. Aged manure mixed into the bottom of each hill helps stimulate growth. Excess nitrogen in summer induces vines to produce only male flowers. Female flowers make fruits.

Harvest Tip: Melons will "slip" from the vine when ripe, which means the vine naturally detaches. We suggest harvesting at "half-slip" to prevent over-ripeness. Apply slight pressure at the vine and the melon should detach with a small tug. Melons reach peak sugar content about 1 week from maturity. Cultural consistency during this period is critical for optimum flavor. Near maturity, excessive rain, or irrigation can mute melon flavor.