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Cantaloupe Help

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Cantaloupe Help

Post  BigTerp on 4/21/2016, 9:28 am

Hi guys. This will be my second season with my 4 x 4 SFG. Last year went well and I learned a lot. This year I want to try my hand at growing cantaloupe up my trellis. And had a few questions that I could not find the answer to. 

1. I read that pruning all lateral lines up to the 8th or so node is recommended. I'm not familiar with cantaloupe plants, so not really sure what a node or lateral line is. I am familiar with growing tomato plants up a trellis and removing suckers. The tomatoes actually did really well last year this way. Are lateral lines in a cantaloupe plant similar to suckers on a tomato plant? How do I identify the nodes on a cantaloupe plant? After pruning up to the 8th (or wherever I should stop) node, do I let everything above grow at will?

2. My trellis is the "Indestructible DIY Tomato Trellis". Nice and sturdy. With my tomato plants I just weaved the main stem in and out of the trellis as it grew along with the shoots. Can I do the same with a cantaloupe or will I need to secure the vines to the trellis somehow? 

3. Do melons need support as they grow? Since they are not supported by the ground when growing up a trellis I'm wondering if they will fall from the vine as they get heavier and heavier.

4. My trellis is above the back (south) 4 squares in my garden. The left two will house tomato plants this year and I planned to do one cantaloupe per square for the right two. Is that OK spacing?

Any other tips/tricks you guys would be willing to share would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!!
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Re: Cantaloupe Help

Post  sanderson on 4/21/2016, 2:13 pm

I just used our Search box and, thank goodness, there are only 17 threads.  This is just from my personal results with cantaloupe. I may learn something for other replies.

1.  The melons grow on the laterals.  Never read to prune them.  Embarassed I've let some lower laterals grow on the straw mulch in the beds.
2.  Melons have tendrils that they wrap around vertical supports and each other.
3.  The plant is very strong and the Cantaloupes won't fall off the plant until they are very ripe.
4.  One per square with vertical training.

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Re: Cantaloupe Help

Post  BigTerp on 4/21/2016, 2:44 pm

Thank you. I also searched, and got some valuable information, but had a few lingering questions and appreciate the response.

So are the laterals basically all the vines that grow off of the main stem?

Sounds like they will take hold of my trellis without needing any additional support by tying. I'll still plan to "weave" the main stem and laterals through the trellis to keep them supported.

Thanks again.
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Re: Cantaloupe Help

Post  No_Such_Reality on 4/21/2016, 3:48 pm

Depends on the cantaloupe.  Which kind are you planting?  True european heirloom cantaloupe don't slip.  Inodorus melons like honeydew and canaries don't slip or partially slip (stem cracks).  American cantaloupe (aka muskmelons) tend to slip and if you wait or put  pressure on the fruit, the vine will readily separate from the melon.

If doing an American melon, I'd support the melon with netting, I'm found during summer heat they can go from not slipping at all to full slip very quickly.

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Re: Cantaloupe Help

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/21/2016, 6:55 pm

https://www.google.com/search?q=melons+full+slip&client=safari&hl=en-us&prmd=sivn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjkg7Gj5qDMAhVISiYKHQEOD0UQ_AUICCgC&biw=1024&bih=671#hl=en-us&tbm=isch&q=melons+full+slip+&imgrc=bH8jakP34vnvGM%3A


Interesting!

http://extension.missouri.edu/p/M173

I am also growing melons for the fist time ever! I love them, hopee to have 2 of each type, Blacktail Mountain watermelon, Sakatas melon and Minnesota Midget muskmelons. Supposed to be short-season friendly....hope so! Never knew about the whole "slip" thing. Will provide trellis, but not gonna go real crazy, they will have space to sprawl where I am putting them.
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Re: Cantaloupe Help

Post  hammock gal on 4/22/2016, 3:01 pm

You know how sometimes you read something, and it sticks in your head forever? I remember reading many years ago, a tip for growing melons. Not sure how well it works, but here goes...because melons like heat, raise your melons up off the ground on something like an old coffee can. It lifts them up so that they can get more sun, and not be shaded by the leaves, and the can itself gets warm, and the melons are happy. Very Happy
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Re: Cantaloupe Help

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/22/2016, 10:25 pm

HG, love it. Makes sense! Get'em up! cheers
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Re: Cantaloupe Help

Post  sanderson on 4/23/2016, 3:05 am

Here, with the blistering summers, my melons need to be protected, either by their leaves or with shade cloth. The ones on the MM actually rest on a bed of straw mulch.

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Re: Cantaloupe Help

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/23/2016, 8:01 am

I don't have much luck growing melons but the couple of times I grew cantaloupes I had to cover the fruits with knee hi pantyhose in order to stop some critter from taking bites out of them.

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Re: Cantaloupe Help

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/23/2016, 10:24 am

Hmmm. I don't think I have any pantyhose, my daughter might.
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Re: Cantaloupe Help

Post  BigTerp on 4/25/2016, 11:58 am

Thanks for all the replies.

To answer the question about which melons I plan to grow, my local shop carries Charentais, Hale's Best and Hearts of Gold. Not sure which of these would be better for trellising?
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Re: Cantaloupe Help

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/25/2016, 3:49 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Hmmm.  I don't think I have any pantyhose, my daughter might.  
I had to use my mother's.  Laughing
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Re: Cantaloupe Help

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/25/2016, 6:26 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:Hmmm.  I don't think I have any pantyhose, my daughter might.  
I had to use my mother's.  Laughing
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I get it!
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