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Favorite Cantaloupe Varieties? — The Grow Network Community
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Favorite Cantaloupe Varieties?

Mary Linda Bittle, West Plains, MissouriMary Linda Bittle, West Plains, Missouri Posts: 901 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Fruit

I got such good answers for new tomatoes to try that I thought perhaps you could share the varieties of cantaloupe that have done well for you.

I've totally failed at them. I planted 4 plants, had lots of blooms, but only 1 tiny, kind of awful tasting melon. The pack wasn't marked as to variety, so I don't know what to avoid, but I'd like to plant a few to see what does well for me. I like a flavorful one - other than that, I'd just very much like to get some melons!

Is there a secret to pollination? I have lots of bugs and wasps. Do not use chemicals in the garden. The tomatoes in the same big bed had tons of fruit.

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • merlin44merlin44 Posts: 425 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2019

    Hale's Best and Minnesota Midget are my favorites (and my chickens'). I plant in full sun with Nasturiums (to deter pests), add lots of compost when planting and once they begin to fruit. I try to keep the melons off the ground and do keep a close eye on them for the bad bugs.

  • chimboodle04chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    A small french variety, Charentais, has done well for us. Super sweet and small so you can have just a few servings if needed... They did like to be trellised.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm still trying out different varieties each year so I don't really have a best yet. I know the worst - it was from Burpees organic line. They had two different varieties one called a cantaloupe the other a muskmelon and both were horrible. Mushy and it just tasted like sweet mushy water (the muskmelon) and the cantaloupe variety was hard with no flavor at all.

    As for the suggestion to keep the fruit off the ground, don't go buy anything. Many companies sell fruit protectors to cradle the fruit off the soil to reduce bugs. I just use those foam trays you get at the grocery store. Usually they are packed with your meat selection but you can find them in the produce, bakery and deli also. I started saving them about 5 years ago and I'm still using the same ones every year. They never wear out.

    I end up placing them under my cukes, squash, melons, any low lying tomatoes, peppers and anything else.

    Just remember to place them in the garden upside down. There is a ridge all the way around them and you don't want your tray collecting rainwater.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle I am not sure of your area. In the desert, I frequently had to hand pollinate plants because strong sun at the wrong time of day kept the bees from doing the job. Tomatoes are wind pollinated.

    By the way, old halter tops work fantastic for supporting melons that are climbing a chain link fence. If I come across a photo of that I will be sure to share.

  • @shllnzl

    Please do share that photo if you find it! I have some old bras that I was going to throw away - perhaps I should save them.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle My halter that tied both around the neck and back was perfect for the job. Your bras probably could be adapted though and be a good conversation starter.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle I just hunted for old gardening photos and didn't find many. If they are digital, I may only find them by accident.

    Too bad, the halter worked so well for those melons and would have been fun to share!

    Old scarves would work too but not be as funny.

  • greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 592 ✭✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle if you need a sling type of tie-on for vertical gardening those open weave mesh bags work perfect that come with onions or some kind of fruits from the grocery store.

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