Cantaloupe is one of the sweetest and most nutritious fruits you can grow in your garden. It makes a great addition to salads or a take-along snack for summer picnics.
But there’s a lot that goes into growing and caring for cantaloupes. If you’re like most gardeners, you might wonder how many cantaloupe per plant you can get in a season. The number of cantaloupes you’ll harvest in one plant depends on several factors. These factors include cantaloupe variety, soil conditions, and the climate.
To make your cantaloupe growing a rewarding experience, we’ll look into the number of fruits you should expect per plant. You’ll also learn how to grow and care for cantaloupes and more.
- 1 How Many Cantaloupes Are in a Plant?
- 2 Varieties of Cantaloupe Plants
- 3 How Long Do Cantaloupes Take to Yield?
- 4 How to Plant Cantaloupes
- 5 Tips for Growing and Caring for Your Cantaloupes
- 6 Final Thoughts
How Many Cantaloupes Are in a Plant?
Generally, the plant will produce an average of 2 fruits per plant in a season. Smaller cantaloupe varieties can produce up to 6 fruits per plant.
Cantaloupes are large fruits that can weigh between 4-8 pounds. However, smaller varieties will weigh 3 pounds. These smaller varieties are suitable for farmers who grow cantaloupe commercially. You can plant these small varieties and harvest up to 20,000 cantaloupes per acre.
If you’re growing cantaloupe in your small fruit garden, go for smaller varieties for a higher yield. Doing some research will help you choose the best variety for your garden and climate.
Varieties of Cantaloupe Plants
When looking for the answer to “How many cantaloupe per plant?” it’s necessary to consider your preferred variety. A cantaloupe plant variety significantly affects the number of fruits it can produce.
Below is a table showing varieties of cantaloupes and the number of fruits they produce in a season.
|Cantaloupe Varieties||Cantaloupes Per Plant||Weight Per Cantaloupe (lbs.)|
If you prefer sweet varieties, go for Athena, Majus, Samoa, and Tirreno. These cantaloupe varieties are smaller and can offer a higher yield in your small garden. You’ll only need to provide them with growth requirements, including plenty of space to spread their vines.
Other varieties, like Athena and Home Run, are ideal for farmers in colder regions. Home Run produces the earliest harvest and yields more fruits per plant.
How Long Do Cantaloupes Take to Yield?
Cantaloupes take around 80-120 days to grow, mature and produce fruits. Varieties such as Home Run and Athena will take approximately 80 days from planting to harvesting. These varieties that mature and produce early are suitable for cooler climates.
Your cantaloupes will take around 3-4 weeks to ripen. Once you spot a ripe cantaloupe in the garden, the rest will be ready in a few days.
But how do you tell if a cantaloupe is ripe?
You can know if a cantaloupe is ripe by looking at its skin color. The fruit is ripe if the color has changed from grey-green to yellow. The fruit will also have a more pronounced netting pattern and a musky odor.
How to Plant Cantaloupes
How you plant your cantaloupes will determine the number of fruits you’ll get per plant. So, the journey to growing a high-yielding cantaloupe begins at the planting stage.
Let’s see how to grow your cantaloupe properly.
If you’re starting with the seeds, choose an ideal location with all the growth requirements. You can plant the seed indoors to allow for fast germination.
Ensure soil temperatures range between 65-70°F. Planting the seeds indoors ensures you have much control over the temperature, light, humidity, and moisture.
You can plant seeds indoors if you live in cooler climates and transplant the seedlings to your outdoor garden. Sow your seeds about 3-4 weeks before the frost ends for better results. Then wait until the seedlings are well-established to transplant them.
The seedlings have sensitive and delicate roots that can succumb to harm while transplanting. Handle them with care and ensure you’re transplanting them in moisturized soil.
In warmer climates, you can sow the seeds outdoors and cover the soil with row covers. Cantaloupe plant thrives in warm weather and full sunlight. You can sow the seeds two weeks after the frost when the soil temperature is at 65-70°F.
Tips for Growing and Caring for Your Cantaloupes
The good news is that cantaloupe is a low-maintenance plant that grows easily. Since you aim at a high-yielding plant, we’ll help you care for your cantaloupes. Below are the tips for growing and caring for the plant:
Amend the Soil
This step comes before you sow the seeds or transplant the seedlings. Test your garden soil to know if it’s suitable for growing your cantaloupe variety. Ensure the soil is slightly acidic to neutral. Generally, Cantaloupes thrive in soil pH ranging between 6.0-6.5.
Moreover, ensure you have well-draining soil, mainly sandy loam soil. It should also be organic-rich soil to encourage healthy and high-quality plants. So, you’ll need to amend your soil by adding organic fertilizer and compost before planting.
Choose a Suitable Location
Look for a sunny spot in your garden when growing cantaloupe outdoors. This warm-season plant thrives in full sun. The spot should receive at least 8 hours of daily sunlight.
If you’re growing cantaloupe indoors, choose a spot receiving plenty of afternoon sun. You can plant it near the window where there’s sufficient light. Complement sunlight with artificial lighting, especially during colder months.
An airy space will come in handy during pollination. Ensure the space has sufficient wind to allow pollination to take place. A garden with plenty of fresh air will also encourage pollinators such as bees.
Generally, 2-3’ spacing between your plants and 6-8’ between rows will allow your cantaloupes to grow appropriately. With adequate spacing, each plant will receive enough nutrients, water, and light to reach its full potential.
Proper water management is key to increasing the yield of your cantaloupe. Watering will determine how many cantaloupe per plant you get in a season.
Water regularly to ensure the plants grow healthy and strong. This plant needs healthy and robust vines that will support the heavy fruits.
Avoid overwatering, as doing so can lead to root rot. Water more frequently during the growing and blooming stages. You can go slowly on watering when the fruit starts to grow.
While watering, avoid wetting the leaves to prevent powdery mildew. Direct water near the base using your watering can or garden hose. If you have a large garden with many cantaloupes, use drip irrigation to moisturize the soil.
If you grow cantaloupe in warm climates, apply mulch on your plants to encourage moisture retention. Mulch will also protect your plants from high temperatures and weeds. Moreover, the fruits will remain clean.
Fertilize as Necessary
Cantaloupes require enough nutrients during the growing stage. Fertilize the plant when vines start to grow. You can use organic fertilizer and compost to ensure the soil is rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous.
Provide the vines and fruits with a magnesium boost. A mixture of Epsom salt and water will do the trick. Spray the mixture on leaves and fruits with a foliar spray.
Support the Vines
With time, your cantaloupe will grow extensive vines around the garden. These vines will look for any support to grow upwards. To keep them at bay, install trellises to support them.
When the plants begin producing fruits, install an old netting to support the heavy fruits. This step will help prevent the fruits from detaching from the vines. You can also pick off excessive or unhealthy fruits to minimize resource competition.
Pests and Diseases
Cantaloupes are susceptible to various pests and diseases. Adopt plant rotation to ensure your new plants grow in a pest and disease-free place. Avoid planting cantaloupe where you previously grew melons, pumpkins, and squash.
Keep the fruit raised off the ground to keep insects away and prevent rotting. Inspect the plants for pests like aphids, cucumber beetles, and spider mites.
If you spot any yellowing leaves, you might have an aphid infestation. Regarding diseases, cantaloupe is prone to bacterial wilt and powdery mildew. Spray pesticides, fungicides, insecticidal soap, and neem oil to prevent pests and diseases.
You now know how many cantaloupe per plant you will get in a season. Most cantaloupe varieties yield two fruits per plant. When growing this plant, choose the ideal variety that suits your garden, climate, and needs.
You can grow and harvest plenty of these summer fruits with a small garden for your family. Use cantaloupe in recipes, add it to several fruit salads, or make your favorite smoothies. If you’re going out for summer picnics, this fruit can be an excellent addition to your take-along snacks.
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