How to Grow Canteloupe or Muskmelon : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread


I'm still laughing at the sight of cantaloupe vines growing every which way all over the place. Makes us laugh too! :^)

First you have to decide how you want to begin. The best way is to raise transplants. We start here (near Cape May, N.J.)in May using individual, plantable containers (keeps the roots intact). You can only plant them when the ground is warm and there is NO danger of frost. It is a warm weather fruit.

We don't grow cantaloupes. We grow heirloom netted muskmelons. They are so sweet they melt in your mouth. My wife hated cantaloupe until I helped her find sweet loupe and muskmelons. They are smaller, and easier to raise in a home garden.

MM need full sun and drainable soil, so what we do is build small mounds, fertilize it with compost etc. and put 2 to 3 transplants per mound. If you go the seed route, plant 6 to 8 seeds per mound. BTW, the mounds should be 4-6 feet apart. When the seedlings start growing thin them out until you are left with 2 or 3 seedlings per hill.

MM need a LOT of water. We have set up our garden acc. to the one minute gardener. We have laid down soaker hoses and simply have to turn on the water and turn it off. When the mm start to ripen, stop watering. We take a piece of brick and set the mm on them to prevent rotting etc.

Our vines are growing everywhere. We put the mounds on the outside of our corn and let the vines run wild thru the corn. This year they have hopped our chicken wire and lay everywhere. We just enjoy it. Make sure your melons don't grow in a way that they fall off before they are ripe. Adjust them if necessary so they ripen on the vine. When they mature they will just fall off.

Because we have heirloom non-hybrid seeds we save our seeds in a strainer. Keep dry and cool and dark with moisture absorbers if possible.

Now for your melons. I presume they are cantaloupe and not mm. You may just want to let well enough alone this year or you can go ahead and thin it out if you like. You can always put out a little stand and teach your children a little capitalism. :^)

Take pictures.

Blessings Bob

-- B Brown (, September 09, 1999


By the way we only have six vines. I can't even imagine 20. You should put up a sign......Gayla's farm where the cantaloupe roam. I'm sorry I'm still laughing at the mental picture.

The correct name of our mm is Netted Gems.

-- BB (, September 09, 1999.

Thanks, BB! You are really going to laugh when I tell you about where I planted my cantaloupe. I use raised beds because it USUALLY rains a lot in east Texas. Also, our dirt (term used loosely!) is mostly clay.

Well, all 20 of the plants are in a 4 x 8 foot bed. Yikes! I started them from seeds in a little container. I didn't think all of them would sprout, but they did. They were SO little at the time! I watched over them and babied them. Anyway, I planted them in the raised bed, and they turned into huge monsters! :-)

You say to thin them out, but... but... how can I decide which plant has to die? sniff... sob... (I'm going to be in pitiful shape next year if things get really bad and we have to eat a bunny or something!) :-0

I put up some lattice type wiring, and I'm trying to get the vines to climb up it, but they mind about as well as my teenagers! They are growing everywhere and attaching themselves to EVERYTHING! Those little "feelers" even wrap themselves around blades of grass! I really should take a picture. DiETeR would think it was a definite invasion of the pod people! :-D

You said, "Make sure your melons don't grow in a way that they fall off before they are ripe." How do you do that? I've always been a city girl (and it shows!) I am definitely getting an education! Jack's beanstalk is a little more believable to me now!

-- Gayla (, September 10, 1999.

I can't imagine. LOL Actually I'm a city person too. Just keep your eye on them, you can tell which ones don't look comfortable on the vine. Not to worry. It's not like losing a couple will leave you starving. g

-- bb (......@.....), September 10, 1999.

Maybe I'll have a "Yourdon cantaloupe party" in November! I'll probably have enough for everyone and then some! :-)

I'll have to try a muskmelon. It sounds good! Thanks for all the tips!

-- Gayla (, September 10, 1999.

You are a regular party animal. :-) I read those FRL and OT threads...You crack me up. If I knew my frl's I'd mix it up with you all a little bit. It was so refreshing to hear laughter and humor. After I read those threads I couldn't read another word on the forum...just too serious. :) Isn't it interesting that the pollies don't join you. You are a blessing Gayla.

You're welcome for the tips. Just one more. Those 20 vines in that small space need to eat. If they have not ripened yet, I would put some fertilizer and plant food to keep their little bellies full.

-- BB (, September 10, 1999.

Humor keeps me sane. (Well, the sane part may be debatable!) :-)

My plants are just at the flowering stage. Yellow flowers everywhere! When I planted them, I put some Epsom (?) salt in the dirt with them. They really seemed to like it. :-) What should I feed them now? (Besides, of course, what was fed to the plant in "Little Shop of Horrors." I don't love them THAT much! I already "sacrificed" myself for them- I got stung in the side by a bee or wasp on Wednesday. OUCH! I know they have to be pollinated and all, but that HURT!) :-(

I have Miracle Gro plant food, but it is liquid. Would that be good, or should I get some of the granule type that is more of a slow- release?

BTW, they may have started out in a 4 x 8 foot space, but when they are done, it will be more of a 40 x 80 foot space! Yikes!

PS- if we get another hurricane, can Cantaloupe become airborne? :-O Glad you liked the FRL threads!

-- Gayla (, September 11, 1999.

So Gayla,

What'cha gonna DO with all those unruly vines after the growing season?

What can you make with 'em sides mulch?


-- Diane J. Squire (, September 11, 1999.

Home, I'm feeling de ranged.

Where the flowering cantaloupe stray.

Where seldom is heard, an encouraging word.

And the bees are out stinging all day.

Everything and anything will do. Since you refuse to thin, your little babies are in a fight for the small resources. I'm not sure how much to put in since I've never planted 20 vines in a 4x8 area. wowwee.

Can you take a picture and put it on the thread? People look at me incredulously when I tell them what this crazy farmer did in Texas.

You could be breaking new ground. This could be a first. This could require close scientific observation. You may discover a secret that could help the starving masses during the year 2000 famine. This project could be more than a lark. It could be destiny.

Gayla, this country turns its lonely eyes to you. You have my unqualified and unprofessional support. Firm up that jaw. Throw back those shoulders. Focus girl. You have just begun to garden.

-- bb (, September 11, 1999.

YIKES! Today I was out nurturing my little lovelies and I had a terrible premonition. If every one of those little yellow flowers turns into a cantaloupe, I'M IN BIG TROUBLE! Can cantaloupe grow piled on top of each other? Do only the strongest survive? This is SO embarrassing! They forgot to put instructions on the seed packet for city slickers. I can see the book now: "Cantaloupe growing for dummies."

I don't have a scanner right now, but my husband wants one. Maybe I will get him an early Christmas present?? :-)

-- Gayla (, September 11, 1999.

Diane, I have NO idea! :-)

-- Gayla (, September 11, 1999.

If we could only convince some of them to run away and start a family elsewhere,.........but I understand the kind you planted cantaloupe.

I know .....uuurrrggghhh. We shall see what we shall see.

-- BB (....@.....), September 12, 1999.

Gayla, Please don't feel embarrassed or stupid. I would feel bad about my teasing if you did. :0 I must use more smiley faces. You don't know how many stupid mistakes I make in the garden. It is a continuing learning process. :-)

One more idea. :~) If you use miracle grow it is ok to get it on your vines. The best fertilizer for vines is nitrogen. Ask for 10-10-10 fertilizer. YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET ANY OF THIS ON THE VINES. IT WILL BURN THEM. You want to put it in the dirt and rake it in and then water it down. Sounds to me like you won't be able to use this. I would go with the miracle grow since you are a person of faith. :-D

My guess is that in Texas, your blossoms will bear fruit. Up here any blossoms now, will never have time to ripen. :^)

Yours and His

-- BB (, September 12, 1999.

Don't worry, BB! Being embarrassed never stopped me from acting stupid! :-) I think you're right about the Miracle Gro, because I can't even see where the plants originally started. It's buried under vines. :-0

We don't get frost in Houston until late December or early January during a normal year, so I think the cantaloupe will have plenty of time to ripen. It gets below freezing about 3 or 4 times during our winter, and that's all. We have had extremes. One winter it actually got down to 7 degrees!!! One winter in got down to 31 degrees one morning, and that was the only day below freezing all winter. :-)

It's nice weather if you're thinking about Y2K, but we suffer for it in the summer. Yesterday was still 95 degrees. We are supposed to get a cool front that will lower the temps into the high 80's. I wish it would hurry!!!

BTW, what are those strange "globs" on the Jersey shore? Did you find some property you liked?

-- Gayla (, September 13, 1999.

I didn't hear about the "globs". Probably the pollies coming up for air.

No. I am in the middle of W.Va. now. The Days Inn lady let me on her computer. They sure are friendly here. Saw a couple of places today. Nothing grabbed me. Tomorrow I have three place lined up.

How was Michael H.? He sure is a smooth speaker. And did you get 60M taped? When I saw the Open I thought uh oh, some people are going to be ticked.

-- BB (......@.....), September 13, 1999.

Hello traveling man! :-) Michael Hyatt was WONDERFUL! He is such a good speaker! Very eloquent and kind. It's also obvious he loves the Lord! My husband and I really enjoyed it!

I got a chance to talk to him for a little while after the meeting. It was neat! He lives in the Nashville area, and they are getting a new Academy sporting goods store there. I was telling him that my son works in the distribution warehouse just outside of Houston. (That's how I knew they were getting a new store.) :-) Academy has shipped over a MILLION Coleman Stoves since May. Anyway, he told me that the "big man" himself (you can figure out who!) had sent a letter to Wal-mart and Sam's asking them not to do ANY type of Y2K advertising. Can you believe that?

I e-mailed Mr. Hyatt an article that I told him about last night, and he already wrote me back today. He's "down to earth" and really nice! Well, I hope you find something tomorrow that you like. Take care! :-)

-- Gayla (, September 13, 1999.

PS- I forgot to put a tape in for 60 minutes, so I called a friend who taped it for me. Now I just have to get the tape from her so I can watch it!

-- Gayla (, September 13, 1999.

Sounds like you two had a great evening. Michael is a godly warrior for the Lord. Glad to hear he is a sincere believer. My impression of him has been that he is a saleman. Thanks. :-)

Since he was in a church did he speak of how he sees y2k theologically?

Also, hope Diane don't see your remark about the big man. She just might put on those steel-toed boots and fly to D.C. :?)

-- BB (, September 15, 1999.

Hi BB! I hope you're safe and dry! From the looks of radar, you guys are getting nailed!

Mr. Hyatt had copies of his book available for sale in the foyer, but he really didn't even try to sell them. He DID sign books for people who had brought them to the seminar. He talked about how important it was to put our trust in God and not in our preps. He also talked about America being "ripe" for judgment, but he prays, "In Your judgment remember mercy" as the scripture talks about.

He said he was really burned out on Y2K for a little while and had not done any seminars or interviews for a couple of months. He also talked about the Navy report shaking him up. It was a good meeting.

-- Gayla (, September 16, 1999.

Hi Gayla: Just got back from roaming the neighborhood to see if I could help anyone. There was an accident but the police were there. Other than that it is pouring cats and dogs (for you frlers) :^). Floyd is just now coming up on us. Getting real windy. Thought it would be good to be home.

The widow next door asked me to come over and change a light for her. Her son is a big actor in Hollywood, Pat Cronin. A character actor. A lot of home improvement bits etc.

Had a wonderful muskmellon today. Stephanie and I are saving the seeds, if you want some just hollar.

I also believe we must trust God and not our preps, but one of the ways God takes care of us is to warn us which results in preparations. For this reason, I try not to use that line anymore. I did bigtime. But it is the same line the polly Christians use.

Interesting, he used the verse out of Habakkuk. It is the verse I use when I pray for America. Glad to hear he believes in God's judgments. That is what I was looking for. Thanks sister. :-) Grace to you. b

-- BB (, September 16, 1999.

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