6 Easy Ways to Grow and Harvest Cantaloupe

GarimaM
GarimaM Lifestyle
12 Min Read
Source: Pixabay

Juicy and sweet fruits are everyone’s favorites, especially in the summer. They are refreshing in the burning heat and cold for the stomach. July, August, and September bring many juicy fruits; melons are one of a kind. You can eat them as fruits or use them in salads. In both ways, they ease your gut. Let’s find out when to seed and when to harvest the cantaloupe.

cantaloupe cut in half
Source: Pixabay

Cantaloupes have fleshy skin and a fragrant smell, so when they are ripe, you can smell them. They are heat-loving crops and the best summer fruit, rich in vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. The seeds are grown in April, so the crop takes 70 days to get ready. The fruit is perfectly ripe and fully grown in July. So, now you know the time to harvest this crop. Yes, from July to August. The skill of understanding when is the right time to harvest this fruit.

When and How are Cantaloupe Grown

Seeding and harvesting are two critical gardening procedures. Both kitchen gardening and greenhouse gardening need the same procedure. The timing of germination and plucking makes the process crucial. The crop needs proper nourishing time and temperature. You can check the label on the back of the pack of seeds or from where you are buying it, the shop, or read the description online. Let us see the conditions required for the crop.

2.1 . Correct Time and Temperature

Cantaloupe takes nearly 70 days to grow, so the seeds are sown in April. The crop needs a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The fruit mellows fast, and it requires warm soil and atmosphere. This fruit is also quite large; it needs to be grown in the field rather than indoors. Early-maturing fruit varieties are ready in nearly 60 days, while some may increase in 90 days. The prickly heat is suitable for the fruit to ripen fully. It grows bigger and softer, and it is sweet-smelling.

2.2. Manure and Water

Neutral to slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8 is required for the fruit. Cantaloupe grows in warm, well-drained, sandy, or loam soil. A drip irrigation system is beneficial for watering the crop deeply, from 1 to 2 inches per week. Compost, seasoned manure, fish emulsions, or aged compost are extremely useful in nourishing the soil. Calcium fertilizers are helpful for the growth of these plants, as they require a sufficient amount of calcium in the early 20 days.

2.3 . Support Needed

The farm allows visitors to see the fruits supported by nets. Vines are supporting ropes for the fruit that climbs vertically. The net helps the fruit grow, ripen, and collect properly. Nets and bags help with fruit plucking. Bags are convenient for this method as they provide the melon with wiring and support. 

The cantaloupes are hung in transparent plastic bags, for example, in the Greenhouse, and when they turn yellow, it’s time to fix them. These bags make the collection simple. The knife gently cuts the vine, and the fruit falls into the bag. The bags of collected fruits are then pilled into the van.

Harvesting Cantaloupe

The crop is ready—that sounds good to the ears, Right? Yes, this crop is ready in around 70 days. The skin is soft, and the delicious smell tingles your nose. The skin seems cracked, and the color changes from green to yellow. This is the best way to know that the fruit is ready for plucking. The cracks appear on the top of the fruit, attaching to the stem.

3.1. Maturity Point

It is important to pluck the fruit at a particular time when it is not raw and very ripe. If you wait for the melon to ripen, it can overripe before reaching the customer. The sugar content in the melon reaches its highest point, and the melon will not be eatable after that. So, it is essential to know the sugar level sufficiently before harvesting. 

After picking the melon, careful handling is required; otherwise, it can explode. For cantaloupe, there is an indicator called Slip,” the abscission layer formation between the plant and the fruit. When light pressure is applied to the stem, the fruit separates from the plant. Firmness, skin color, and skin indicate the decision to harvest at the right time.

3.2. Harvesting Frequency

Harvesting is done for the ripe cantaloupes; those still need time for the next harvest or maturity period. Standard harvesting is required to control the inconsistency in individual fruit maturity. The coolest part of the day, preferably morning, is the best time to harvest melons. This helps maintain the temperature of the fruit before packaging.

3.3. Techniques to Harvest

Usually, melons are harvested by hand by plucking them. Cantaloupes are plucked similarly, though some varieties are complex and cut by a harvesting tool. This process is called slipping. Cutting them with a sharp knife is one more method. It is helpful for watermelon and honeydew separation. Melons are heavy and have a higher chance that their skin can be damaged if dropped.

Cantaloupe - Harvesting

3.4. Collection Process in Bins

Melons are carefully collected in the bins after harvest. These bins range from field bins to small bins and pallet sizes. These are collected in crates. Every piece is handled and placed separately. The field crates should be safe in shaded areas, and the fruits should be covered to prevent excessive heating. This is why they are plucked in the morning. Packing can be performed in the packhouse or directly in the fields with the help of conveyor belts and packing tables. 

3.5. Infected and Broken Fruit

Infected or broken fruits should not mix with the market-packaged fruits. Fruits that are kept for export should be free from cracks and scars. They are sorted at the preliminary stage in the field by separating cracked, underripe, overripe, and damaged fruits. Infected and scrapped fruits should be removed from the field so as not to harm the crop.

3.6. Tools for Harvest

Any tool or material used for harvesting should be clean and in proper condition. It will help in good harvesting and enhance product quality. Harvesting tools should be sanitized before the process to prevent infection. The clippers should have sharp blades; field crates must be adequately cleaned, stackable, and sound beforehand.

Fresh Farm In Canada

4.1. Ontario’s South West

This farm is outside Innerkip, Ontario, and it is brimming with fresh fruits and vegetables. In the early 1980s, they started with 1 acre of cantaloupe crops, and now they grow a variety of melons, corn, asparagus, pumpkin, squash, and other vegetables. In recent years, they have achieved a good reputation in the market.

Despite fresh vegetables and fruits, they excel at providing preserves like jams, jellies, pickles, and sauces made from fresh fruits from the farm. They sell their farm-made melon blossom honey. The preserves and fruit honey are vented to storekeepers, farmers’ markets, on-farm, and local grocery stores.

To experience agriculture, visit the On-Farm Market and Pick-Your-Own Patch. You can pick vegetables, pumpkins, and berries firsthand on the farm, which has walking trails, a kids’ play area, and a farm kitchen. You can also experience freshly baked eatables there, book the farm for small events, and enjoy the farm’s offerings.

4.2. Cut and Dried Flower Farm

Visit the farm in southwest Ontario to experience fresh watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydew. The farm celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018. It started with a small greenhouse named “Cuba” in 1993, selling hanging baskets in trucks at the Ffleamarket. The farm sells more to Alliston Farmers Market and Creemore Farmers Market. 

The sugar cube produces 2 to 4 lb. melons in its cantaloupe variety. They have a high, sugary-sweet taste and deep orange flesh. This farm harvests a large number of cantaloupes. Many events and farm walks are organized to learn about agriculture. School kids can visit the farm and take goodies. Good bugs are released throughout the year for biological control.

Summary

The weather and environment here support a variety of vegetables and fruits. As a young Gardner, you can seed a melon of your favorite kind and nurture it with love and passion. You only need a good seed from a certified farm, plenty of water, and some gardening tools. Add some manure, either homemade or from the farm. Give your melon a month, and that sweet, mouth-watering, round, fleshy fruit is ready to eat.

Give your gut some relaxation with these fresh, watery cantaloupes. They have enormous health benefits. Cantaloupes are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect against aging, muscular degeneration, stroke, heart disease, cancer, and cataracts. Their phytonutrients help increase immunity levels, and bulk fiber eases the bowel system.

You can use cantaloupe in juices, smoothies, salads, soups, pies, breads, candies, ice cream, dressings, green tea, and salsa. It is one of the chefs’ favorite ingredients. It is simple to grow and harvest and a delicious fruit.

Last Updated on by AnoushkaRoy

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *