Watermelon and Cantaloupe are very-tender vegetables that grow best in warm weather.
Plant seeds directly in the garden 2-4 weeks after the spring frost date.
To harvest melons sooner, start seeds indoors the week of the spring frost date, or purchase transplants. Transplants should be planted before they have more than 3 true leaves. Harden off and transplant into the garden 2-4 weeks after the spring frost date.
Melons require high temperatures and many hours of sunlight. They cannot be grown in the winter.
Soil and Fertilizer
Melons grow best in a rich soil; amend with lots of compost and fertilizer (chemical or organic) at planting. Adding fertilizer during the season will reduce production.
Fertilizer: Apply 16-16-8 at planting.
Harvest cantaloupe from 35-45 days after flowering, when netting gets course and rough and the background color goes from green to yellow. Harvest watermelon when the ground spot turns pale yellow and the skin goes from shiny to dull.
- Cantaloupe Reference Sheet (Utah Extension Service)
- Watermelon Reference Sheet (Utah Extension Service)
Tina–Sorry, I only answered half your question! No, if you do not trellis or support them, they will take 9 squares (sometimes more). With support they only need 2. Honestly, if you have a patch of dirt or a spot in a flower bed where they can sprawl, it’s better to plant them there. If you must plant in a square foot garden, trellis them.
Thanks Emily, so that many melons really does okay in only 2 squares? Seems to me that 2-3 watermelons and 3-5 cantaloupe would take up more space than that. Do you have them grow up onto a trellis or just grow on the ground?
One melon plant will produce between 3-5 fruit per vine. Watermelons produce 2-3, while cantaloupe produce 3-5. This is in ideal conditions (sunlight, water, temperature).
When you plant one melon seed, do you only end up with one melon or do you get more than one melon per seed? Also, when it starts to grow how do you keep in from getting into other squares, or does that not happen? This is my first garden.