Watch My Food Grow ~ A South Florida Raised Vegetable Garden

Florida Backyard Raised Vegetable Garden

Yay! Cantaloupe

June 23rd, 2013 by Lila Steinhoff

An Afterthought

Back in April, after all the rest of the garden had been planted, neighbor, Jacqie (my partner in gardening) planted one more section. On a whim, he bought three kinds of watermelon and one cantaloupe plant and put them directly into bags of garden soil.

melons in bagged soil Melons Planted in Bagged Soil

Ground Cover

The place where the melons were planted is full of gravel, weeds and grass. To give the melons a better change of surviving the landscape… and the lawnmower, we covered the ground with a layer of burlap.

melons and cantaloupeBurlap and Fencing For Melons

A roll of inexpensive, foot-high wire fencing served as a way to tack down the burlap. It also helped us contain the vines. As they got closer to the edges, we aimed the leading stems away from the fencing.

Rough Weather

During May, we had so much rain… 14 inches in four days, 4.5 inches in one day and hard rain every day for three weeks. The excessive rain caused any number of plant issues, and the melons were no exception.

rotted from too much rainRotted Watermelon

Smaller melons turned black and shriveled up from the rain.

too much rainSplit Watermelon

The too wet conditions caused the larger melons to split on the vine.

Hardy Cantaloupes

The watermelons were limping along, but the cantaloupes did fairly well. Jacqie was able to pick the first ripe cantaloupe this week. It was small… about four inches in diameter.

Jacqie with cantaloupeFirst Cantaloupe

It may have been small, but it was pretty to look at and smelled great!

cantaloupe from gardenCantaloupe from the Garden

cantaloupe from gardenCantaloupe for Brunch

We picked a second cantaloupe today. It was a little larger… about six inches.

cantaloupeCantaloupe from the Garden

We learn something from everything we plant even if it does not do well. We may not try watermelons again, but cantaloupes are on the planting list for the fall.

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  • That does look good!…Cantaloupes are great in summer. My uncle Shirley MacAuthur raised them in Sikeston years ago. The smell and the taste when they are eaten directly for the field are a good reason to be close to the land. Thanks for sharing!

  • What fun!! In the summer Publix will get these really large Cantaloupes that will be in season for a few weeks. They taste incredible and the whole produce section smells like melon. They are so juicy I eat them leaning over the sink. lol Can’t wait! I believe they are called Galia. I think they might be local but I’m not sure…