Growing cantaloupe (Questions)

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banjomatic:
My cantaloupe plants have finally started to take off. Both are vining very well and making yellow flowers all over. However, most of the flowers fall off eventually and nothing appears after....how long do I need to wait to see any fruit bearing?

Also, it is my understanding that canataloupe (like watermelon) need room on the ground to spread out. I guess b/c of the weight of the eventual cantaloupe, I can't manually trellis the plant up my stakes. Is this true? How do I go about managing the plant on the ground even though it's coming out of the Earthbox? Any suggestions?

Sorry for all the questions, newbie here.

Frank:
Hello,

Our resident plant guy, Steve, is out of the office today so I did a little research into your problem.  From what I read it seems that the flowers that are falling off are the male flowers.  The fruit bearing female flowers should follow.  So all seems in order.

It's true that your plants are going to lay on the ground.  They will find their way out of the box and onto to the ground, so let them do their thing.  however, it's best if the ground under the plants drains well.  The ideal solution is to place agricultural film under the plants.  This provides a layer of protection from any bacteria or fungus that might be in the ground.  For the average home gardener this might be impractical.

We are growing watermelon and cantaloupe for the first time this year.  Everything seems to be progressing well.  I have some nice sized cantaloupe and little baby watermelons.  I like to check the underside of a couple melons everyday to make sure nothing is rotting on the ground.  It's been so dry that it hasn't been a problem.  I hope this helps.  I'll follow up with Steve and have him repost if I missed anything.

Frank

Steve:
I'm back in the office now.  Frank provided all of the information you need.  If you see female flowers (flowers with a tiny melon at the base) that fall off, then you have either a nutrient problem or a pollination problem.  Otherwise, there's nothing to worry about.

The other thing you could do about melons laying on the ground is when you see a melon forming, place some straw under the melon to act as a cushion (depending on the surface beneath it).  If you want to trellis your melons, you will need to tie mesh bags around the developing melons and tie these bags off directly to your staking frame.  Otherwise, as you suggested, the weight of the developing fruit will likely rip part of the plant off.

armymedicmom:
Quote from: Steve Lott on July 28, 2006, 10:26:30 AM

If you want to trellis your melons, you will need to tie mesh bags around the developing melons and tie these bags off directly to your staking frame.  Otherwise, as you suggested, the weight of the developing fruit will likely rip part of the plant off.


Oh oh - I've going to have a problem. I don't have a staking system and my melons are just hanging. What are these mesh bags? Where can I get some? I'll have to find some way to attach them to something.

Kathy

Ratrace142:
Kathy,
Do a search. I posted about a mail order source for netting back a month or so ago.
Ratrace142

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