The Q&A Archives: Cantalope Maturity

Question: I planted cantalope seeds on June 14th and they have grown rather nicely so far. There are three vines that are about 3 feet long each. Each one has at least 4 flowers on them. My question is why havent i seen any fruit actually develope yet from the flowers and when it does start how long will it take to get to maturity. It has been a hot sunny dry summer here. We water them every day. The package said that it takes about 85 days to mature.

Answer: These vines produce male flowers before they produce female flowers as a means of assuring adequate pollination. I would guess you should see female flowers within a week or so. Once the melons start to grow they fill out fairly quickly. Since melons are mainly water, make sure that you water the plants slowly and deeply to provide about two inches a week as a rule of thumb; note too that a less frequent but deeper watering is better than daily sprinkling. You might want to dig down a bit and see how effective (or ineffective) you watering is to help you gauge how much you need to apply at a time. Good luck with your melons!

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