The Q&A Archives: Cantaloupes Rotting On The Vine

Question: This is my first year growing cantaloupes. They are getting to be bigger than soft balls then brown rotting spots are on them. On the bottom of the fruit is all yellow and rotted. Am I supossed to turn them or leave them alone. Also where the fruit is rotted the leaves seem to be rotted also. They are all yellow and brown and wilting.It also has rained on and off for two weeks are they getting to much water? I also mulched around the plants.

Answer: Melons can rot for a variety of reasons, but mulching would not cause it. It can be helpful to set the melon on a piece of wooden board or shingle or several inches of straw to keep it up off the soil. (Another year you might grow them on a trellis to help protect them from some insects and rot.)You may also be seeing the effects of too much soil moisture (melons a moist yet well drained soil) or damage due to insects or even a disease such as anthracnose. Melons are subject to similar problems as those affecting cucumbers and squash, so make sure to rotate your crops. You might also want to consult with your county extension (431-7260) for a more specific diagnosis of the problem and any suggested remedies.

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