Cantaloupe and other melons

Larry G. Field
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Article Image Alt Text

Melons are a challenge. They grow well and produce abundantly but as vine plants, they require a lot of space, it is difficult to produce a sustained crop and it is difficult to tell when they are ripe.

A 15-foot-seed row (surrounded by growth room) of most types will produce nearly 100 melons, nearly all of which will ripen in a week or less. Some of your choices when the ripening week arrives are to eat 15 melons a day, to give away 14 melons and eat one per day, to process and freeze 150 pounds of melon balls, or to donate to charitable organizations. During the “ripening season” I have literally given away a vehicle trunk load to guests or charities two or three times prior to the end of the ripening.

I find it easier to purchase melons. If growing your own you will have difficulty determining ripeness and when ripe, you will have a very short time to enjoy all of your efforts. Many people do well with melons; I don’t devote the space and effort.

My garden is roughly 30 X 65 feet, the size of a moderately large house. If I grow melons I have to leave a minimum of 7.5 ft in all directions from the planting site to be filled with grown melon vines. This 15 foot wide row will consume 23% of my entire garden, basically one-fourth of the garden. It will also require one-fourth of my summers gardening labor. This, in my opinion, is too much to justify for the few that we can enjoy. I no longer grow melons. I buy the few melons that we eat. I have grown many varieties successfully when we had Farmer’s Market as an outlet for the abundance.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Monday, September 28, 2020
4th Monday, 6 p.m., Council Chamber
Monday, September 28, 2020
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Monday, September 28, 2020
Second & fourth Monday at 11 a.m., Big Horn Resort, 1801 Majestic Lane, 281-8455
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 201 1/2 E. Main St., Laurel
Thursday, October 1, 2020
First Thursday, 5 p.m., City of Laurel Council Chamber


Should Montana offer sick and family leave for all workers?

The Laurel Outlook


We use Google cookies to determine our demographic of visitors to our site. You can opt out here.

We also use Twitter Analytics to track clicks from our twitter feed.