Muskmelon, Cantaloupe

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Lawn & Garden

The term cantaloupe refers to two types of muskmelons, but in North America, it is most commonly used to describe the reticulated muskmelon, which is known for its bright orange flesh and unique aroma. The European cantaloupe, identified by its pale green outer skin, is scientifically referred to as Cucumis melo cantalupensis. However, this article pertains to the Cucumis melo reticulatus, which is more frequently grown in the Americas.

The muskmelon is a lengthy, trailing annual vine belonging to the cucumber family. The netted melon or muskmelon is typically referred to as a cantaloupe. True cantaloupe, the European variety, is not commonly grown in home gardens.


The reticulated muskmelon is most often called a cantaloupe.

Honeydew melons have a smoother surface and lack the distinctive odor of muskmelons. They ripen later and require a longer growing season. The growing information in this article about muskmelons is also applicable to honeydews.

Common Names: Muskmelon, Cantaloupe, Netted melon
Scientific Name: Cucumis melo reticulatus
Hardiness: Very Tender (will not survive first frost)

In the next section, we’ll show you how to grow muskmelon and cantaloupe.

Want more information about muskmelon and cantaloupe? Try:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Find delicious recipes that feature muskmelon and cantaloupe.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.
  • Cantaloupe Stain Help: Learn how to get melon stains out of fabric.

Growing Muskmelon and Cantaloupe

Muskmelon is a warm-weather plant that cannot tolerate even the slightest frost. It also has a long growing season, which means you must choose a variety suited to your region’s climate. In cooler areas, grow muskmelons from transplants and use individual plantable containers so that the root system is not disturbed during transplantation. Plant the seedlings in the garden when the ground is warm, which is two to three weeks after the danger of frost has passed.


Muskmelon and cantaloupe can be grown from seeds or transplants.

Muskmelons require full sun and well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Grow muskmelons in inverted hills that are spaced 4 to 6 feet apart. If you are planting from seeds, sow six to eight seeds per hill and then thin to the strongest two or three seedlings. If you are using transplants, put two or three in each hill. Muskmelons require a lot of water while the vines are growing, but stop watering them when the fruit ripens.

Harvesting Muskmelon and Cantaloupe

The time from planting to harvesting is 60 to 110 days, depending on the variety. Leave the melons on the vine until they are ripe. Mature melons will easily slip off the stem.

Types of Muskmelon and Cantaloupe

  • Ambrosia Hybrid, 86 days, produces thick, firm fruit that is approximately 6 1/2 inches in size.
  • Sweet ‘n’ Early Hybrid, 75 days, is an early variety that is suitable for short seasons.
  • Burpee Hybrid, 82 days, produces deep orange, firm fruit.

In the next section, we’ll show you how to select muskmelon and cantaloupe

If you want to know more about muskmelon and cantaloupe, there are a few resources to try. Vegetable Recipes, Vegetable Gardens, Gardening, and Cantaloupe Stain Help are all great options. When selecting muskmelon and cantaloupe, it’s important to look for even shapes with no bruises, cracks, or soft spots. The melons should be heavy for their size, indicating they are juicier. A ripe cantaloupe will have a prominent light brown netting that stands out from the smooth skin, and it will have a mildly sweet fragrance. If the cantaloupe smells overly sweet or has mold where the stem used to be, it is likely overripe or rotten. When preparing and serving muskmelon and cantaloupe, you can enjoy them slightly chilled or at room temperature. A multicolored melon-ball salad or chilled melon soup are both refreshing options. Cantaloupe is also a great source of fiber and potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure and heart rate. Muskmelon is high in vitamin C and beta-carotene, which can help prevent chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Overall, muskmelon and cantaloupe are nutritious and delicious fruits to enjoy.

This table shows the nutritional values of one cup of muskmelon and cantaloupe. These fruits have 53 calories, 0g of fat, 12g of carbohydrates, 1g of protein, and 1g of dietary fiber. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. If you want more information about these fruits, you can find recipes, gardening tips, and nutrition advice. However, this information is not intended to provide medical advice, and readers should consult their physician before making any dietary modifications or treatment decisions.

FAQ

1. What is the difference between muskmelon and cantaloupe?

Muskmelon and cantaloupe are both types of melon, but they have some differences. Muskmelon has a more pronounced flavor and aroma, while cantaloupe has a milder taste. Muskmelon also has a rougher skin and net-like pattern, while cantaloupe has a smoother skin with no netting. In terms of nutritional content, both melons are low in calories and high in vitamin C and potassium.

2. How do you choose a ripe muskmelon or cantaloupe?

When choosing a muskmelon or cantaloupe, look for one that is firm and heavy for its size. The stem end should have a slight give when pressed, but it should not be too soft or mushy. The skin should be free of bruises, soft spots, or cracks. If the melon has a sweet aroma, it is likely ripe and ready to eat.

3. What are some ways to use muskmelon and cantaloupe?

Both muskmelon and cantaloupe can be eaten fresh as a snack or in fruit salads. They can also be used in smoothies, sorbets, and as a garnish for drinks. Muskmelon is often used in Indian cuisine, such as in raita or chaat. Cantaloupe can be grilled or roasted to bring out its natural sweetness and flavor.

4. Are muskmelon and cantaloupe good for you?

Yes, both muskmelon and cantaloupe are good for you. They are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. They also contain antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. However, it is important to consume them in moderation, as they are also high in natural sugars.

5. How do you store muskmelon and cantaloupe?

Whole muskmelon and cantaloupe should be stored at room temperature until ripe, and then refrigerated. Cut melon should be wrapped tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. If the melon is very ripe, it can be frozen for later use in smoothies or sorbets.

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