Cantaloupe is also known as melon or Muskmelon. It is a famous fruit that we enjoy eating all summer long. It gives an amazing taste that it quite rewarding when it is ready. There are many varieties that you can choose from.
Growing this plant is actually quite easy. Below we are going to give you tips on how you can plant it, how to take care of it and how to protect it from pests and diseases. Apart from that though, we will mention its benefits and give you ideas on how to use it.
Cantaloupe Most Important Benefits:
Apart from its sweetness cantaloupe has many benefits. It is full of vitamins. Some of them are vitamin A and vitamin C. It also contains proteins and water. Beta-carotene, calcium, and iron are nutrients that it contains too.
Apart from the vitamins, it contains potassium and manganese. What is important about this fruit is that it is low in calories which makes it the perfect snack and can be used when you’re on a diet.
Some of the benefits of cantaloupe are that it can decrease the stress, it prevents arthritis, it can reduce the appearance of cancer, and it is great for the eyes and our skin. All of these benefits exist because of the minerals and the vitamins that it has.
Cantaloupe has phytochemicals that have qualities that are anti-inflammatory. When you consume it, it will have as a result to reduce the inflammation on your bones and joints. If you include it in your diet it will prevent the oxidative stress and you will feel much better.
It has been noticed that when you eat cantaloupe the risk of cancer is lowered. The phytochemicals that it contains have been related to anti-tumor behavior. This happens because it contains beta-carotene that our body needs.
3. Immunity System
The truth is that you don’t want to catch a cold in the middle of the summer. In order to avoid it, you need to have a strong immune system. Cantaloupe can do that for you. As we mentioned before, it is full of vitamins. Vitamin C is the one that builds the defense of your organism. Enjoy eating it.
The consumption of cantaloupe and other orange and yellow fruits might have the ability to protect you against asthma. This happens because it includes vitamin C and beta-carotene which protect our organism. When you consume it the risks of developing asthma are lower.
5. Skin and Hair
Cantaloupe has vitamin A and when it enters our skin it is able to trigger the membrane of the skin cells. This has as a result to increase the repair and the growth. This is what we always want, to have amazing skin and hair.
Also, it can reduce the redness and the irritation on your skin. Below we are going to give you some tips about how you can use it in order to create the homemade recipes that you can use and see the amazing results.
You can make your own face mask. You can use it on a daily basis. Just mix half a banana, 1 tablespoon of honey and the 1.5 tablespoons of cantaloupe. Mix them in a blender and then it’s ready for use. You can put it in your fridge but don’t keep it for more than a week.
You can make your own conditioner too. All you have to do is to use gut of cantaloupe, half an avocado, 1/3 of coconut oil, and a quarter of aloe vera. Mix all the ingredients together. Apply it on wet hair and you will see the difference immediately.
Apart from the benefits that it has on our health, it can also help us with our diet. Imagine that 1 cup of cantaloupe has only 53 calories. This makes it ideal even if you’re on a diet or not. There are different ways to use it in your diet.
You can make tropical salads and apart from cantaloupe you can use other fruits too, use your amazing imagination. You can also create amazing smoothies and even ice-cream. Let your imagination run free.
Finally, it also helps in the digestion. Cantaloupe has dietary fibers. These fibers help in the digestion and it can reduce constipation. In this way, you will have a healthy digestion system. As we saw the quantity that you will eat will only make you feel much better because it is low in calories.
Cantaloupe was first introduced to America in 1943 by Christopher Columbus. The cantaloupe is a type of muskmelon. It was first cultivated by the Romans, the Greeks, and the Ancient Egyptians. It reached China in the first century AD.
Nowadays it is grown all over the world and we enjoy it because of its sweetness. The annual sales in the U.S have reached over 300 million dollars which shows how much people love this fruit.
Preparing the Soil Fro Cantaloupe or Muskmelon:
When the time comes and you are ready to plant your cantaloupe, you should prepare the soil first. In order to do that you should make sure that the soil hasn’t got any frosts. Instead, the soil should be warm. The right pH should be from 6 to 6.5.
Furthermore, the temperature of the ground should be 70 degrees. You can use compost, organic fertilizer or manure that is aged. In this way, you will help the soil if you add it to the first six inches of soil. You can also use plastic film to cover the ground. The soil will become warm quicker in this way.
A good idea to protect your cantaloupe seeds would be to plant your seeds indoors and when the soil is ready to transfer them to your garden. You also need to pay attention to the instructions when you’ll buy your seeds. When you’ll plant them to your soil, leave space between them at least 36 inches.
You can use trellis that you help you plant them properly. If you do that, then leave about 12 inches between them. You should place the seeds 1 inch deep. If you use trellis there will be a better air circulation and in this way, cantaloupe won’t be prone to diseases.
You should water your cantaloupe deeply. It needs to be moist but you shouldn’t overdo it with the water. It should be from 1 to 2 inches per week. During periods of drought, you might need to water it more than once so it would be quite good to pay attention to it.
The cantaloupe takes its sweet taste from the leaves. The quality and vigor of the leaves will play a significant role in its taste. They shouldn’t turn yellow or have spots. If this happens then there is a possibility that the plant might be dry, so it needs to be watered or it has a disease.
The leaves should be stiff and to have dark green color in order to know that the plant is healthy. When you water it do it around the base in order to make sure that the water reaches every point. If you see the leaves wilt, don’t worry, it’s something that always happens.
While you’re taking care of your cantaloupe you might want to get rid of unwanted weeds. Be careful because when the seeds start to grow there is a small resemblance to weeds that you might want to pick. Don’t do it unless you are sure or let them grow a bit more in order to distinguish them. When you pick them, add mulch to help it grow.
In order to make sure that it grows well you can use a trellis. In this way, your cantaloupe will grow off the ground and it won’t rot. Make sure to place the poles 6 feet tall or 8 feet if they are large ones. The trellis will also support them when they will start to grow.
You should fertilize it but not the whole time. If it doesn’t grow very fast then place some coffee grounds all around the roots. It would be preferable to use the organic compost to make sure that it’ll grow properly.
Finally, your cantaloupe will be ready to pick when you’re close and it starts to smell like melons. Usually, it is ready in 4 weeks from its first appearance. The stem will also start to crack. When you will notice that know that it is ready.
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Pests & Diseases
Unfortunately, cantaloupes just like any other plant are prone to pests and diseases. If you haven’t used a trellis and they grow in the ground they might get pests like mites, insects, aphids, spider mites and leaf miners.
If you start to notice that there is stickiness then most probably aphids have visited your melons. In order to get rid of them, use organic insecticides and olive oil or use the insecticidal soap.
Keep an eye for fungus too. You should check at the local garden center because there are many types of fungus. For this reason, you should buy the right fungicides. You want to protect the plant but kill the fungus.
There is a possibility to spot leaf miners and spider mites. Use organic insecticides and oil to remove them. Don’t forget to water it thoroughly because you can remove some of them with the pressure of the water.
Blight is a plant disease which you should treat when you realize it. Blight might have the following forms. If it rains and your fruit rots then it has southern blight. You shouldn’t overwater it because it will rot. Also, you shouldn’t put a lot of mulch for the same reason.
If you see yellow spots that have downy then it is possible that cantaloupe might have downy mildew. You should use an organic fungicide to treat it and in order to prevent it make sure that there is air circulation.
When you see broken stems that produce a liquid that has the color of amber, it is possible that you might have gummy sap blight. This disease is connected to the soil. If something like this happens then, unfortunately, the particular crop will die. Use a fungicide to treat what will be left.
Finally, there is a chance that even though you will go through all this trouble to produce your own amazing cantaloupe, the plant won’t set any fruits. In order for this not to happen, you should allow pollinating insects to exist.
The plant has both female and male flowers and they need to pollinate if you want to have fruits. Make sure that this process takes place. The temperature of the ground is significant because otherwise there won’t be any fruits.
How To Harvest:
Cantaloupes are ready during a short period of time. That could be between 3 to 4 weeks. When the time is right you should reduce watering it. You should water it so as not to wilt. In this way, all the sweetness will concentrate on it.
You will be able to realize that it is ready by the stem and its skin color. It will turn yellow with a cream color and the netting patterns will be more obvious. You will also notice a crack at the stem and as we mentioned before this will show you that it is ready.
As we saw cantaloupe is a great plant. You need to keep an eye on it in order to take proper care of it. The soil plays the most important part because it needs the right temperature before you plant your seeds.
Watering plays a significant part too, as it happens with all the plants. Make sure that you’ll follow all out tips. In this way, you will have cantaloupes that will not only smell great but they will have a unique taste too.
To sum up, it is a fruit that we can use in different ways. You can combine it with different ingredients and make great salads and smoothies. It has many benefits and when you consume it you will improve your health system. Enjoy your exquisite cantaloupes.