Quick Reference

Harvest Type:  Continuous

Transplant/Direct Sow:  Direct sow or transplant

When to Plant:  Transplant outdoors when the soil temperature is over 60°F. Direct after the last frost-free day and when soil temperatures are above 60°F.

Days to Germinate:  4-10 days

Days to Maturity:  80-90 days

Planting Depth:  1” deep

Germination Temp:  85-90°F

Seed Spacing:  Seeds in sets of 3, 18” apart.

Rows:  3' apart

Light:  Full sun

Soil pH:  6.0-6.5 pH

Water:  Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Avoid wetting the leaves.

Soil Temperature:  60°F and above.

Fertilizer:  Fertilize after the plants begin to bloom.  5-10-10 N-P-K ratio. 

Rotation: Annually


Harvest Type

Cantaloupe is technically a single harvest crop, but the fruits ripen at different times, making them a continuous harvest fruit.

TIP: Use old flower pots or trays to elevate the fruit from the ground to prevent rotting.

Transplant / Direct Sow

Most people start seeds indoors and then transplant them. You can direct sow seeds after the last average frost date and when soil is above 60°F.

When to Plant:

Transplant or direct sow seeds after all danger of frost has passed and the temperatures are consistently over 75°F, and the soil temperature is above 60°F.

Days to germinate

4-10 days - Less in a sunny window.

Days to maturity

It takes about 80-90 days for the cantaloupe to mature.

Planting Depth

Plant seeds 1" deep.

Germination Temperature Range

Cantaloupe loves heat and germinates when the ambient temperature is 80°F and the soil temperature is 60°F.

Spacing Between Plants

Space cantaloupe seeds or transplants 18" apart.

TIP: You can also grow cantaloupe vertically.

Growing conditions

Cantaloupe plants love the heat and full sun. They like the soil to be acidic in the 6.0-6.5 pH range. They also love water, so plan to keep the roots wet but not soggy while avoiding wetting the leaves.

Companion Plants

Corn, pumpkins, beans, and squash are all excellent choices for companion plants for cantaloupe.


Rotate cantaloupe and melon crops every year.

Anticipated yields

Plan your garden yield at 2-4 plants per person.

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