Author Topic: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring  (Read 2159 times)

bovine421

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Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« on: January 14, 2024, 03:50:55 PM »
Since my earliest mangoes are mid June. I planned last season to start cantaloupes indoors at the beginning of the new year. I'm a little behind schedule but I have all the pieces to the puzzle. Going to raise them in 25 gallon pots drip irrigation with a cattle panel trellis proximately 8 ft tall 20 ft wide. The varieties I selected for this first rodeo are (Ice Cream Green Machine (Sugar Cube) (Honey Bun) and (Brilliant F1 Canary Honeydew). These are Bush type and smaller cantaloupes of around 2 lb. Going to raise them vertically. The goal is to have fruit in May. Then go down to Palm City for the early sweet Turpin mangoes and hopefully early Carrie







« Last Edit: January 14, 2024, 04:30:12 PM by bovine421 »
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Galatians522

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2024, 06:46:03 PM »
The last time I grew cantaloupe was probably 20 years ago. I want to get back into it again, but I have so many coons around here that its kinda pointless unless I put up an electric fence. Whenever I get that done, I have my eye on Edisto 47. It has one of the highest disease ratings of any cantaloupe. They are some what resistant to pickle worms, but a little BT wouldn't hurt. A fungicide program would also be helpful and you may be able to spray with the same stuff you use on your mangos. However, I learned the hard way one time that curcubit leaves are more sensitive. So, spray on a small area before you hit everything. A local watermelon grower I talked to said that the secret is to spray Manzate weekly. I imagine that the same would be true for cantaloupe as well.

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2024, 08:23:58 PM »
I grew two types last spring. Athena and another. Grew Edisto the year before. Barring too much rain, boring insects are the major issue, plants were healthy and produced well, but probably 80 percent or more had worms. This is with spraying BT. I wonder if there any any varieties tolhat are rstoant to these pests? Perhaps netting them would be am option. Also just pray for drier weather.  Good luck they are delicious, watermelons are definitely much florida hardy.

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2024, 09:10:33 AM »
10 years ago did Charentais cantaloupe,Gala,Edisto 47 , Korean star melon ect And watermelons .The Gala was fantastic and new to me was the white fleshed Korean melons take a look @ the link
https://theroamingfork.com/korean-melon/

They all did well so much I was selling them.And yes i had to spray and Manzate  wasin the mix.Some i put on cattle fence and pound in metal stakes

bovine421

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2024, 06:30:09 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement. When I was just a young kiddo living in the Midwest we used to go down to the Sangamon River Valley which was quite Sandy and get cantaloupes. As a kiddo that was pretty much the only vegetable but I considered a fruit that I actually liked. Over the weekend since I have so much spare irrigation from past Frost freeze protection experiments. I was able to Cobble together a gravity flow drip irrigation system. We had an old rain barrel that my wife got at a yard sale. I put it in a steel chair elevation wasn't much more than inches higher than my pvc main line but since it was a short run of 16 ft it actually works quite well. Half a gallon per hour a total of 5 gallons per 25 gallon pot over an 10 hour run time until the reservoir was depleted. They recommend for large Nursery pot containers a drip ring. Well since the pressure is not there using emitters to uniformly work isn't happening. Using quarter inch spaghetti hose with adjustable cut off valve for my emitters. Now when I make a makeshift growth ring if one of the tee fittings is just a tiny bit higher than the others they don't uniformly drip. So I've got to give it up on that and may just put a t with the two t connectors 8 in apart. Once I get potting medium in the pots. I'll run a cycle and dig through the medium with my hands and look for saturation uniformity. This is just a hobby and I'm doing it for kicks.. as an alternate plan B I'll pressurize the system and use spot spitters. Designed to uniformly cover 25 gallon pots. I'm at may end up using a diaphragm pump. I really didn't want to get into all that. This was just a moment of extreme boredom and I always wanted to experiment with a gravity flow system. Anywho thanks for the encouragement I think I got the fungicide issue well covered frac 3 through 11.😊





« Last Edit: January 16, 2024, 06:50:49 AM by bovine421 »
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FloridaManDan

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2024, 11:35:41 AM »
Best of luck bovine, I rarely see anyone mention melons down here.

I had some korean melons going strong but I removed the vines before fruiting cause they took up too much space. Apparently they can tolerate the heat down here but they'll die in the full FL summer sun. Might be worth a try, though they are fairly susceptible to all the same pests and diseases as cucumbers. Personally not aware of 'healthier' or more tolerant varieties that could grow well in FL, let me know how things work out!

I had a ton of Noir des Carmes muskmelon seeds and seedlings that I passed throughout FL last spring. Never heard any updates though, so I assume they weren't successful.

I wonder if a quick-fruiting, early grower like Sweet Granite could be grown late-Winter through Spring before the heat picks up too much? May have to try it, seeing as I likely have trellis space clearing up... (keep fighting, table grapes!).

bovine421

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2024, 09:16:12 PM »
Best of luck bovine, I rarely see anyone mention melons down here.

I had some korean melons going strong but I removed the vines before fruiting cause they took up too much space. Apparently they can tolerate the heat down here but they'll die in the full FL summer sun. Might be worth a try, though they are fairly susceptible to all the same pests and diseases as cucumbers. Personally not aware of 'healthier' or more tolerant varieties that could grow well in FL, let me know how things work out!

I had a ton of Noir des Carmes muskmelon seeds and seedlings that I passed throughout FL last spring. Never heard any updates though, so I assume they weren't successful.

I wonder if a quick-fruiting, early grower like Sweet Granite could be grown late-Winter through Spring before the heat picks up too much? May have to try it, seeing as I likely have trellis space clearing up... (keep fighting, table grapes!).
Thanks for the info. You have me looking into the Korean and the sweet granite and I also stumbled upon one called the Sprite melon popular in Japan.It is being grown commercially in North Carolina. They're growing these different types of melons in greenhouses vertically in growth bags. I don't see why we can't hear in Florida start them off early indoors under a grow light with maybe a oscillating fan or in a greenhouse having them climb a stick of  bamboo and Transplant outside on a trellis. Beating the Heat and rainy season. Any input would be much appreciated😊

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« Last Edit: January 16, 2024, 10:10:33 PM by bovine421 »
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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2024, 03:29:07 PM »
My community garden buddy had surprising luck with a disease-resistant smaller variety called "Divergent." He did spray with BT every couple weeks to suppress all the worms.

The modern disease resistant hybrids tend to do better for us here in FL than the old heirlooms.

I'm going to try growing Burpee's "Mango" variety this year, after reading folks rave about it. Apropos, Burpee seeds are BOGO this weekend if anyone wants to trial them with me.

bovine421

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2024, 07:04:05 PM »
My community garden buddy had surprising luck with a disease-resistant smaller variety called "Divergent." He did spray with BT every couple weeks to suppress all the worms.

The modern disease resistant hybrids tend to do better for us here in FL than the old heirlooms.

I'm going to try growing Burpee's "Mango" variety this year, after reading folks rave about it. Apropos, Burpee seeds are BOGO this weekend if anyone wants to trial them with me.
M&M mangoes and melons
Sounds like you and your community garden buddy got a beautiful thing going on there. Much appreciate the information. Yep sugar cube seems to check all the boxes as far as disease resistance. So that will be my majority of planting and some of these others as a minor experiment. Did stumble across a couple of interesting varieties. That if I am successful this season will be added to the queue


Would appreciate any information on this variety of melon. Is it unique or common? Availability of seeds? What is its origin



« Last Edit: January 19, 2024, 07:12:52 PM by bovine421 »
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bovine421

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2024, 05:24:52 AM »
This is one that has caught my eye.

That's an eye catcher🙂 To let you know the  strawberries made it through last
 summer and this winter without spraying any fungicide. Now the bottom of one of my raised garden beds did collapse. Otherwise everything is going according to plan. I've got my melons started they're under a grow light. So I may move on to planting some tomatoes. John51 likes to remind me that it my favorite fruit. Mangoes are overrated🤣. If there's a particular variety of tomato that is Hardy and does well in Florida don't be bashful please share.

https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSEwiFjtafjeuDAxXtt1oFHQM7By0YABAIGgJ2dQ&ase=2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhY7Wn43rgwMV7bdaBR0DOwctEAQYASABEgISRvD_BwE&ohost=www.google.com&cid=CAASJuRo6YNInDuJVGU7vpTKepz3H44zx76msWiLWCUnyfzR8o519LrJ&sig=AOD64_1fUilvjVDclI0JGBZ4jZ9ksWsJ7Q&ctype=5&q=&nis=4&ved=2ahUKEwj_486fjeuDAxUMTjABHUEiCH4Qwg8oAHoECAMQDA&adurl=

« Last Edit: January 22, 2024, 05:31:06 AM by bovine421 »
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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2024, 08:48:26 AM »
Nice pic =new hope for the year  :  )

 I did some of my vines by grafting but it did not seem to improve performance.If you can find some citron melon, Citrullus caffer they may be good rootstock experiment at the time i could not get the seed. It grows wild on the old sands of the citrus ridge if anyone has some seed i would like to try it.

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2024, 09:18:24 AM »
I have had no ripened melons or pumpkins of any kind here in Central FL but I keep trying since I hate being beaten by something. (Its why I havent torn my stupid apples trees down :P) I might hunt down some Edisto 47 and sugar cube seeds this time around. I need to re-work the soil in the bed I want to put them in. Its compacted quite a bit in the last couple years. Its a 4x4 bed with 5 foot tall cattle fencing on 3 sides. I figure stirring it up and adding perlite and earthworm castings should help. Melons along the sides and French Marigolds and caster beans or field peas(for the nitrogen fixing) in the center. I need to make a Home Depot run at lunch today anyway for some other projects. I look to get them in the ground in the next few weeks as I absolutely suck at growing seeds and transplanting lol.

Galatians522

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2024, 09:23:58 PM »
This is one that has caught my eye.

That's an eye catcher🙂 To let you know the  strawberries made it through last
 summer and this winter without spraying any fungicide. Now the bottom of one of my raised garden beds did collapse. Otherwise everything is going according to plan. I've got my melons started they're under a grow light. So I may move on to planting some tomatoes. John51 likes to remind me that it my favorite fruit. Mangoes are overrated🤣. If there's a particular variety of tomato that is Hardy and does well in Florida don't be bashful please share.

https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSEwiFjtafjeuDAxXtt1oFHQM7By0YABAIGgJ2dQ&ase=2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhY7Wn43rgwMV7bdaBR0DOwctEAQYASABEgISRvD_BwE&ohost=www.google.com&cid=CAASJuRo6YNInDuJVGU7vpTKepz3H44zx76msWiLWCUnyfzR8o519LrJ&sig=AOD64_1fUilvjVDclI0JGBZ4jZ9ksWsJ7Q&ctype=5&q=&nis=4&ved=2ahUKEwj_486fjeuDAxUMTjABHUEiCH4Qwg8oAHoECAMQDA&adurl=


That is great news about the strawberries! They should be taking off right now. I have had good luck with almost all grape and cherry tomatoes that I have grown. I enjoy the multi color ones and actually have had great luck just planting seeds that I squeezed out of the Publix multi-color tomato packs. The Everglades tomato is exceptionally hardy under Florida conditions, but not quite as productive. Beefsteaks are a little more work. You need to make sure you have calcium or you will get blossom end rot and you have to keep on top of bugs better (Thuricide works great for most tomato worms). I had great success with Homestead last year but it is determinate and you only get one batch of fruit before it croaks. This year I bought seeds of Tropic VFN. It is a little smaller fruit, but is reported to have excellent disease resistance and because it is indeterminate it will keep fruiting until the heat stops it.

Galatians522

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2024, 09:26:30 PM »
Nice pic =new hope for the year  :  )

 I did some of my vines by grafting but it did not seem to improve performance.If you can find some citron melon, Citrullus caffer they may be good rootstock experiment at the time i could not get the seed. It grows wild on the old sands of the citrus ridge if anyone has some seed i would like to try it.

I would be happy to supply you with citron seeds the next time I come accross a ripe one. There are some in a grove that I drive by every day. I'll have to check on them.

Galatians522

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2024, 09:32:28 PM »
I have had no ripened melons or pumpkins of any kind here in Central FL but I keep trying since I hate being beaten by something. (Its why I havent torn my stupid apples trees down :P) I might hunt down some Edisto 47 and sugar cube seeds this time around. I need to re-work the soil in the bed I want to put them in. Its compacted quite a bit in the last couple years. Its a 4x4 bed with 5 foot tall cattle fencing on 3 sides. I figure stirring it up and adding perlite and earthworm castings should help. Melons along the sides and French Marigolds and caster beans or field peas(for the nitrogen fixing) in the center. I need to make a Home Depot run at lunch today anyway for some other projects. I look to get them in the ground in the next few weeks as I absolutely suck at growing seeds and transplanting lol.

I have had trouble with melons from coons. I get them all the way to ripe and come out one morning to gouges all over my fruits. I finally got one by growing it inside a cage. Seminole pumpkin has been a breeze. I planted in February last year and am still picking pumpkins off those vines! I probably could have filled 2 wheel barows full. And strangely enough the coons have not touched them???

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2024, 08:13:40 AM »
Nice pic =new hope for the year  :  )

 I did some of my vines by grafting but it did not seem to improve performance.If you can find some citron melon, Citrullus caffer they may be good rootstock experiment at the time i could not get the seed. It grows wild on the old sands of the citrus ridge if anyone has some seed i would like to try it.

I would be happy to supply you with citron seeds the next time I come accross a ripe one. There are some in a grove that I drive by every day. I'll have to check on them.



That would be awesome!

If you need something or funds let me know.
John

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2024, 08:39:13 AM »
I have had no ripened melons or pumpkins of any kind here in Central FL but I keep trying since I hate being beaten by something
Seminole pumpkin has been a breeze. I planted in February last year and am still picking pumpkins off those vines! I probably could have filled 2 wheel barows full. And strangely enough the coons have not touched them???
Since you can graft melons onto squash rootstock (see link below), I wonder if Seminole pumpkin would make a robust disease resistant rootstock for melons.

https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/HS1257

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2024, 10:28:35 AM »
I tried squash rootstock and it seemed stunted

Galatians522

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2024, 06:44:49 PM »
That would be awesome!

If you need something or funds let me know.
John

I grabbed a couple today. I'll send you a PM once I get the seeds dried and check for viability.

bovine421

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2024, 06:13:46 AM »
So far the melons are thriving. We're starting to get a warming trend with night time temperatures above 50° couple of weeks ago I left a portion of melons outside and brought the others under the grow light. I'll survived but the ones under the grow light definitely grew more so I'm in the process of re-hardening them. Got the tomato seeds Galatians recommended and got them started. Coconut cream is definitely blooming and will share photo with roblack thread once I take an epic photo. Some in central and a few on the East Coast are interested in the bolt mango but are suffering from sticker shock from the price they want for the trees. There may be a tree locally we can get Budwood from a collector here.

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2024, 10:25:50 AM »
Bolt mango I was very disappointed in last year tasting!Maybe to ripe.

bovine421

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2024, 12:32:58 PM »
Bolt mango I was very disappointed in last year tasting!Maybe to ripe.
Yeah my expectations were of citrus since in another thread it was compared to LZ. It tasted like a classic mango to me at the tasting. In a chat I was informed that if it ripens on the tree it has a defined coconut taste. No pun intended but I would like to give it another shot🤣 maybe we can coax someone down by Peace River who has the tree to have a tasting. Would love to come back over to the West Coast. That's where I spend Christmas





« Last Edit: February 06, 2024, 12:37:58 PM by bovine421 »
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bovine421

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Re: Anyone in Florida growing cantaloupes to Spring
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2024, 07:31:26 PM »
Got my gravity flow zero pressure mechanical battery operated timer. Think I have the melons hardened off but added some shade cloth on West Side as a precaution. So far so good wish me luck.
Sugar Cube Green Machine and Snow leopard



Garden Party celebration
Guava from the freezer five finger and June plum recently harvested.
Just call me the juice baby LOL





June Plum juice
« Last Edit: February 14, 2024, 07:38:59 PM by bovine421 »
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