Strawberries and cantaloupes are two great ingredients to start a fruit salad. They are both widely popular for breakfast and desserts. Strawberries are perennial and winter hardy. Some varieties will spread each year, giving you more and more berries. Cantaloupe will only produce one crop, is not cold hardy at all and takes up quite a bit of space in your garden. But once you've tasted the fresh fruits right out of your garden, it will all be worth it.
Dig rows in an area with full sun and well draining soil. Remove all weeds and grass from the soil. Work in about an inch of compost to provide the proper drainage for the strawberry plants. Rows should be 18 inches apart. Gardening zones 1 through 5 should plant in spring after all threat of frost, but while it is still cool. In zones 6 and warmer, plant in fall for growing in the spring.
Plant strawberries in the early evening or on a cloudy day to prevent drying. The roots should be planted 1/4 inch under the soil with the crowns above the soil. Leave 18 inches between plants for growth and ventilation.
Use a complete plant food and side dress each row. Follow manufacturer's directions on amount to use. Water the fertilizer into the soil well.
Mulch the soil around the plants with grass clippings to keep the weeds down and hold in some moisture. Water when the soil beneath the clippings starts to dry.
Choose a location that has full sun. Cultivate the soil in rows 5-6 feet apart. Clean the soil of all weeds and stones and add an inch of compost to the soil, mixing in well.
Plant cantaloupe seed 3-4 inches apart in rows, in spring when the soil starts to warm and all threat of frost is gone. It takes 75 to 90 days to harvest cantaloupe, so if you live in a cold area with short summers, plant the seeds in peat pots indoors about a month ahead of the last frost date.
Water the seed thoroughly and keep the soil moist from then on. Cantaloupe need a lot of water and will not grow if allowed to dry out.
Fertilize with a complete plant food once you start to see growth. Place fertilizer in the soil away from the seedling or plant as it can burn it. Always water fertilizer into the soil well to get it down to the root system.
About this Author
Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.