An annual fruit plant that is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, cantaloupe may be grown in full sun with ample watering. Melons are hardy in most zones, if planted after the last frost. Commercial melon growers have struggled to find a successful herbicide to keep weeds at bay, and according to a 2003 U.C. Cooperative Extension Study, rely on hand weeding. However, several other studies have identified spray-on herbicides that are effective.
A study by the University of Arizona College of Agriculture published in 1999 showed that cantaloupe crops treated with bensulide suffered minimum damage and weeds were controlled four weeks after application. During the study, halosulfuron was applied six weeks after bensulide, and resulted in good weed control and minimum damage. Bensulide, which may be sprayed on to soil around cantaloupes before weeds appear, is sold under several trade names, including Betasan, Betamec, Exporsan, Prefar and Pre-San.
Clomazone may be sprayed on cantaloupes to prevent weeds and has been shown to have limited efficiency in killing weeds and the potential to harm crops, if used in too high of a concentration, according to the University of Arizona study. Clomazone is considered a broad spectrum weed killer, and may be used on other plants, including squash and watermelon. It may be sprayed on soil before first weeds appear and is sold under the trade name Command 3 ME.
A study published in the winter 2005 edition of the Weed Technology Journal, showed that halsosulfuron was the least damaging and most effective weed killer. The study, which examined the application of multiple herbicides on transplanted cantaloupes in Tifton, Georgia, showed that halsosulfuron was effective at controlling yellow and purple nutsege weeds as well as some dicot weeds, after the weeds emerged. Halosulfuron, which may be sprayed on to soil, is sold under the trade name Permit 75DG.