Sierra gold cantaloupe, or Cucumis melo, produces a delicious golden-colored cantaloupe. The fruit is sweet and juicy. Sierra gold cantaloupe plants are resistant to powdery mildew which likes to attack other cantaloupes, cucumbers and squash. The seeds germinate in 7 to 14 days when the temperature is around 75 to 85 degrees F. The plants grow a foot tall and the vines spread 10 feet. The cantaloupes are harvested in 60 to 90 days.
Cultivate the soil with a rototiller to create a loose planting area. Work organic materials like compost or well-rotted manure into the soil with the rototiller. This will eliminate the need to fertilize the cantaloupe plants later.
Create a 1-foot- to 2-feet-tall hill by mounding up the soil in a pile. Keep the hills 12 inches apart with 3 feet between the rows.
Sow cantaloupe seeds 1 to 2 weeks after the last frost in the spring. Poke the Sierra gold cantaloupe seeds 1 inch into the top of each hill. Plant six seeds per hill scattered around the top.
Thin out all but the three strongest cantaloupe seedlings per hill to prevent overcrowding and stunted plant growth. Do this when all the seedlings have reached 2 inches in height. You will end up with three vigorous growing seedlings per hill.
Spread a 1 inch layer of mulch around the cantaloupe plants once they have grown to 6 inches tall. The mulch can be grass clippings, straw or shredded bark. This will help keep moisture in the hills and reduce the amount of weeds growing around the cantaloupes.
Things You Will Need
- Weed around the Sierra gold cantaloupe plants by hand. Tilling the weeds under can damage the shallow root system of the cantaloupes.
- Plant Sierra gold cantaloupe seeds when the temperature outside is 60 degrees F or above. If the weather is too cool, the seeds may rot and not germinate.