Do you want to plant pumpkins and cantaloupes together?
Does it make sense? Keep on reading to find out!
Can You Plant Pumpkins and Cantaloupe Together?
You can plant pumpkins and cantaloupe together, as they belong to the same family, and share similar requirements. However, you should keep in mind these plants take up a lot of space when planted together.
Let’s be honest. There are better companion plants than pumpkins and cantaloupes. These plants don’t support each other. However, they don’t disturb each other too, so planting them together is definitely recommended.
Keep on reading to learn the pros and cons of planting cantaloupe and pumpkins together, how to plant them, and what are the other good companion plants for these two.
What are the Pros and Cons of Planting Pumpkins and Cantaloupes Together?
Probably the biggest advantage of planting pumpkins and cantaloupe together is the fact that both plants belong to the Cucurbitaceae family.
Because of that, they share similar requirements when it comes to watering, feeding, and sunlight. That being said, you can care for both plants at the same time in the same way.
In addition, Cantaloupes attract earthworms, which aerate the soil. Cantaloupe plants tend to be high in nutrients, making healthy plants a great addition to the compost, along with spent pumpkins for a nutrient-rich compost to use the following year.
However, you should know that both plants take up a lot of space. For example, a pumpkin plant can reach 20-30 ft (6.1-9.1 m) long. On the other hand, cantaloupe reaches 4-7 feet (1.2 to 2.1 m) in length. Planting these plants together requires a lot of space.
You should also know that both plants are heavy feeders. Pumpkins and cantaloupes require frequent feeding. Usually, when two heavy feeders are planted together, it negatively impacts crops, and fruits are smaller and less abundant.
Moreover, both plants don’t protect each other from pests. Some companion plants work in symbiosis. However, pumpkins can’t protect cantaloupe from aphids, or cucumber beetles. And vice versa.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to planting pumpkins and cantaloupes together. A lot of gardeners plant these plants together, and they do it successfully, so you should definitely give it a try.
How to Plant Pumpkins and Cantaloupe Together?
- Plant pumpkins and cantaloupes in a place with full sun exposure and excellent drainage. Avoid shaded, wet areas. Wait until the soil warms to 60 °F (15 °C).
- Weed and amend the planting site with a 2-inch-thick (5 cm) layer of well-rotted manure to a depth of 8 inches (20 cm). Mound the amended soil into hills measuring 8 to 10 inches (20-25 cm) high and 2 to 3 feet (60-90 cm) wide. Space the hills approximately 4 to 8 feet (1.2-2.4 m) apart.
- Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of 6-10-10 ratio fertilizer (buy here on Amazon) onto each planting hill. Water each hill lightly to push the fertilizer deep into the soil, which will encourage fast root growth.
- Plant three cantaloupes or pumpkin vines atop each hill. Plant them in an equilateral triangle arrangement to ensure each has equal access to nutrients, space, and water. You can also mix the cantaloupes and pumpkin vines together.
- Dig the planting holes slightly shallower than the vines’ original pots. Gently slide the vines from their pots and nestle the root balls in the planting holes. Push soil in around the rootball and press down to firm it.
- Spread a 2-inch-thick (5 cm) layer of mulch around the base of each plant to suppress weed growth and to hold moisture and warmth in the soil. Leave a 2-inch (5 cm) space between the mulch and the base of the vines to let moisture escape.
- Water the cantaloupe and pumpkin vines deeply after planting them. Run the water at the base of the vines rather than spraying from above, since excess moisture on the foliage causes angular leaf spot and blossom end rot, both of which will cause a low fruit yield.
How to Care for Pumpkins and Cantaloupe?
Growing cantaloupes and pumpkins together allows you to care for them in the same way, as they belong to the same family.
You should give them plenty of food and water, as both are essential for harvesting large fruit. Give your plants at least 1-2 inches (16-32 ml) of water per week, especially when they’re blooming and setting fruit. You should avoid overhead watering, and use drip irrigation or ground-level soaking.
Pumpkins and cantaloupes grow best at temperatures between 65-95 °F (18-35 °C). Very humid conditions can foster fungal diseases when combined with heat, so it’s important to keep a close eye on your plants.
Pumpkins and cantaloupes feed heavily in order to develop their extensive vines and large fruit. Feed these plants every two weeks. Begin with a 10-5-5 ratio fertilizer when the plants are about 1 foot tall to support good foliage growth. Before the plants begin blooming, switch to a high-phosphorus and potassium fertilizer (5-15-15 ratio) to support fruit development.
What are the Best Companion Plants for Pumpkins or Cantaloupes?
You can plant pumpkins and cantaloupes together, and they should grow well. However, there are better companion plants that give your plants even more benefits.
- Zucchini: It attracts squash bees, similar to pumpkins and cantaloupes. These bees pollinate zucchini and pumpkins/cantaloupes, producing higher yields
- Corn: Corn can be used as a live trellis for small pumpkin cultivars. Because the pumpkin leaves shade the corn, weeds are kept at bay.
- Sunflowers: Sunflowers can be used to create a live vertical trellis for some pumpkins. If possible, choose small pumpkin varieties that will not weigh down the sunflower. In addition, sunflowers attract natural pollinators like bees.
- Radishes: Radishes are a favorite among pests such as flea beetles. As a result, radishes may divert these pests from attacking pumpkins or cantaloupes.
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