Start seeds indoors a month before last frost date, or obtain young plants for direct planting in the garden. After danger of frost has past, transplant in garden about 3 feet apart. Cantaloupe plants are vines and will sprawl 4-6 feet. Harvest when the plant dies back and turns completely yellow.
Selecting a cantaloupe is tough, you can't judge it by it's looks or it's feel—instead, you need to smell it! The more flavorful it smells, the better it will be! Uncut, a cantaloupe may be left at room temperature for up to 4 days which will make it more soft and juicy. After 4 days it should go in the refrigerator. Once cut, either cover cut section with plastic wrap or cube entire remaining portion and seal in a container, either way it will last a couple days in the refrigerator.
Use a sharp, hefty knife to cut the melon from end to end and scoop out seeds. Cut into long wedges to enjoy as a stand-alone snack or dessert. Cut off of rind and into cubes to add to fruit salads or serve as a side dish.
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