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Q: I planted so many fruit seeds and lost so many plants I no longer know what is growing. Is this plant canteloupe or watermelo?

Q:  I planted so many fruit seeds and lost so many plants I no longer know what is growing.  Can you tell me if this plant is cantaloupe or watermelon?  What are some good choices for seedless watermelon?

A:  Well, this is the first time I have been asked that question.  I am glad you brought in several samples of the leaves as it made it easier to identify.  You leaf is from a cantaloupe plant.  Watermelon leaves are much more lobed than the cantaloupe leaf.

Cantaloupe should be grown in warm climates with low humidity.  Rots can easily occur in wet, humid climates or if too much irrigation is applied too often. Cantaloupe prefers fertile, well-drained slightly acidic sandy or silt loam soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. Additions of high levels of nitrogen may prevent plants from maximum fruit production and maturity.  Use formulations of fertilizers similar to 6-6-6 or 8-8-8, which can be easily found at any garden center.  Applications of pesticides should be done before sunrise or after dark to reduce the chance of applying it directly to bees which are essential for pollination.

Seedless watermelon choices for Florida are:  Crimson Trio, Genesis, King of Hearts, Merrilee III, Millionaire, or Scarlet Trio.  For more information on growing seedless watermelon check out the University of Florida publication: