Canteloupe on a steep bank


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Returning from Rocky Ford, Colorado with Canteloupe grown in that area, I was told the reason they are so sweet is because of the large swings between daylight and dark temperatures. We have that at 6,500 feet in the Rockies in northern New Mexico where I have a greenhouse, and raised beds drip irrigation and a water catchment system.

I have a steep bank, facing south. I planted Zuchinis and squash on that steep slope and they liked it there. The downside: water fed to the plants leaked out of the soil in that steep terrain. I have purchased ten 10 inch PVC pipes , three feet long and intend to inset them into the steep sidehill and add topsoil to them when I have stabilized them vertically. This should become a column of enriched, moist soil that the roots should grow deeply into. A fence above these 10 inch pipes will be used to deliver drip irrigation to these ten pipes.

I am curious as to spacing. Since the pipes are independent of each other, what should the spacing be for the canteloupes' be since they will be growing downhill?

Geneso
 
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Meadowlark

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That Rocky Ford cantaloupe is to die for! I had always heard they were so good because of the soil there but you are probably right about the swings. Regardless, they are great.

I like to grow my cantaloupe in hills/mounds thinned to the three best plants in each mound spaced a couple of feet apart.

If I understand your approach correctly, you will essentially be doing the same thing using the pvc pipe to support the mound on downhill slopes? They will then spread out to cover your entire hillside. Should work effectively.
 
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So, In a ten inch pipe how many seeds would you plant? If you prune to just three plants obviously you must plant more.
 

Meadowlark

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I'd probably plant 4 or 5 seeds and thin to best two or three in each pipe.

Are you looking to plant next spring?

Innovative approach!
 
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Thank you. That is what I will do in the Spring. We are in the Rockies at 6,500 near Las Vegas, NM. These big swings in temperatures may produce incredibly sweet fruits. After not planting for two years due to priorities of creating a mutual domestic water association for our area, I am now back ,and others have provided me with the inspiration to really work at this and take produce to the farmers' market next year. Three people have really made this a "doable" situation, one from Texas, who wants her own greenhouse after she gardens with me a year. So this "off the wall" idea is really energizing.

Gene
 

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