I can't seem to grow sweet melons. Help with growing and variety selection?

Hi all, first time posting here and hoping for some help! My family runs a garden center in western CT in lower Litchfield County, right on the border of 6A/5B. During the late summer, when things slow down, we do a decent business growing vegetables in our garden. Every year, I try to grow cantaloupe and without fail, they don’t make it to the stand because I think they’re terrible. They just aren’t sweet. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong but darn it all, I just want to grow one great melon! I plant them in different rows to try different watering schedules, etc. I reduce/pretty much stop the watering when I think they’re a couple of weeks away, I try to pick them at full slip…nothing seems to work! Could soil composition be a significant factor? We haven’t tested it in a while, but I suppose I just assumed since tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, squash, and a few other vegetables grow without issue, that I would at least stumble upon an edible cantaloupe! Anyone in this area growing melons with regular success? A local customer of ours gave us seeds for melons he got from Amish farmers in Lancaster and he swears by them, so I’m hoping maybe I have better luck with them.

We are going to try:
Sarah’s Choice

I know Ambrosia is quite famous but anyone with success in this area?

I have tried growing Charentais but between the animals and trying to figure out when they’re ready, I think I may just have to accept that the only good ones I’ve had are in southern Italy (though I haven’t been to France!) :rofl:


Variety grown is arguably the first and foremost factor in getting sweet cantaloupes. After genetics, the usual culprit behind bad flavor is over fertilizing.

You can find some food for thought in this recent thread. Sweetest Canteloupe?

Also to note, Athena is a commercial hybrid cantaloupe that performs well in diverse climates. Look into giving it a try.


I don’t have anything to contribute to the question being asked, but the one time I grew charentais (in 7a Maryland), the single melon that I managed to pick before the animals got it (but after it was ripe) was amazing and delicious. The other 15+ melons were apparently much enjoyed by the local wildlife.


Hey @AlexC welcome to the forum!

I don’t had any advise, but I will be watching this thread for tips! :slight_smile:

I would recommend Aphrodite. They are some of the best cantaloupes I have ever ate, and I grew up growing cantaloupes and watermelons for a living.

Update: We ended up getting far too busy at our store to keep track of a bunch of varieties, so we got Ambrosia and Sarah’s Choice in the ground, but not Dove. Both were mediocre :rofl: I’m not giving up though! I’ll be trying Sharlyn from Fruition Seeds. Seems to have a longer harvest window depending on your test, good color indicators, etc., and I bought seeds for August Ambrosia watermelon from last season and they were quite good for ripening in August, when all it did was rain seemingly every day. It does not sound like it has a traditional flavor - more tropical it seems - but I just want a sweet melon out of this damn garden!