Athena Cantaloupe is a hybrid cantaloupe variety with a tough rind that holds well in the field and doesn’t crack easily. This is probably the most popular cantaloupe variety in America. It consistently performs well on any scale from backyard gardens to large-scale, commercial operations. In warmer climates, a second crop may be grown in the fall. Athena is widely-adapted and performs well in a wide range of growing zones. Fruits are very aromatic and sweet.
Cantaloupes may be direct seeded or transplanted. For direct seeding, we recommend planting seeds every 12″ along the intended row to ensure a good stand. Once plants emerge, thin plants to one every 2 feet. Cantaloupes can be susceptible to plant diseases if excess leaf moisture is present. As a result, we recommend using drip irrigation on cantaloupes to reduce leaf moisture and feed plants more effectively. During periods of heavy rainfall, using a fungicide like Liquid Copper can help to alleviate disease pressure as well.
Cantaloupes also perform well when transplanted. In early spring, we recommend transplanting to get a jump start on the growing season. They prefer warmer temperatures for seed to germinate. By transplanting, you can have plants in the ground before the soil temperature warms enough to direct seed. We recommend starting transplants 4-5 weeks before the desired outdoor planting date. Cantaloupe transplants grow great in our heavy-duty seed starting trays, where they develop a solid root ball with roots that are trained to grow downward. Plants are ready to go in the ground when they can be easily pulled from the cells in the seed starting tray. Cantaloupes are ready to harvest when the tendril near the fruit completely dries. The tendril can be found between the fruit stem and the fruit. It is usually curly and green, but will dry when fruits are ready to harvest.
Athena Cantaloupe Planting Information
Planting Method: direct seed or transplant
When to Plant: after last frost
Planting Depth: 1/2″
Seed Spacing: 24″
Row Spacing: 5-6′
Days to Maturity: 80
Disease Resistance: Fusarium Wilt, Powdery Mildew