When Is Cantaloupe Season - How to Pick & Store

Written by Ivy

Jan 23 2023

When Is Cantaloupe Season - How to Pick & Store

Do you want to know when the best time to eat cantaloupes is? Many people adore cantaloupe because of its tenderness and sweet flavor. They don't know how to have a good, ripe one or when to have it, which is the issue. The peak flavor of the cantaloupe season is from June to October.

Different Types of Cantaloupe

You might notice that there are many types of cantaloupe. If you're perceptive enough, you'll even notice different cantaloupes have different sizes. The skin of the European cantaloupe is beige with greenish lines running along it. It also feels harder to the touch and tastes sweeter.

Conversely, American cantaloupe is more tender to eat and has a pale-green netted skin and flavor. You can assume that I'm talking about the American variety of cantaloupe for the remainder of this article.

When is Cantaloupe Season?


The season for cantaloupes varies depending on the region because they grow best in warm, sunny weather and well-drained soil. The best time to buy cantaloupes is from May through September or October in southern states and any areas near the Mexican border. However, the season won't start until July in Alaska and the northeastern states. From April to June, Floridians can anticipate it.

Why Should You Buy Cantaloupe in Its Peak Season?

Cantaloupe and other members of the muskmelon family are now year-round staples in supermarkets. Even though muskmelons and cantaloupes have different characteristics, you should still buy them when they are in season because they are seasonal fruits.

First off, when in season, fresh cantaloupe is very inexpensive. At a much lower price than during the off-season, you can easily identify a ripe one at your neighborhood fruit market or fruit store.

Second, these cantaloupes are naturally ripened on the vines during the season, which makes them sweeter and more evenly ripe. Last but not least, buy cantaloupe when it is in season for better taste and nutrient content.

So that you don't miss the best opportunity to enjoy it, it is best to be aware of the cantaloupe season. Let's skip the small talk and get to the answers!

Superior Quality

Many fruits and vegetables simply taste better when harvested during the appropriate seasons. This is obvious if they are raised conventionally in a field or an orchard, but it is also true if they are grown all year long in a greenhouse. Gardeners will have an easier time locating the supplies they require when they are in season, and the greenhouse won't have to work as hard to maintain their health and freshness.

Cantaloupes aren't an exception. If you eat cantaloupes when they're in season, you'll get the most flavor and juice from them.

Great for Your Health

The aforementioned nutrients are also most prevalent during cantaloupe season when the fruit is at its best and of highest quality. Because of this, when you consume them at the appropriate time of year, your body has a greater amount of them to absorb. While potassium and fiber help to maintain normal blood pressure and healthy cholesterol levels, vitamins A and C are excellent for your immune system.

Supports Local Economy

You must buy cantaloupes from locally owned and managed farms and supermarkets if you want to get the best ones when they are in season. This will benefit everyone because you will be able to enjoy the best cantaloupes around and your money will stay in the community. Additionally, you might be able to find them for a lower cost than during the off-season, which will leave you with even more extra money to support nearby shops and vendors.

Environmentally Friendly

Local purchasing reduces the need for long-distance delivery, which reduces the number of delivery trucks and other vehicles that must burn fuel. There is less pressure on large agricultural firms to use harmful tools and techniques to produce enough cantaloupes to meet demand. In other words, one significant way you can help the environment is by purchasing cantaloupes when they are in season.

The Best Time to Purchase Cantaloupes


The season of cantaloupe often lasts from 4 to 6 months, during summer and fall. Nevertheless, depending on where it is grown, cantaloupe can reach its peak sooner or last longer. You should therefore be mindful of the cantaloupe states in addition to the passage of time.

In the U.S, though cantaloupe can be planted everywhere, most of the commercial ones are provided by California since this state has the highest crop in the nation, followed by Arizona, Texas, Georgia, and Florida.

States Season Peak Season
California April to December May to October
Arizona May to November June to October
Georgia May to October June to August
Florida April to June May
Texas June to November July to October
Virginia May to October June to August
Pennsylvania July to September August
Average May to November June to August

The majority of cantaloupes mature between May and November, with their peak season falling between June and August, though this can vary by state. The top states are located closer to the south because cantaloupe needs warm weather for the best yield.

California has the highest cantaloupe crop in the region, often taking over half the output. It appears that the ripe ones are available first here, and you can even find delicious cantaloupe in early December.

In this place, peak season also lasts the longest. Cantaloupe, however, should be harvested in the summer so that you can consume it as a snack during the hotter days and add it to your collection of fall-friendly foods or dessert. You won't regret your decision, no matter what you make.

To whip up cool drinks and beat the summer heat, you can also use your preferred specialty blender to make green smoothies. Or, it's a great idea to pick up an easy-to-follow juicing guide and see if you can make reviving cantaloupe juice.

The peak seasons are typically shorter and last less time in the four states that follow California in cantaloupe production. Arizona is in second place with half output in comparison to California, lasts its cantaloupe season from May to November.

Lying in the middle north of the nation, Texas claimed third place in cantaloupe output and long-lasting season – from June to November. The states that are still on the table tend to congregate along the east coast.

Georgia is in the next place with the first mature cantaloupes in May and ends the season in October.

Florida is an extraordinary case since its cantaloupe season only lasts from April to June, with only one month of the peak, but its output claims the fifth place of the region's crop.

The last two states I added to the summary table are more northern. Cantaloupe thus seems to be only available during the summer. However, these states also produced a vast array of crops, allowing you to fill your summer days with delectable cantaloupes.

How to Tell If a Cantaloupe is at Its Best Stage?

Knowing how to judge cantaloupes' ripeness and freshness is crucial whether you're buying them during their peak season or off-season. Your melon may not taste as good if you get one of these two elements wrong.

Unripe ones typically have less sweetness or fragrance, and the flesh is also slightly crunchy. The overripe cantaloupes, on the other hand, are mushy and smell bad. You can pick a good cantaloupe by looking for the following indicators.


Blossom Stem

Checking the stem of the cantaloupe will allow you to determine whether it is ripe before or after being harvested. Those that have matured since being harvested will still have a protruding stem.

Conversely, cantaloupes that ripen naturally on the vine will separate from the stem. These cantaloupes taste much better and have a scar that is slightly indented at the end of the melon.

It was stated that you could still buy cantaloupes that still had their stems. If the stem, on the other hand, is especially woody, the melon was probably picked too soon and shouldn't be bought.

Even Skin

In between beige and green is where the ideal skin tone should fall. You can also take the completely green cantaloupe home and leave it on the counter to ripen. Cantaloupe should have uniform color, though.

Since cantaloupe is frequently grown on the ground, don't purchase any that have tears or holes because these can serve as a perfect home for bacteria and dirt.

Furthermore, cantaloupes are extremely sensitive to humidity. Consequently, you shouldn't buy any that have odd or mushy spots. These blemishes are a sign that the cantaloupe is starting to mold.

Heavy and Have a Deep Sound

Unripe cantaloupe is considerably lighter than ripe cantaloupe, which tends to be heavier than it appears to be. One can be grabbed and vigorously knocked or tapped.

Cantaloupes that are ripe enough should sound deep, whereas those that are still unripe sound hollow on the inside but still quite hard on the rind.

Fragrant Smell

Cantaloupes that are ripe will release a distinctive aroma. Pick one of the cantaloupes in the group and lightly press on the stem to determine whether it is ripe.

You can identify an overripe cantaloupe by smelling it; if it gives off a strong aroma, it is overripe. On the other hand, the unripened cantaloupe used in this method's testing will smell strongly of vegetables.

Learn how to determine a cantaloupe's level of ripeness so you can choose a good one.

Characteristics of Cantaloupes

You need to be aware of how to recognize them and what to expect from them when cantaloupe season arrives. In this manner, you'll be completely ready and motivated to never let the season pass waste!


There are many different cantaloupe varieties, including the super sweet Heart of Gold, the rich and musky Charentais, the banana-like Galia, the aromatic Sugar Cube, the divine Athena and Aphrodite melons, and the light yet decadent Japanese variety. A ribbed or netted outer flesh and an intensely colored inner flesh are what they all share. They always have the same round or oval shape as muskmelons.


All cantaloupes are praised for their sweet juice. In fact, more than half of respondents to a recent survey with more than 1,200 people said they enjoy the flavor of cantaloupe. Some have a tinge of floral or honey flavor as well. When fully ripe, the texture is soft, thick, and juicy but not mushy. You can tell if a cantaloupe was picked too early or too late in the season if it appears sour, bitter, crunchy, or spongy.

Health Benefits

You can expect to consume substantial amounts of potassium, fiber, and vitamins A and C with each bite of cantaloupe. These nutrients support your muscular, nervous, and circulatory systems in addition to helping your body fight every disease, from minor ailments to dangerous cancers. It might even be simpler for you to control your weight or lose weight.


History of Cantaloupes

Cantaloupes probably originated in Persia or India, but the ancient Egyptians and Romans enjoyed cultivating them for their own use. That is how the fruit initially gained popularity. The 15th century saw the spread of cantaloupe trees from there to Europe, where the fruit's juicy sweetness quickly became in high demand.

On his second voyage in 1494, Christopher Columbus brought them to the Americas within a short time, and they were eventually transported to the northern parts of the continent. Currently, Texas, Arizona, and California are where they are grown the most frequently.


The late spring through late summer harvest months are when ripe cantaloupes are in season.

You are now prepared to take full advantage of cantaloupe season because you know when it is and why it matters. I hope this has made you eager for the arrival of warm weather and motivated you to support your community by buying the melons at a farmer's market.