By Teresa Starr

For fruit and vegetable garden enthusiasts, the combination of strawberries and cantaloupe in your garden can be a delight. These two fruits are very popular in fruit salads, smoothies and even in chilled soup. As any other vegetable or fruit, they can be grown separately, but they do grow nicely together as well. Both strawberries and cantaloupe create runners, which makes them take over a large area in your garden. So, if you enjoy the tasty treats these two fruits can provide, planting them together can be quite pleasurable.

Plant your seedlings after the last frost in the spring. The area you select to plant your strawberry and cantaloupe seedlings should receive at least 6 or 7 hours of sunlight per day.

Loosen the soil, using a shovel. Remove any weeds or unwanted plants from the area. Loosen the soil to at least 6 inches below the surface.

Mix the loose soil with 3 cups of 10-10-10 fertilizer and compost. Ensure that the fertilizer, soil and compost are mixed thoroughly. This only has to be done one time.

Plant the strawberry seedlings on a cloudy day to limit the amount of heat stress that the seedlings will go through. This also allows them to become acclimated to their new surroundings. Plant the seedlings at least 18-inches apart from one another, and in a hole that is large enough to carry full-grown roots.

Form 3- to 5-inch mounds of soil for your cantaloupe plants, keeping them at least 4 feet from one another, as well as the strawberries.

Plant the cantaloupe seeds 1 inch into the soil.

Water the garden immediately. It’s important to insure that your garden gets 1 to 2 inches of water a week.

Lay 2 inches of mulch on top of your garden when their leaves begin to appear. This will help the soil stay moist after you water it.