If I grow a watermelon and cantaloupe at the same time, will they ruin the seeds of each other if I with to save their seeds?
If they ruin each other, I think you will have something no one else has, half watermelon half cantaloupe. In other words, don't worry about it, won't happen.
I know there is a dedicated group of seedsavers that saves seeds from anything, but it is poor economy. The cost of fresh seeds of known quality is low compared with the time and effort required to grow a crop. The hybrid versions of both watermelons and cantaloupe are usually better than "heirlooms" anyway, and often include disease resistance in their genes. Get a copy of the Stokes Seed catalog, and just look over the many exceptionally good varieties they sell. The Stokes people are true professionals who sell to commercial growers but are willing to put up with us backyard types as well.
I don't think watermelons and canataloupes will cross-pollinate, but why even take the chance? I know, BTW, that I will draw some strong dissents to the above opinions.
Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
Cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupes and pumpkins are all in separate species and can't cross.
If you're growing different types in the same species you would have a problem. I don't even attempt to save seeds from lettuce since I grow so many types close together and they readily cross.
If you have limited space to dedicate to a certain plant you will eventually run into a problem with a shallow genetic pool. But if you save your seeds in the freezer you can plant off a single year for a very long time so you won't continually be siphoning out of your pool.
If you're thinking about trying seed saving from hybrids your results will be erratic and you likely won't get the same results from your F2 that you had with the F1.
It may be good or it may be bad.
If you're planting heirlooms you will have more consistent results and you end up with plants that are acclimated to your specific garden.
GardenWeb has a seed saving forum.
Here is a link that might be useful: seed saving forum
I don't save many seeds, but I had such a nice volunteer watermelon last year [perhaps the first nice volunteer watermelon ever]that I saved some seed. The F3 generation sure looks good ...the Alpha melon is about ready to pick and looks about 25 pounds and the second one is growing well.
I'm thinking of growing melons for the first time next summer. Can I grow honeydew and cantalope in the same area? If they cross pollinate will that effect the fruit? How many plants can I have in a 9 foot wide 16 foot length area? I will most likely arrange them in a row unless you suggest something else.