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Growing Rockmelon, also Canteloupe

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18 Feb 19 Edith (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have a patch of garden that was covered by polythene due to illness and I planted 3 rock melons into small holes that I made. They have flourished and there are melons galore. I think the heat from the polythene must have helped. I find that the plastic does not drain the water when it rains, and I am worried that the melons will spoil against it. I have tried to lift them and put netting and wood underneath as many as I can. Can I harvest them and will they ripen when they are off the vines. I will pick them all as there is rain coming if they will ripen themselves. They are nearly ripe as I cut one and altho it was not ripe and yellow I could eat it. They are a good size. bit in fact.
19 Feb 19 mike (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I don't believe they will ripen if picked unless they have started to ripen already. Rockmelons will break from the vine fairly easily when starting to ripen. A rather gentle pull and they will come away from the vine. A bit hard to tell when to pick without this sign. At this stage a good down pour of rain and they will take up heaps of water and split. Melons seem to take a long time from growing to a good size and to then ripening. I had some ripening the last 4-6 weeks and most just split or just went rotten. They are a spring crop in SE QLD Australia. Good luck.
23 Feb 19 Edith (New Zealand - temperate climate)
thankyou for your answer. The forecast was for days of rain so I snipped them off and they are in the shed which gets pretty warm. The info on them splitting in rain is valuable thankyou and I am glad I have taken the gamble and picked them as it is solid rain for days. I will put an update on if and how they ripen when it happens. thanks again.

I have a patch of garden that was covered by polythene due to illness and I planted 3 rock melons into small holes that I made. They have flourished and there are melons galore. I think the heat from the polythene must have helped. I find that the plastic does not drain the water when it rains, and I am worried that the melons will spoil against it. I have tried to lift them and put netting and wood underneath as many as I can. Can I harvest them and will they ripen when they are off the vines. I will pick them all as there is rain coming if they will ripen themselves. They are nearly ripe as I cut one and altho it was not ripe and yellow I could eat it. They are a good size. bit in fact.

- Edith

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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