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Growing Rockmelon, also Canteloupe

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
T                 S S T

(Best months for growing Rockmelon in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 20°C and 32°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 40 - 60 cm apart
  • Harvest in 10-16 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Sweetcorn, Sunflowers
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • Leaves and flowers
  • Young melons

Start in small pots then transplant when no danger of frosts. Plant into a raised mound to provide good drainage and warmth. Provide plenty of water.

Ready to use when the fruit falls from the vine

In the United Kingdom start the seeds in a heated greenhouse with plenty of light.

Rockmelons may need hand pollination with a soft brush.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Rockmelon

Cut in half and scoop out and discard the seeds.
Sprinkle with some ground ginger or serve plain.

Your comments and tips

10 Dec 19, Steven Larkin (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi , My Edens Gem melons have a few weeks more growing until harvest. Most of the leaves have yellowed and died. Will they still be ok to be harvested. Thanks
17 Dec 19, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
This happens to some crops as they approach harvest time, maybe they needed more watering in this hot weather. I'm in the same boat with rock melons, my problem is do some of the new commercial melons slip from the vine when ripening. Mine are still green and I feel they will not be ripe until around Xmas day. A few of my melons were attacked by Qld fruit fly I think. I put shade cloth over my melons this morning to keep the flies off. If you have plenty of melons you could try one.
28 Nov 19, Peter Blakey (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
how do you care for the rockmelon plant the one we have have grown from scraps and have many flowers and one has a small fruit
29 Nov 19, anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It is becoming late in the season to be growing rockies with the hot weather we are having and coming The plant will have lots of flowers, male and female (the one with the fruit on it), bees need to do their pollinating work. Only a small % of the female will develop into fruit. They need plenty of water while the fruit is growing (only takes a week or two). It takes approx. 45 days from pollination to the fruit ripening. Back off the water a bit after the fruit has grown to full size. Too much water and they will split in the hot weather.
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.
06 Dec 18, Lorraine (Australia - temperate climate)
I have rock mellons coming up where i have buried kitchen scraps.. Should i pull them out or let them grow. I am in Ipswich Qld December 6 2018
06 Dec 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You could let them grow - thin them out or separate them to 2-3' apart. I did this in Oct - the plants are just setting and growing fruit now. You may have to protect them later when they have fruit on from the sun. Better to plant them late August (away from frosts) or early Sept. The picking season is well under way in SE Qld now - probably finished by Xmas.
12 Nov 18, Dianne Morgan (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I live In Brisbane Australia I have a rock melon plant can I plant it now & How far do the vines go as I only have a small courtyard
Showing 1 - 10 of 198 comments

I live In Brisbane Australia I have a rock melon plant can I plant it now & How far do the vines go as I only have a small courtyard

- Dianne Morgan

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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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