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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 68°F and 90°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 16 - 24 inches apart
  • Harvest in 10-16 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Sweetcorn, Sunflowers
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes

Your comments and tips

15 Oct 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Just plant when they say so and try to protect them from the wind a bit. I didn't think they would grow in cold places.
27 Feb 18, Tony Mackay (Australia - temperate climate)
I am in Nambucca area frost free north east slope. Can i still plant rockmelons. I have the plants.
01 Mar 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You can grow rockies in the autumn. Probably don't taste as good as the spring ones. I had rockies in and harvested the last in Jan - the fruit left in the garden bed, their seeds were germinating with in a fortnight.
03 Feb 18, james (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
tip when they are ready eat them
05 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The older varieties use to start turning yellow and they would pull away from the vine easy when ripening. And you could smell the rocky smell. Called slipping. The new varieties in the super markets don't do this so it is a bit of a guessing game. They have green skin and the flesh is tough. I grew some of the newer ones and around ripening time we had 5
21 Jan 18, Norma Bowden (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi, when you say the fruit is ready when it falls from the vine, does that mean the withering of the plant where the melon is attached? Also, should the melons be lifted from the soil as they grow bigger by placing something like a piece of wood under them? Thank you
17 Sep 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
The older varieties when the skin would start to go yellow the fruit would come away from the vine easy. It would be fully ripe in a few days. Some of the newer ones don't turn yellow. How long to harvest is a guide to picking. Try one and see if it is ripe. Put dry grass/straw under them if you have wet soil.
16 Jan 18, Hanneke Koevoet (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Do I need hand pollination if see quite a lot of bees in the flowers
17 Dec 17, Laurence Lim (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Planted about 20 rock melon plants. Plenty of male flowers. So far only two female flowers.. hand pollinate both.. not successful.. Why are there so few female flowers? Is there deficiency of certain element in the soil? Regards, L Lim
19 Dec 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
When the plant first starts sending out runners there is mainly male flowers. Then there will be female flowers, It takes a lot of visits from bees to pollinate and set the fruit. I hand pollinated pumpkin the other week and one female flower set fruit and the other didn't. The answer I have no idea. Pumpkins, cues melons are all in the same family. The pumpkin female flower only opens for about 6-9 hrs for one day. Probably melons cues zucchinis are the same. If you are in the sub-tropics you probably should have planted these 2 mths earlier. My rockies (I should have planted a month earlier) are about 5-10 days from start picking and some grubs are just destroying the leaves.
Showing 11 - 20 of 196 comments

Do I need hand pollination if see quite a lot of bees in the flowers

- Hanneke Koevoet

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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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