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Growing Rockmelon, also Canteloupe

(Cucumis melo)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
P             S S T T P

(Best months for planting Rockmelon in Australia - sub-tropical regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings. P = Plant direct in garden where they are to grow.


  • 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 in same bed): Sweetcorn, Sunflowers
  • Avoid growing in same bed: 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

28 Jan 15, Horsome (Australia - temperate climate)
I finally have fruit growing ! 4 plants, planted seedlings Oct, Nov. In a sandy soil with some fresh compost mix. The turning points? Big rainfalls in late December encouraged plant growth, recently started picking of runners as female flowers weren't taking, then bam over a week later about half a dozen fruit took off, aiming to get 2 dozen at least.
16 Jan 15, JAn Vedova (Australia - temperate climate)
When do you know your rockmelons are ready to be picked
18 Jan 15, Ferran (Australia - temperate climate)
You can tell when to harvest rockmelons by either tugging slightly on the stem directly attached to the fruit, if it comes of the stem it is ready, some varieties this doesn’t work for. Alternately smell the fruit you should be able to smell a sweet aroma if the rock melon is ready. If you still can't decide look at the skin in most varieties if differs slightly from the unripened ones also check the seed packets for a rough guide as to how many weeks from harvest you will be able to start harvesting. Good luck, enjoy your rock melons.
11 Jan 15, Jo (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Six months ago I created a No Dig garden and I haven't looked back Two months ago I planted Rockies and I am happy to report that I have fruit. Try the No Dig Garden method and I think you will be very pleased, with all your vegies. Organic and wonderful for you and the earth.
02 Jan 15, Barb (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
How disappointing to have lost the fruit and flowers! Could it be they're getting too much sun? Maybe give them some shade using a few pruned branches from a handy bush. Maybe try a higher dose of potassium to encourage flowering, such as a compost tea with banana skins. I hand pollinate my rockmelon flowers to ensure the little female flowers set fruit. Hope it recovers so you get some lovely rockmelon!
11 Jan 15, Dent. (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Im kinda new to gardening. I have done it on and off but always on learning curve. I will try what you sugested and see how it goes. I appreciate you replying.
01 Jan 15, Dent (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My vines came from seedlings that were planted around 7-8 weeks ago. I had some small (small gape size) fruits just starting, now they are gone. I live in Brisbane, plants get watered and fed regularly. Do they need to be covered or anything? There are no flowers left now, am I going to get fruit or should I pull them and start over? Thanks guys.
21 Dec 14, Goanna (Australia - temperate climate)
Rockmelons do not ripen after being picked. They just go soft. Do not pick until they go orange and smell sweet.
28 Oct 14, Monica (Australia - tropical climate)
I still dont know which variety to plant in a country like Fiji. And i dont know why people over here are onlyconcentrating on sugarcane and stuff. Hardly anyone is concerned about these fruits
23 Apr 14, Barry (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It seems a waste of vine to not be able to cook n eat it for rockies or watermelon. Any one know how to cook the vines and eat? Are they safe to eat?
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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. Gardenate 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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