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Growing Rockmelon, also Canteloupe

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

(Best months for growing Rockmelon in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • 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
  • Leaves and flowers
    Leaves and flowers
  • Young melons
    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

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
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.
29 Mar 17, Dianne James (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I live near goulburn nsw and was wondering if i could grow rockmelon if so when thank you
15 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Probably after the last chance of frosts. Start seeds 3-4 weeks before the last frost.
30 Mar 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Rock melons like it hot so should do well in Goulburn. Start the plants early in Toilet paper cylinders ready for planting after the last frost. Plant the cylinder and all as the cylinder will rot. Seeds are generally readily available or look online at companies like - Green Harvest, Eden Seeds, Diggers, New Gippsland Seeds, etc. There are a number of shorter season varieties listed if you are worried. All the best.
10 Apr 17, Lizzy (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I am growing the diggers rockmelon world variety in Queanbeyan on a northern bank The ones that came out were honeydew. They are small but very tasty. D'agen rockmelon also grow. Get them going early in a glasshouse or inside.
07 Oct 17, Monique (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi Lizzy, do you mind me asking where your melons came from? I'm in Queanbeyan myself and have just moved to a place with garden space so my daughter would love to grow some yummy things, but it's too late to start melon from seeds and I can't find rockmelon seedlings!
15 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My wife had a rock melon 2 weeks ago and I just threw the seeds and core under a small mango tree I'm growing and they germinated straight away. Although rockies are planted early in September here (seedlings) I'm going to give it a go. I might plant some corn near them, to give them some shade.
Showing 1 - 10 of 180 comments

I live near Bundaberg in Qld. They use to grow a lot of rockies here years ago. They would start picking late Oct so probably planted seedlings in August (no frosts here). I worked on a farm during the picking season one year (late 1980's). When to pick the melons - they would start to turn from green to yellow and the melon would come away from the stalk/vine easily. They would fall off with a gentle tug. They seem to pick them a few days too early these days - they are green on the outside color and very firm flesh to eat. A melon ripened properly, will be softish and have a good melon smell.

- Mike

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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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