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Growing rockmelon (cantaloupe)

Rockmelon growing
An Israeli Haogen rockmelon starting to grow

These melons have so many name variations its shocking. If you go into a Queensland fruit and veg store and buy a rockmelon you're actually buying a muskmelon. A rockmelon is a little different (although because we're writing this in Queensland we'll continue calling them rockmelons). And to complicate matters further a lot of places in the world call them cantaloupes. What ever you call them in your neck of the woods you know we're talking about one of the sweetest and most delightful fruits you can grow in the fruit or vegetable garden.

Growing conditions

  • Rockmelon is a summer growing fruit.

  • They adore hot, sunny, well drained beds.

  • Rockmelons love a rich soil manured the previous season. Add a little potash to encourage flowering.

  • While rockmelon is a fruit it can be grown in the vegetable patch. In a 4 bed rotation system rockmelons are grown with pumpkins, sweet corn and cucumbers. Of course if you have a little spare space elsewhere - go for it!

Garden care

  • We've only grown one variety of rockmelon so far, the Israeli Haogen rockmelon. It has an amazingly wonderful flavour, is very productive and doesn't take up much space. Perfect!

  • It's usually easiest to directly sow your seed where you want your rockmelons to grow. Create a foot wide mound of soil about an inch taller than the surrounding soil. Plant 3 or 4 rockmelon seeds as deep as your first knuckle.

  • I always hate doing this, but you should thin the seedlings down to 1 or 2 plants.

  • Like their watermelon brothers, rockmelons can get by pretty well with a surprisingly small amount of water.

  • Avoid watering the leaves, otherwise you may get powdery mildew. If this happens spray with wettable sulphur.

Harvest time

  • Harvest rockmelons when they develop a fragrant musky aroma and the melon pulls away easily from the stem.

 

Last Updated 17 November, 2008

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