Rockmelons are a thing of beauty. The surface webbing on the skin is totally fascinating to watch developing as they grow and expand into full sized fruit. It disguises them well in amongst the vines. This variety I am growing was a random seed trade from someone so I am not sure what it is – but it has grown and produced well and is a very good flavour. Eating a fresh fully vine ripe fruit is quite a different experience from the usual shop bought ones. Because they go off so fast once ripe they usually are picked fairly early for general commercial use.
It has been a fast producer for me and as long as it gets a good start in mid spring and is placed in a well mulched and manured hillock (usually about 30cm high) in full sun, it will produce flowers and fruit profusely and quickly.
When fully ripe the flesh has a distinctly pleasant scent and is very soft and luxurious.
You can smell the fruit when it is fully ripe – and so can most pests so they really need protecting with some sort of perimeter fencing!!!
Attack of the marsupials!! (bandicoots) This is what happens if you don’t keep an eye on the melons and let the ripe fruit sit for too long without adequate fencing. They can smell the ripe fruit and then will start to strip the whole crop. These ones were pulled from about 8 vines – this is a small part of the overall crop from the vines. Each vine will produce 8-10 fruit if growing well. You can see where there are bite marks where they have started to munch on them in the ones pushed to the top side. To grow productively I think they all need full perimeter fencing that will keep out rodents and marsupials – they are just too irresistible to them – and once they start in on them they will strip all the new small ones as well.