Saturday, 10 November 2007

Bed 1: Rockmelons

Bed 1
Rockmelon - also called Cantaloupe
I am growing Hales Rockmelon this year with seeds from
New Gippsland Seeds and Bulbs.

They were planted on 23 Aug 07 and potted on to growing-on pots on 22 Sep 07 and planted outside on 22 Oct 07.
The bed was cleared after the carrot crop finished and lightly dug with the addition of compost, blood and bone and organic pelletised manure.

After planting they have been covered at night and on windy days with a simple shadecloth tunnel.
Each plant is in a dish of soil to prevent water run-off from their individual drippers.
These are connected to the main watering system and also a watering container.

Growing requirements are:
Latin Name: Cucumis melo cantaloupensis
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Sow: Spring/Summer after frost when soil is warm
Soil: They like a fertile, well drained, humus/compost rich soil
pH: 6.5 - 7.5
Spacing: 30cm apart in rows 150cm apart



My Notes:
Start early under glass and keep warm till planting out.
Minimal root disturbance at planting.
May need hand pollination for good crop.
Pick frequently to promote further fruit set.
Leaves calcium rich; good to compost when crop finished.
Don't rotate squash, cucumbers, pumpkins and melons to the same site as they are members of the same family cucurbitaceae.
Mulch well to conserve moisture.


Good Companions:
Corn
Sunflowers
Nasturtiums

Bad Companions:
Potatoes



Sources:
Organic Vegetable Growing by Annette McFarlane
The Australian Organic Gardener's Handbook by Keith Smith
Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte
Southern Holdings Easy Guide to Companion Planting and Seed Sowing Chart
Companion Planting in Australia by Brenda Little

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