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Gary350
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Climbing water melons in cage.

Before I left for a week vacation I moved these 2 fence wire cages to the garden out of the way long enough to mow the grass. Melons were only about 2 ft long then. I forgot to move the wire cages back where they belong and when I returned a week later one cage was completely covered with water melon vines. The other compost cage is not covered I guess Honey Dew melons do not vine. It is now impossible to move the cage so I will let it grow and see what happens. If a water melon grows near the top it is going to be a problem it will problem get heavy and rip itself from the vine or turn the cage over.

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h292/mikeweaver/melons.jpg[/img]

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engineeredgarden
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Have no fear, Gary - at the end of the growing season, you'll probably wanna grow them vertically from now on (seriously). First of all, honeydew melons certainly vine, and will run just as long as any other melon.
Growing melons and pumpkins vertically is the only way my small garden can accomodate them - and it's quite easy!

How large does the variety of your melon get? That will determine your options for supporting them.....

EG

garden5
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You can take some cloth and secure it to the cage to form a "melon hammock," this will keep the melon from tearing the vine off the trellis.
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stella1751
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engineeredgarden wrote:Have no fear, Gary - at the end of the growing season, you'll probably wanna grow them vertically from now on (seriously). First of all, honeydew melons certainly vine, and will run just as long as any other melon.
Growing melons and pumpkins vertically is the only way my small garden can accomodate them - and it's quite easy!

How large does the variety of your melon get? That will determine your options for supporting them.....

EG
EG, I'd like to learn more. I thought all of my watermelon seedlings died during a bad cold-and-rainy spell in mid-June. I gave them a week to recover; three never did, but one showed faint glimmerings of life. I continued to nurse it, but hedged my bets by purchased a pumpkin seedling so this 6.5' x 6.5' bed wasn't wasted for the year.

The watermelon has begun to recover. I think it will make it. I now have a vigorous pumpkin and a recuperating watermelon in the same bed.

Here's what I'm thinking about doing: I want to put a sturdy tomato cage over the watermelon. It's a Burpee Fordhook that will weigh, at the most, 14 lbs. If I can get it to vine up the cage, I could put panty hose legs over any pollinated fruit and secure those to the sides of the cages. Then the pumpkin would be free to do its own thing in the rest of the bed.

Am I dreaming? Will this work? If not, does anyone have any other ideas?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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engineeredgarden
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stella - sure, it'll work like a charm. As the melon vines get longer, they have to be helped onto any trellis - and it's best to coax them where you want them to grow throughout the season. However...the pumpkin growing in the same bed kinda worries me. Pumpkin vines are really aggressive growers, and I had one grow vertically 6 feet - then another 18 feet horizontally on the same trellis. It was interesting, to say the least!

EG

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stella1751
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engineeredgarden wrote:stella - sure, it'll work like a charm. As the melon vines get longer, they have to be helped onto any trellis - and it's best to coax them where you want them to grow throughout the season. However...the pumpkin growing in the same bed kinda worries me. Pumpkin vines are really aggressive growers, and I had one grow vertically 6 feet - then another 18 feet horizontally on the same trellis. It was interesting, to say the least!

EG
Thanks, EG! Truth be told, the pumpkin vines worry me, too. I had wanted to replace the deceased watermelon seedlings with nursery watermelon seedlings, but I couldn't find any. Because I hated this large bed to lie fallow for a year and because it was on a cucurbits rotation, I decided, what the heck, pumpkins. (I also wasn't certain at that time that the watermelon would even make it.)

I haven't grown either of these plants since I was a newbie gardener way back when. Wyoming doesn't take kindly to either, based on those early experiences. This will be an interesting bed!

I'll set that cage out today. The remaining watermelon seedling has just now started to put on new growth. The pumpkin, however, has begun to glance about itself, scoping out available territory :shock: I think its name is Autumn Gold, but I can't remember for sure. It did have "gold" in its title.
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engineeredgarden
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Stella - I made a video of how I sling melons today, and will post it on my blog in a few days, if interested.
If you have the room, i'd just let that pumpkin vine sprawl out through the yard - unless you're ready to construct a really long (and very strong) trellis system.

EG

Spongegirl
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funny that...

My watermelon vines are going everywhere! So they started to climb up the empty tomatoe cage and I see a developing melon. I am going to leave it and see how much weight the vine can handle.
Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry
When you get impatient, you'll always start to worry
Remember, remember, that God has patience too, so think of all the times when others have to wait for you.

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stella1751
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engineeredgarden wrote:Stella - I made a video of how I sling melons today, and will post it on my blog in a few days, if interested.
If you have the room, i'd just let that pumpkin vine sprawl out through the yard - unless you're ready to construct a really long (and very strong) trellis system.

EG
I am definitely interested in seeing your melon video, EG. I'll check for it later.

I really do have the room (I think) for the pumpkin to have its way. It's in a 6.5' x 6.5' raised bed, so it won't be able to sprawl much, but I should be able to keep it restrained within the confines of the bed. Knock on wood.

Yesterday we had hail. I had enough warning to run out and put a container over the pumpkin and a cake pan over the little watermelon. Everything else took a leaf-shredding pummeling. I am determined that at least one of these two produce for me this year!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

BP
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as for your question about supporting your fruit..........
Here is a pic of a watermelon (little larger than a golfball) supported by an onion sack tied to my pvc pipe trellis.
[img]https://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb9/BP991/Melon%20patch/001-1.jpg[/img]

Now ( 6 days later) that melon is larger than a softball, more like a kids basketball. It will only fit in this onion sack for another day or two. What should I use next? I thought of buying fish landing net material at gander Mountain, but it seems a little pricey.

Any suggestions for a newbie here? I have posted quite a few pics and questions on the fruit board, but have gotten little response. Should I be on this board?

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stella1751
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BP wrote:as for your question about supporting your fruit..........
Here is a pic of a watermelon (little larger than a golfball) supported by an onion sack tied to my pvc pipe trellis.
[img]https://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb9/BP991/Melon%20patch/001-1.jpg[/img]

Now ( 6 days later) that melon is larger than a softball, more like a kids basketball. It will only fit in this onion sack for another day or two. What should I use next? I thought of buying fish landing net material at gander Mountain, but it seems a little pricey.

Any suggestions for a newbie here? I have posted quite a few pics and questions on the fruit board, but have gotten little response. Should I be on this board?
BP, sorry you haven't had a good response. I generally don't respond to questions because I'm not always certain I'm right. I hate being embarrassed :oops: However, I have read that a woman's nylons are excellent for holding a melon on a trellis. They grow with the melon, they let sun in to mature the melon, and they are supposedly easy to tie to a trellis.

The most important thing, I think, is that they are quite stretchy. Depending upon what size melon you want to support, you might have to buy stockings of that size to support its weight and expand with it. I would imagine a Carolina Crimson would take Queen size, while my Burpee Fordhooks will take regulars. I'm just growing little 14 pounders, so I am confident (I think) that they will stretch enough.

I'm betting a hair net would work for some sizes of melons. There was a fashion, too, years ago, of women with long hair supporting their locks in a mesh-weave type hair net that might work for this. Be creative. Whatever is designed to stretch, can be tied, and will let the sun in will work. Again, that's what I think.

I haven't checked out EG's blog yet. I will look at it tomorrow. (I think he said a few days.) To show you how out of the loop I am when it comes to growing melons, I've never even heard of a sling. I'm trying watermelons again after a decade-long absence from the veggie :)

BTW, I like your trellis!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

BP
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Thanks for the info and compliment. I'll start a thread on this board so I son't be hijcking, but figured we were in the same boat here.
As for the nylons............. I am also growing 3 strains of cantaloupe and honeydew. I want to be able to see the fruit. Example........ When honeydew is nearing harvest I want to be able to see the color of the fruit. Won't nylons give me a color to look thru? I'm thinking of going to a fabric store to see what neeting material they may have. As for the bolg........ How do I find this video/blog? Sorry, pretty new here.

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stella1751
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BP, IMO you completely were not hijacking. Everyone in this thread is crammed for space, for one reason or another, and interested in growing vertical watermelons.

Re: color. As a woman, I can tell you I would purchase sheer. They also make white ones; that might help. Guys, what else might be stretchy and see-through?

EG's blog can be visited by clicking on the blog on his (or her) signature. I think that's how it works :shock:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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engineeredgarden
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Here it is, Stella...

[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il_pZFLGfmo[/url]

EG

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stella1751
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EG, the video is great; thanks! Those are seriously healthy and vigorous vines you have, too, and the watermelons are lovely.

One dumb question: When you tied the ends of the sling to the mesh, did you use any special knot? (If you simply name the knot, I can look up how to do it on the Internet.)
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garden5
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I think any secure knot would work OK.
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engineeredgarden
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stella - just a plain old double knot is what I tie.

EG

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