I want to build a ladder-type bamboo trellis for a watermelon vine. How high should I make it, would 4 ft be enough?
Watermelon vine trellis?
I'm intersted in what you're planning. I don't have an answer, but I intrigued on your thought to support the weighty fruit off the ground.......
Living in suburban north Texas, I have a very limited space to garden, just the north side of my lot that fairly deep in length but not very wide. My conclusion is too grow upward, somehow. The 2 vines of sugar babies I have started as 1 foot long each but then sprawled to take up about 20 s.f. of ground space. They have these little "clingers" (Tall's technical gardening reference for tendrals) that are wrapping around anything and everything.
I saw a Gardening in the city windowbox primer on the inet and it showed suspending ripening fruit in used panty hose. I am experimenting with a single plant in my house that gets a long blast of direct sunlight to see what the outcome would be, but the vine has recently extended another 12" in length. I'm concerned the extending vine is going to put too much weight on the base.
Yeah I planted 3 sugar babies as well. I have 2 on a 4' x 8' bed and one is already taking over more than half of the space. I think I'm going to build a 6 ft tall trellis and use it for the non-fruiting parts of the plant only. I don't see the bamboo holding once the melons get to full size. Check these pages out:
Wayne Schmidt's Extreme Melon Growing Page
Yahoo! Image Search Results for trellised watermelon
Great melon site!!!
I was going to ask about watering (quote below from the site):
Watering melons can be tricky. Because the roots need air for good health it's necessary to space the waterings out so that the soil isn't always saturated with water. But, because the plants are very large and fast growing they also require a lot of water, necessitating thorough soakings. The problem with alternating heavy soakings with drying-out periods is that growth spurts following a watering can split a melon. My solution is to use three separate watering areas around each plant. I water one each day, always following the same sequence. This provides a steady water supply to the plant yet gives each soil zone the opportunity to drain and pull air into its structure.
Uh, soak, but don't saturate? I guess the difference is when the water stops disappearing into the ground than you've watered too much???
He states he's in a frostfree desert location. Does it say exactly where he does live?
He says he lives in Southern Cal's high desert region. Sounds like a great method you have going. How many fruits do you leave on the sugar baby vines at any single time? I'm thinking of pinching off all of them except for the largest, right now there are like 4 or 5 the biggest being about the size of a quarter. Have you ever grown veggies on plain top soil from a garden center? I planted a veggie garden like in April and most of the plants havent grown much and alot have either died or bolted, im not sure. The guy who installed my raised beds put in the regular soil when i specifically asked him to get fertilized soil! I put in earthworms but I think ants got to most of them! Now Im gonna put some cow manure on top but im worried the plants wont make it back, they look pretty sickly.
I had some sandy loam that had been excavated during a backyard renovation project last year and I had a pile of about 20 wheelbarrows worth that I finally flattened to fill in a corner of my property, and when I did, I thought: "self, this loks like a good place to put those watermelon seedlings you started in March." So - that being said, I transplanted two melons vines along with a beefsteak and a cherry tomato plant in the same are. The topsoil/sandly loam mixture was about 10-12" deep with some nice firm Texas clay directly under that for who knows how deep. To my surprise, everything has taken off. I'm attaching some pictures I just went out side and took.
Also, this is my first time at trying a raised bed (it's around 6x10). You'll see it in the pictures, too. The soil is a mix of existing topsoil and 3 bags (2.5 cf) of Miracle grow garden soil. I think it may be too hot a mix. Some of the plants you see in the bed are from the same seedling as what are planted next to my watermelon. I wanted to try different things, but everything grows soooooo slow..... I need/want results quick!! It's my nature. But.... this is probably what the Lord is showing me.
(please - viewers - no scolding for the grass/weed allowed around the melons)
So the melon saga continues....
decided to harvest my big boy. It had a nice thump, nice and weighty, full color. Stem hadn't started to brown, yet, but it had the yellow belly, so I thought it might be time. After putting it in the fridge overnight, I sliced into it, and it cracked right open. The meat looked good - good color and smell, it just wasn't quite there sweet, yet. Two weeks early, I'd wager. I've spread out my vines better and watered them a little more, building a little hut for one of the melons that is out in direct sunlight. It's doing well. I'll try to add some pictures. Man, growing melons is work! Fun, but work!!
Last edited by tall corn; 07-14-2009 at 05:05 PM.
Two weeks later....
This last week we experienced a drop in temprature from 100's down to the low 90's, high humidity and periodical rain each night and during the day. I removed some of the boards from my "adjustable sun shield" and let some sun hit on one of the big boys. Sunday morning, I turned one over and to my horror(!) I found an insect bore into the bottom side of one of my melons. Not wanting to wait any longer, I cut the two big ones off the vine off, gave on to a friend at church and cut the other open that afternoon during lunch. It loudly cracked open. The meat, while a little on the almost mushy side, was very sweet, and after a quick cooling in the fridge, the sugars set even better and it was absolutely delicious! And then later Sunday afternoon, I trimmed the grass back from under the vines and discovered two more babies!! Excellent! I never I thought I could be a melon farmer...!! What a wonderful thing - I think I becoming obsessive!
a couple more pictures.......
I put boards under the kids to keep them form the mud and the bugs. More tips from coworkers.....
One more of the babies starting to grow big 'n' strong......
Stardate 8/12/09 - two weeks later
Just cut the biggest one off the vine - pic #1 and #2.
Five others have started growing - and I've learned (or so I think) that rather than cut the grass from under the vines, I just go out every other day and pull the vines up off the ground and set them on top of the grass/weeds. I'm going to keep trying this until the vine stop producing.
I found one vine had crawled up one of my tomatoe cages and it created a water ballon shaped melon - pic #3 - but I pulled the vine carefully out of the cage before the melon got too heavy.
pic 4 is another new one that was golf ball sized the last time I posted pictures and pic 5 is the twins that are growing on the northwest side of the mother vine. They're a little weak, I 'll see if some water may help.
talk with y'all in two weeks -