Cantaloupes and other Vine Goodies

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I think I am going to ask my mother-in-law for a garden plot to use, on her land. I do not think she is going to do a garden this year, so I figure she might let me use it. I can basically walk to her house, so I think it could work. So, I want to maximize my plants and do not want vines to take over everything. I would like to have cantaloupe, cucumbers, and other vining plants. So, is there a way I can put them into the garden without them taking up so much space? I need it to be something pretty easy to do, as I do not have a lot of tool experience.
 
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Yes it is easily done by growing them vertically and in fact I grow most of my vine fruits this way.
All you need is longish sticks, poles, bamboo canes or light iron rods to make a structure that will be strong enough to support the plant when it is bearing fruit - in fact sometimes even a fence will do, but when making your supports its a good idea to bear in mind - that melons will need a stronger more substantial support than cucumbers :)
 
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We call Cantelop Rockmellon, I pretty much do the same when I grow in soil, but in my Aquaponics, I have an old clothes horse next to the grow bed it can vine on.
 
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I just can not imagine the fruits growing without falling off, due to weight. So, a wire cage, like you cage tomatoes with, would not be strong enough? Thanks for the advice!
 
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I just can not imagine the fruits growing without falling off, due to weight. So, a wire cage, like you cage tomatoes with, would not be strong enough? Thanks for the advice!


I'm not quite sure what kind of answer you were expecting - especially as there are only two ways of growing vine like fruits and that is either vertically or horizontally.
As to why you can't imagine it not working I'm not altogether sure - particularly as I and many others including commercial growers have been doing this for years very successfully and not just for space saving reasons either - but because by growing melons, squash and cucumbers on trellis or canes you not only save space but it keeps the fruit off the ground and gives better air circulation.
Am not altogether sure where your idea of a wire cage came from, but if that is what is making you think that growing vine fruits vertically wouldn't work - you would probably be right, as although a wire cage would probably be enough to support cucumbers, it would definitely not strong enough to support squash or melons.
Either way as I said before - you only have two alternatives when growing these plants and that is either vertically or horizontally.
 
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Think vertically instead of horizontally. Be creative in your thinking with this problem and you will be amazed at what you will come up with. You could perhaps brace a tomato cage with stakes but cantaloupes do have a heavy fruit. Perhaps you could design a removable fencing that would lend more support to the plants and fruit.
 
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I had my daughter drive some stakes into the ground for cucumbers to grow up, and then I planted the small pickling cukes, because I figured the weight would be less likely to break the vines. .

I had to tie the vines to the poles, because when the plants started to fruit the weight made everything slide down the poles! It did work, though, and I could pick the cucumbers while I was standing up, which was much easier.
 
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Everyone I know just grows vegetables/fruits on the ground, so I am sorry that I am not knowledgeable on how to make it work vertical. I was hoping someone could give me a structure build idea or pictures from their own garden. I just figured there were extra precautions you might need to make, to hold up the cantaloupes. I was not sure if they would grow heavy and break the vine. Also, like Kansas Terri said, at some point the vine might slide down, so I was not sure if you tied the vines to the stake/structure carefully or what.
 
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Mariam - Funny you mention that - because I've just been selecting some pictures for you - as I thought if you saw some pictures it would give you a better idea of what was involved
Although the frames in these pictures are quite elaborate they can easily be made with anything - even a step ladder, fencing panels or an old pallet - so long as you put some kind of mesh between the rungs in order to give support to the melons


vertical cukes.jpg


vertical squash wood trellis.jpg


vertical cucuzzi arch.jpg


vertical melons.jpg

vertical squash arch.JPG


vertical watermelons.JPG


There are more solutions than this - but hopefully these examples will give you a better idea of what is possible :)

 
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Yes! Thank you so much. I really like the trellis one, though they all make the vines look pretty. Now, to figure out which one will be best for me. I need to go search the free section on some sites, to see about recycling some pallets and such. :)
 
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Mariam - am so glad that the pictures have helped you and that you now know - that growing things vertically is actually quite easy and that it can be done with inexpensive if not free materials - so good luck on your salvaging.
Should you have any further queries please feel free to ask :)
 

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