Trellis melon tips?

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I just realized that a good bit of my planned melon patch only gets about 4 hours of sun per day.So I’m scrambling to see if I can trellis them in the part that gets good sun. (Also is it too late to plant potatoes? I’m in PA, and my last frost date was May 23. Might do them in the part where I now can’t do melons.)

Planning to use livestock panels for the trellis. Was just wondering if anyone has tips for trellising melons, watermelon and cantaloupe—how far apart they should be, do they still need to be planted in mounds, etc? Also any other tips people can think of.
 

Meadowlark

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The first tip on melons is always full sun...but you know that already from Chuck.

Livestock panels work great but you have to support the growing watermelons because of their weight. Nylon stockings work great for that.

You will need to support the panels well also. For that T-posts are great and just tie the vines to the trellis. The panels can be full length turned upright or alternatively on the horizontal. I find horizontal works better for me easier to manage. Even easier is cutting them in half and going upright. I have bent over a 16 ft trellis to form an arch and supported it with posts and that works really well and makes a very interesting walkway.... but don't forget to support the watermelons or they will break off at the top.

It isn't necessary to use hills and it's easier to just space them out for the trellis. I like to space them at one foot laterally and about 2-3 ft away from a second trellis if you go that way. Of course, temps are a huge factor early on melons. They require a lot of warmth to grow...temps above 70 deg. You can expect 2-4 melons per plant grown this way and depending on the variety they can get very large. The more you thin the fruits generally the larger they get but on trellis I kind of prefer them smaller.

What varieties are you planning? I really like the new seedless varieties, but they need a pollinator for every three plants or so. The triple crown is a favorite seedless variety I grow. Good luck!


watermellon triple crown wa.JPG
 
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I just realized that a good bit of my planned melon patch only gets about 4 hours of sun per day.So I’m scrambling to see if I can trellis them in the part that gets good sun. (Also is it too late to plant potatoes? I’m in PA, and my last frost date was May 23. Might do them in the part where I now can’t do melons.)

Planning to use livestock panels for the trellis. Was just wondering if anyone has tips for trellising melons, watermelon and cantaloupe—how far apart they should be, do they still need to be planted in mounds, etc? Also any other tips people can think of.
Instead of using hard-to-fine panty hose for trellising melons, I've found that the nylon body scrubs found at dollar stores are great and inexpensive. They are made of tubular nylon mesh and can be disassembled by cutting the main string that holds the shape. The mesh can be cut to any length you wish, and in my experience, can be stretched to support as much as a nine-inch melon. It also may help discourage the birds and animals who like to peck and bite the fruit. There won't be any white or yellow spot on watermelons, so you will have to use another method to indicate ripeness (dull surface, "thump" test, dry stem, etc.).
 
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The first tip on melons is always full sun...but you know that already from Chuck.

Livestock panels work great but you have to support the growing watermelons because of their weight. Nylon stockings work great for that.

You will need to support the panels well also. For that T-posts are great and just tie the vines to the trellis. The panels can be full length turned upright or alternatively on the horizontal. I find horizontal works better for me easier to manage. Even easier is cutting them in half and going upright. I have bent over a 16 ft trellis to form an arch and supported it with posts and that works really well and makes a very interesting walkway.... but don't forget to support the watermelons or they will break off at the top.

It isn't necessary to use hills and it's easier to just space them out for the trellis. I like to space them at one foot laterally and about 2-3 ft away from a second trellis if you go that way. Of course, temps are a huge factor early on melons. They require a lot of warmth to grow...temps above 70 deg. You can expect 2-4 melons per plant grown this way and depending on the variety they can get very large. The more you thin the fruits generally the larger they get but on trellis I kind of prefer them smaller.

What varieties are you planning? I really like the new seedless varieties, but they need a pollinator for every three plants or so. The triple crown is a favorite seedless variety I grow. Good luck!


View attachment 96819
Thanks! I’m doing an icebox variety called Katanya.
Planning to use livestock panels. How wide do they need to be, for 1 plant? Could I do 4 plants on a 5-6 ft wide panel?
 

Meadowlark

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You can easily do a plant per foot. My panels are 4 ft. wide so I would plant at 0,1,2,3,4 ft for a total of 5 plants...if it were me.
 

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