Here are 3 ways to help grow and support vertical growing in the garden. 1. Hammock Use a wide piece of hose or stocking to create a simple hammock to hold watermelon and cantaloupe on your trellis. 2. Inside mesh bags, hose or stockings. You can reuse the mesh bags that fruit came in from the store or hose to stockings to keep fruit up off the ground and on the trellis. 3. Cross method. Use 2 or more pieces of hose or stockings to create a hammock crossing over each other to hold larger fruit in place like watermelon. You can also use an old t-shirt as an alternative method for larger fruit like watermelon.
I started growing cantaloupes, honeydew and watermelon in my garden and knew I’d need a trellis if I didn’t want them to just grow all over the place! So, I sectioned them off with a slightly raised bed and made a cattle panel arch trellis which worked well! You can see the video here. I have a 6′ tall privacy fence around my backyard and decided to experiment with using that unused space and the fence as a trellis. I had some cantaloupe seeds and grew them in small cups and once they were large enough, I put them in a small garden bed along the fence line.
June 15th, 2020 They are growing fast. The middle plant is cantaloupe.
June 26th, 2020 Cantaloupe vines expanding fast – almost time to string them up.
July 12th, 2020 Vines have been lifted and tied up with garden twine up on the fence and they have taken off growing rapidly.
July 18th, 2020 Found a cantaloupe growing hidden in the space between the post and the fence picket! Going to have to move it before it is completely stuck!
July 27th, 2020 Pulled the vine back a little so it had more room to grow in front of the fence post and supporting the fruit with hose tied to the bolts.
August 11th, 2020 Color change and it smells fantastic – time to harvest!
August 12th, 2020 Clean cut and eat! The lighting in my kitchen area is not the best for a photo but we sure enjoyed this cantaloupe.
My first attempt at growing food in my backyard was with cantaloupes and watermelons and that did very well. Two small sections grew to be two 8′ x 10′ area and ended up using 4 cattle panels to build an arch trellis for each section to grow vertically. The main reason for this was to minimize space used so my kids still had plenty of room in the backyard but also grow as much as possible!
Video 1 – How to build a cattle panel trellis to grow cantaloupes and watermelons vertically. I have two slightly raised beds built from cedar pickets that are each roughly 8 feet x 10 feet in size. They both have 8 metal U posts and two 16 feet cattle panels.
Video 2 – Vertical cantaloupe garden from day 1 to fruit slings and the trellis build. Watch to the end to see the day 1 photo versus day 120.