Melons are large vine plants that can sprawl across and invade other sections of your garden. The fruit falls to the ground, making the garden susceptible to pests, disease and discoloration, without proper support. Building a trellis and training your melons to grow up will not only protect the melon plants and fruit but the rest of your garden as well. Trellises can be built or purchased from a garden center. Because melons are heavy, a metal trellis is optimal.
Create small mounds of garden soil to look like 8-inch tall hills. Make the hills 6 inches apart along the base of the trellis. Plant two to three melon seeds in center of the mounds. Water each mound wetting the soil. Seeds should germinate in 10 to 14 days.
Prune young seedlings to a main leader stem. Loosely tie the stem to the trellis. As the melon vine grows attach it to the trellis until it reaches the top.
Pinch side shoots to remove them. Pinch off additional shoots once the main stem has reached the top of the trellis. This forces the plant to bloom and create fruit.
Water melons every other day. Do not allow the plant itself to get wet. The soil should remain moist but not soggy.
When the melons reach the size of a golf ball, create a hammock with nylons and cradle the fruit. Attach the nylons to the trellis. Harvest by removing the nylon hammock and letting the weight of the melon break the stem.
Things You Will Need
- Melon seeds
- Jute twine
- Nylon stockings
- Remove male flowers when they appear, they do not produce fruit and will take up nutrients and water unnecessarily. You can identify female flowers by the small bulge behind the base of the flower.
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