Watermelon Grows on Trellis NettingNicole
This is a great example of urban gardening using a trellis to grow watermelon. I would use our trellis netting rather then the green cord in the picture because it looks translucent and is less obtrusive. when the watermelons get heavy you can make little hammocks for them out of left over netting so they don’t fall off the vine.
Watermelon Growing Tips
Watermelons use a huge amount of water and will grow up to a pound a day given the right conditions. One of the better tips for growing watermelon is that if you live in the north, you should start early varieties in the house and plant transplants instead of planting the seed directly into the soil. Watermelons prefer sandy loam soil over others. Watermelons need a long growing season (at least 80 days) and warm ground for seeds to germinate and grow. Soil should be 70 degrees F or warmer at planting time. Sow seeds 1 inch deep and keep well watered until germination.
To get a jump start in cooler climates, cover the planting area with red veggie booster mulch fabric to warm up the soil and start seeds indoors two or three weeks before they are to be set out in the garden. Don’t start seeds any earlier, because large watermelon seedlings transplant poorly. Plant 3 seeds in 3- or 4-inch peat pots or large cell packs, and thin to the best plant. Sow watermelon seeds 1/2 inch deep. Place in a sunny south-facing window or under lights to germinate. Make sure the area is warm?day and night?ideally 80 degrees F. Use a Seedling Heat Mat if necessary. Select short-season varieties such as ‘Million Bucks Hybrid’ or ‘Orange Sunshine Hybrid’ if your growing season is less than 90 days. The Veggie Booster Mulch fabric that was previously mentioned will warm the soil, maintain moisture and keep weeds at bay. the fabric is a unique red color that reflect light and makes the plant think that is has competition and should grow faster. Keeping the watermelon plants warm during the spring is very important. The best way to do this is to use Crop Cover. Use a piece that drapes over the top of your Trellis netting and hangs to the ground on each side. Pin the edges to the ground with plastic fabric pins. This will hold the crop cover in place even when its windy. The pins are easy remove as often as you need to get in and work with your plants. The crop cover creates a little micro environment that is warm with just the right amount of sunlight and moisture. the fabric collects and traps the heat of the day so that the plants are warmer at night. When the weather gets nice you simply take the crop cover fabric off and use it again in the fall when it starts to get cold again.
Plant the watermelon seeds near the base of the trellis. Train the watermelon vines up the trellis as they lengthen and grow. Watermelons are not natural climbers, so fix the vines to the trellis with string.Monitor your watermelon plant from time to time to make sure that it is stable. Check hammocks to ensure that they are relieving the pressure off of the vines
Harvest the watermelons at the usual time. Trellising will not change the growth pattern of your plant, although it can protect the fruit from diseases and pests usually encountered on the ground.
watch this video to lean the easiest way to put up trellis netting for your garden. You can use this technique for a large garden as in the video or you can use the same technique for just one small row.