Growing Watermelons Vertically To Save Space

Gardening - Growing Watermelons Vertically

If you have limited garden space, growing watermellons vertically is a great way to save some precious square footage. Plus, their sweet and refreshing fruit will be abundant!

To start, select a watermelon variety that thrives on a trellis-like structure. Next, construct an effective trellis or fence to support the vines and fruits.

Build A Trellis

If you have a small garden or patio, growing watermellons vertically is an efficient way to make use of space. Start by building a trellis that supports the plants’ vines; this could be done with any fence, tepee or even just an archway or arbor.

Watermelons thrive best when planted outdoors in a garden bed that receives ample sun and has good drainage. Garden beds are ideal, but if you’re short on space then consider planting in pots instead.

Potted melons do well with a mix of potting soil and compost. Regular watering will keep them evenly moist but not soggy.

Nutrients in small amounts can help the roots develop more rapidly and the fruit ripen faster and larger. Organic fertilizer such as dried cow, horse or chicken manure pellets or worm castings works great, though be sure to check the label first since too much may burn the roots.

Melons are heavy and vigorous climbers, so providing them with a secure support is paramount. You can fasten wire fencing around the container or train the vines to climb on a trellis attached to a nearby wall for extra support.

Another option is to secure the melons in a sling and tie it onto the trellis. The sling should be tight enough to support their weight but with some give.

These slings can be constructed from old nylon stockings, pieces of discarded pantyhose or other scrap cloth. Attach the sling to a trellis using zipties, twist ties or wire.

Watermelons can also be grown in a hammock that has been filled with fabric or netted for support. This is an ideal option if you have limited space or wish to grow larger melons.

Many varieties of watermelon only weigh 8 pounds or so, such as Sugar Baby melons. They’re perfect for smaller gardens due to their shorter vines that make them easier to grow in tight spaces than larger varieties do.

Once your watermelon plants reach their full height, it’s time to harvest the fruit. A trellis or fence makes this easy as you can add more produce as you go along.

Plant Them

Watermelons are typically grown horizontally, but you can save space and reduce pest problems by growing them vertically. Additionally, this method keeps the foliage dry which makes them less vulnerable to diseases.

Watermelons grown in containers need regular irrigation to produce healthy, juicy fruits. The ideal time for this is early in the morning when temperatures are still mild, and again after dark when soil temperatures have dropped.

Watering a plant depends on its size and what kind of pot it’s in. For small plants, an in-depth watering once daily should suffice; larger ones may need to be watered twice daily.

Once the fruit begins to ripen and swell, you should reduce your watering. Ripe fruits require about 92 percent of their weight in water for proper hydration.

For optimal results, grow your watermelons in a sunny location. The shade will prevent flowering and fruiting.

To prepare your soil, amend it with an organic fertilizer and a small amount of nitrogen. Then, sow seeds at a depth of 1/4 inch or more. Once germination occurs, thin the seedlings out to one per container; move them outdoors once the last frost date in your region has passed, and you can expect vigorous vines that will produce flowers and melons.

Before planting, select a pot that can hold at least five gallons of soil. Make sure the mix you use is rich and drains quickly.

Once your planter is filled with soil, place it in a sunny location that receives approximately eight hours of direct sunlight daily. This will encourage your plant to grow taller and produce more fruit.

Finally, create a support system for the vines. A trellis can be constructed out of wood, bamboo, or metal. You could also use wire fences or netting with some string between each edge to support your vine.

Support Them

Watermelons are a staple in many gardens due to their ease of cultivation and prolific yield of fruit. If you have limited garden space, growing them vertically will save you valuable square footage while keeping them away from pests and diseases.

Grow melons vertically by providing a secure support system for the vines. Because these fruits are heavy, an average trellis may collapse under their weight if not carefully supported. You can choose anything from tomato cages to livestock panes held securely in place with steel posts driven deep into the ground for support.

Another way to support the vines is with a ‘watermelon hammock’, which is simply an extended piece of fabric or t-shirt used to tie them together as they climb up trellis. This technique works best for large varieties of melons.

Making a watermelon hammock is simple; you only need minimal materials – even old burlap sacks will do! After selecting your support material, all that’s left for you to do is tie it securely in place and gradually train the melons to point upwards over time.

Once the vines reach a certain height, you can remove them from their support. However, for best results, keep them in a ‘watermelon hammock’ throughout the summer to monitor their development and assist with shaping them towards where desired.

Shade-loving plants can also be planted around the trellis to protect melons from excessive exposure to sunlight and loss of Vitamin C content. Doing this reduces the risk of fungal diseases or mold infections if vines sit in damp soil.

For instance, you could place basil, marigolds and other companion plants around the trellis to help repel pests. You could even plant shallow root vegetables like carrots or radishes under it to improve melons’ health by providing more soil moisture and nutrients.

Growing watermelon vertically also offers you more fruit from each vine. Since these fruits take up so much room in the ground, growing them vertically saves considerable space.

Harvest Them

Watermelons are one of the many fruits that can grow vertically, so why not save space in your garden by growing them on a sturdy trellis? This will provide shade and increase airflow around the melon plant, which benefits its health and reduces the risk of fungal diseases like powdery mildew.

Once the plants reach maturity, you can pick them to enjoy! Sweet and tart cherries make for a delectable treat that can be eaten fresh, grilled, or made into ice cream. Or why not use them in making some refreshing fruit juice?

To grow grapevines in your backyard, you must prepare the soil and select a trellis to support their weight. You have two options for trellises: use either a wooden frame or create one using wire and wooden planks.

Mulch around your plants is also beneficial, helping prevent weeds from growing and improving soil quality. Furthermore, attract bees into your garden so that your plants can produce fruit properly.

Watermelons require 70 to 110 days of warm, frost-free weather in order to mature properly. Therefore, you should start them off early in the season and maintain a warm environment to reap a plentiful harvest.

To successfully grow watermelon in your garden, select a seed variety suitable for the climate and region. Doing this will guarantee the most productive crop from your trellis, while keeping plants healthy enough to thrive.

Once you sow the seeds, wait three to 12 days for them to germinate. At that point, they’ll form two oval-shaped leaves known as cotyledons containing all the energy necessary for sprouting into a full-sized plant.

Once they have a few leaves, they’re ready for transplanting into your garden bed or other suitable location. Be careful when doing this as these plants can be sensitive to root disturbance; only transplant them into well-drained beds that are free from weeds.

Growing Watermelons vertically can save garden space and help to fight pests., Here are a few simple rules follow to grow watermelons vertically:

  • Choosing the correct seed is the best place to begin. To grow watermelons vertically, choose watermelons which have a vining habit (sometimes called trailing) and produce small fruit; five pounds (e.g., Golden Midget {Seed Saver Exchange], Snack Pack Hybrid {Burpee}) or less are recommended. Growing large watermelons would be hard to accommodate when building the structure to be climbed and would break from the vines before mature.
  • Site and climbing structure should be properly prepared. The climbing structure should be strong enough to withstand strong winds and the weight of the watermelons as they reach maturity.
  • The soil needs to be well worked and mounded to allow for deep soil watering methods, such as basin, trench, soaker hose, or drip irrigation, providing adequate drainage.
  • The grooming method needs to be adapted to encourage the growth of many small fruits. Many gardeners recommend removing fruit and leaving only one or two on each vine; thus, encouraging a few large fruits. When growing vertically, we want to encourage the growth of numerous small fruit, which will be less likely to damage the vines down or fall off the vine. Pruning the tip of the vines from time to time as it will force the vines to branch and provide more opportunity to grow more fruit and keep the size of each fruit, on average smaller.
  • As watermelons grow larger and providing additional support for the fruit may be necessary to prevent the fruit from ripping themselves from the vine before maturing or falling to earth and breaking or being bruised. Additional support can be provided by a cheesecloth sling or a piece of old nylon stocking attached to the trellis.
How to Grow LOTS of Watermelon – Vertically on a Trellis – in Garden Beds & Containers! 
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