Could I grow Giant watermelons vertically?

RyanC95(7B)July 18, 2014

I want to grow the 200lb Carolina Cross variety watermelon but I read that they need a 12' diameter circle around the plant but all I can give it is a 4'x16' rectangular box. Im thinking to keep the vines short on the sides (possibly allowing the vine to grow vertically on a trellis) and have the vines grow 16' long. Is it a good idea to do this? Of course I wont allow the fruit to be on the trellis I'll have it on the ground protected from the soil. The vertical vines could possibly act as shade for the watermelon fruit.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I grew that one a couple years. Biggest I got was about 52 lbs but the eating quality was poor and the interior hollow. I've also grown a 52 lb Star Brite. They average 25-30 and have much superior eating quality.

You can grow them as described. Agree that keeping the melons on the ground even at 25 lbs is best. You'll find that you need to remove a lot of melons that will set on the trellised vines.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 1:54PM
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glenn_10 zone 4b/5a NewBrunswick,Can.

fruitnut, do you keep any notes on growing times for starbrite? I would like to try it here up north but I would like a baseline for starting the seeds indoors or direct sow in a green house. Also if you could remember how manys days from emergence till first bloom,days from fruit set to maturity(the corresponding months as well). Just to give me a rough idea as to see if I would be on track comparable to what you have experienced.
I am trying the Carolina cross for fun and I am way late only setting fruit now.I don't think it will amount to much this season.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:46PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Here this yr I was later planting than normal, but my normal has been really pushing it. By pushing hard I can have fruit from June into October and have done that from one planting. But it's easier from two plantings, very early and late.

This yr I planted March 27, hand pollinated first flower May 11, and harvest that fruit on June 17. I did have a mini greenhouse over the hill for about a month. That's 82 days planting until harvest but figure on 90 or maybe even 100 without all I put into things.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:05PM
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glenn_10 zone 4b/5a NewBrunswick,Can.

well thank you for that fruitnut , I really appreciate such an exacting timeline:) For me end of march means snow is still on the ground but on its way out. I will be going a little hard core next time around, seed beds will be prepped this the fall and mini green houses placed over beds....when march rolls around a select few will have the heat turned on with either pluming heatrace buried in the soil or small space heaters so hopefully the fruit can take advantage of the longer days and heat.
Right now my lopes and watermelons have set fruit and are all about fist size now and won't harvest a cantaloupe until mid august and watermelons usually end of august to mid September.
My climate is much cooler than yours. Usual temps here are normally 75 to 80F. We do get some hotter days a few times in the summer high 80's to 90/92F max from what I have seen.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:01PM
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