Ideas for trellis for out of control watermelon/squash?

everythingirl1May 2, 2009

Hi all. This year I expanded my veggie garden and threw down a "lasagne" garden bed for several squash, watermelon, and cantaloupe I grew from seed. The bed is about 10' X 5' wide.

In the past my curcurbits have succumbed to powdery mildew, squash bugs, etc. So, I planted 4 congo watermelon, 2 cantaloupe, 2 pumpkin and 1 calabash. I expected only a few to survive and maybe one to thrive. I was wrong. The plants have taken off like a rocket, have already grown all over their "assigned" area and are now crawling through the garden fence onto the adjoining lawn.

I know keeping them on the ground is encouraging diseases, so I am wondering how I can train them to go vertical?

Any ideas on a vertical trellis system that could hold 10 lb. fruits? Any idea on how to install the trellis without damaging delicate surface roots?

Should I/Can I prune the vines to a certain length?

I know I messed up this year by not figuring this out before, but how about for next year? Trellis ideas? Staking?

THANKS A BUNCH!

BTW, I followed Louis Riotte companion planting and planted the squash with just a few icicle radishes, marigolds, basil, and onions. I also planted lots of sunflowers in and around the plants. I don't understand how it works, but it does- the squash have no squash bug damage and are just thriving magically. There are squash bugs in the garden, but they just hang out on the sunflowers and ignore the squash. And thus far, I have used no pesticides (I go as organic as possible....)

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trinigemini(10 Jupiter)

from what I've read if you decide to trellis melons you have to cradle the fruit when they get big. canvas sacks I think.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 5:59PM
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tclynx

I have lots of stuff getting attacked by powdery mildew but so far the squash and zucchini are producing anyway.

As for a quick and easy trellis idea. I like to use the cattle panels from tractor supply. You can leave the whole 16' length (they are about 4' wide) and make an arch and secure it with stakes or posts. Or you can cut into sections and stab the pointed ends into the ground and make a sort of fence with it for the plants to climb. I like to take sections of it and zig zag them and tie them together to give them more strength and stability.

As to growing pumpkins and watermelons up a trellis, hum. You might have to use some fabric to make hammocks to support the fruit because I doubt the vines could handle that. cantaloupe might be able to support it's own fruit, I'll soon find out since I seem to have had several cantaloupe plants sneak in with my cucumbers and climb the trellises.

Here is an example of the arch with a cattle panel

Here is a link that might be useful: TCLynx

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 6:15PM
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tclynx

Sorry, I don't seem to know how to post pictures properly. What did I do wrong here?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 6:16PM
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tclynx

Let me try that again

Ok, so it didn't work when I coppied and pasted but it worked when I type it out by hand.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 6:23PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Here's a few more pictures of Cattle Panel cut into sections, to give you a different perspective....

Tom

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 7:38PM
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everythingirl1

Wow- your pics (of cattle panel and container garden) are amazing. You should be very proud of your design/ideas. Thank you so much for sharing them- I am definitely going to get the cattle panels for trellising in the summer/fall gardens.

I have not had a nematode problem yet (heavy, wet clay soil is what we have) but I have done containers due to space constraints and I have been wondering how to water them more effectively (I'm having to water 5 gal. tomatoes every day or twice a day sometimes). I may try you pot-in-a-pot method- it looks great.

THANKS AGAIN!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 2:59PM
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an_ill-mannered_ache

i use zip ties to fasten plastic mesh onto conduit--cheaper, easier to store, easier to transport than cattle panels. not better, mind you, but easier. i can put one together in under 10 minutes for under 5 dollars. i have my melons growing up the mesh now, and i don't yet see a problem with the trellis hold the fruits (fast break cantaloupe)--it's a vigorous grower with strong and abundant tendrils that wind tightly. i hope not to have to use anything to support them, but if i do, it's pantyhose...

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 5:32PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

Hey Ill-man, digression here, I'm not big on cantaloupe but I love honey dews, any recommendations on a good Florida variety?

Tom

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 8:03PM
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an_ill-mannered_ache

i got nothing for you, tom. first year i'm growing melons. fast break really impressed me--first female flower set fruit.

that cuccuzi squash you gave me... it's amazing. already at 10' and growing, no exaggeration, 8-10" a day. pretty white flowers that smell like melons. and about 40 fruit set.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 9:41PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

that cuccuzi squash you gave me... it's amazing. already at 10' and growing, no exaggeration, 8-10" a day. pretty white flowers that smell like melons. and about 40 fruit set.

Hey buddy, you've got to post a picture! I'm sure that's what Christine is growing too because it's flowering in the daytime, the calabash gourds flower at night.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 5:43AM
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