Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vertical Gardening

Homegrown cantaloupe tastes better than candy. It is my most favorite plant to grow in my garden, but the last two years, they have taken over my small little garden box and spilled into my yard.

I was nearly panicked to think of a summer without growing cantaloupes, but I just didn't know where I was going to plant them.

Enter the Square Foot Gardening method.

Last summer, I converted my 4 X 8 box to a Square Foot Garden and I was very pleased with the results. This year, I decided to follow the book's directions to build a vertical trellis to grow my cantaloupes up instead of out and all over my yard.

The above trellis cost me about $20 and was very easy to build. My frame is made of three 5-foot conduit pipes(1/2 inch diameter), two 18 inch long rebar (1/2 inch diameter), two elbow connectors and trellis netting. The only variance that I made is that my trellis is 5 X 5 and the book recommends 4 X 5; I just didn't feel like sawing one of the 5-foot pipes down to 4 foot. Hopefully, that wasn't an error. Because of my past experience with unruly cantaloupe plants, I planted 2 plants, instead of one per square foot. I'll test the waters this year to see how many my trellis can handle.

I planted the melons about 2 1/2 weeks ago and they are just starting to take off. They're not quite long enough yet to weave, but with all of the sun that we have finally been getting, they'll be shooting upward soon. I'll post more pictures through out the season to show the progress.

What kind of trellis/system do you use to plant vertically? Let us know in the comments.

This post is linked to Tuesday Garden Party at an Oregon Cottage.

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  1. I've never tried cantaloupe, although I do have a watermelon plant LOL! I'll go get some seeds soon, and we can plant them in the ground after we move. I will have to pay someone to build a trellis for me though.

  2. I love the idea of vertical cantaloupe plants! We currently have cantaloupe seedlings, but maybe I can coerce my husband into making some more trellises. I've been reading your blog for about 6 weeks and it's wonderful! :)

  3. I grow my cucumbers on a pvc pipe frame that is 10 feet long with a leg in the middle. It goes right down the middle of the bed and I use chicken wire wrapped on the frame for the cucumbers to grow on.

    I do want to get a metal on build but had PCV pipe handy so used that.

  4. We grow our cantaloupe and cucumbers vertical too. It prevents the vines from going through our yard and we believe our yield is better, because we can find the produce before it gets rotten. We also have a snake issue and it keeps them out of the vines. My husband uses metal concrete reinforcing grid sheets that are about 4' x 6'. The grids within each sheet are approx 6" squares. They are originally made for putting in concrete driveways/walkways. We got them at Lowes and I believe the cost was less than 8 dollars per large grid sheet. He props and secures them against metal T-posts with tie wires. Last year was our first year using them and we are reusing them again this year.


  5. I got a late start to my garden this year. I had decided to let my cantaloupe and pumpkins grow up my fence and out because we have a lot of space outside the garden. After reading your post, I might reconsider. I am planning on building a trellis of sorts out of reclaimed materials from my inlaw's farm for our cucumbers. :-) We did find an old fence on our property that we're using for our snap peas! You can see it here. I need to post an update on my garden because it's really taking off now. Anyway, here's the picture of my cool fence!

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I don't think cantaloupe would grow where I'm at...not enough sunny days (C: I like the idea of vertically growing them though. I've thought of doing that with cucumbers, though this year I am not having a garden.


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