Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cantaloupe on a Trellis

I've been reading online about doing cantaloupes in a container garden, and one site mentioned that you could grow them in less space if you'd train your cantaloupes to grow up a trellis. I stopped on the way home from work the other night and bought two of them. There was a lot of trellises to choose from—wooden ones, plastic ones, fan shaped aluminum ones. I knew I wanted something tall, so I nixed the idea of the 3 and 4 foot versions. There were a lot of wooden ones with diagonal slats hanging on a rack waaaay over my head, but some of them had loose slats already, or slats that had come apart from the outer frame, They were unpainted and looked pretty cheaply made for the price. I didn't want something that was going to last only last one summer. Here's what I got:

They're nicely made, and I liked the idea of NOT having the 2 inch wide slats creating a lot of shade. Plus, I needed a trellis that had horizontal bars as well as vertical bars. Supposedly, when the cantaloupe get baseball sized, you use pantyhose or plastic mesh to make a sling on the trellis to support them, to take the weight off the vine. I have lots of the bird netting I put on my tomato bush, so I'll probably use some of that.

Here's my cantaloupes right now, I've used some saved selvedge to gently encourage the vines to grow toward the trellis. They're not knotted tightly, so I'll be able to shift them as the vines grow. This is my first year for cantaloupe, and I didn't know that the plant has those little curly tendril things like the snowpeas do, to connect them and help them grow up.

And one last garden shot - these are my yellow bell peppers, at golfball size. I wonder how long it'll take them to get ripe? I've never grown them before.

In other news, I've eaten LOTS of cherry tomatoes so far, and handfuls of snow peas. Oh, and three banana peppers. I love it when stuff starts getting ripe, and I can't wait for my first big tomato of the year. :)


Karen said...

My husband and I have done cantaloupe this way before and pantyhose works great. Nothing like a vine-ripened cantaloupe.

Shasta said...

What a beautiful trellis - it looks like yard art. I haven't grown cantelope before - I just have some tomatoes and peppers growing, well the plants. Nothing is out yet in our part of the country.

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