October 25, 2011
Watermelon vines need their fair share of space to ramble, space that I no longer have in my average suburban backyard.
I used to plant melons and pumpkins amongst developing trees and shrubs, but now they are established, it's no longer possible.
This year I have decided to have a go at confining my melon vines to one of my 1.5 x 3m vegie beds. To help make that achievable, I’ve set up a simple ‘A’ frame using two equal sized galvanized fence panels. I’ve tied them together at the top and secured them to the ground using tent pegs. At both ends I’ve planted two seedlings that I will train over the mesh frame as they grow. But what about the fruit? How will they be supported? As they develop, I plan to run lengths of bamboo through the frame to create a shelf for the weighty fruit to sit on. I’m imagining something that will end up looking like a funky outdoor organic pantry.
But that’s not all… with summer coming on, the dappled light will be ideal for shading heat sensitive leaf crops below like lettuce, beetroot and bok choy. Keep an eye on this space to see how it all goes.
And if you’re looking for more tips on growing your own organic watermelon, be sure to check out the Nov/Dec issue of ABC Organic Gardener Magazine.