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Trellising large watermelons

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Trellising large watermelons

Post  Doel on 6/10/2015, 12:46 pm

I currently have a 4x4 bed with trellises on two sides framed with 1/2'' electrical conduit and rebar that has been pounded into the ground a foot, they're 5 foot tall with a 4' horizontal conduit connection.  The way I have it set up is the bed is in between the two trellis vertical supports, preventing them from collapsing onto the bed.  I also have them tied together at the top with a strong twine to prevent them from falling away from the bed (if one tries to fall away, the other will be pulled toward and supported by the bed stopping movement, hopefully).  On one trellis, I have four watermelon plants that produce large fruit (crimson sweet, congo, tendersweet orange, and black diamond).  If I weave the vines up the trellis netting and sling the fruit directly to the horizontal support, I'm thinking it should hold it but it's going to be a ton of weight......anyone have any thoughts or experiences?
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Re: Trellising large watermelons

Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/10/2015, 2:44 pm

Hi Doel.  Welcome from Atlanta, GA.  Glad you've joined us!

I've heard about supporting up to about 25 lbs on trellises, but haven't tried that much weight...  I'd be hesitant about anything larger than that.

You might look thru the archives under trellising or watermelons.  There may be more info there.
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Re: Trellising large watermelons

Post  camprn on 6/10/2015, 5:22 pm

Cross brace the trellis for sure.

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Re: Trellising large watermelons

Post  boffer on 6/10/2015, 10:35 pm

Welcome to the forum.

I have a 4 foot wide trellis made of ½ inch EMT and 4 foot wide.  I just went out and hung all 200 lb. of myself in a pull-up position from the crossbar.  I didn't break it!  I grow some 10-15 pound squashes that are supported by the net.  I'll guess that I've had 100+ pounds supported at one time.

Sorry, but from your description I can't quite tell how your trellis is built.  Usually, the weakest point will be where the EMT is connected to the box or ground.
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Re: Trellising large watermelons

Post  Doel on 6/11/2015, 5:04 pm

@boffer wrote:Welcome to the forum.

I have a 4 foot wide trellis made of ½ inch EMT and 4 foot wide.  I just went out and hung all 200 lb. of myself in a pull-up position from the crossbar.  I didn't break it!  I grow some 10-15 pound squashes that are supported by the net.  I'll guess that I've had 100+ pounds supported at one time.

Sorry, but from your description I can't quite tell how your trellis is built.  Usually, the weakest point will be where the EMT is connected to the box or ground.
Here's a picture of my tomato bed from last month, the trellis is built the same way on the bed that contains the watermelons.  What you can't see is three lines that connect each trellis to the trellis on the other side to prevent either trellis from falling away from the bed.


I feel pretty confident that my trellis will not fall over or break but every person I've spoken to about it has told me that they are just too big for my setup and it will not work.  This is my first time trying to grow anything larger than cucumbers on a trellis, hence the concern.
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Re: Trellising large watermelons

Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/12/2015, 7:39 am

You know, Doel, it's all an experiment...  I'd say try it and see what happens...

But be sure to get photos as you go along.  I know I'd love to see some big stuff hanging there.  Just be sure to have some support (like a sling) under them.
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