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Old July 9, 2017   #16
Rockporter's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Texas Coastal Bend
Posts: 3,196

I have come up with a solution that works for me. I have seen photos of people using nylons to trellis with and the melons getting so big and heavy they tear the nylon and they have to find something else to use. I've seen the mesh onion bags like above but I don't buy bagged onions because it is only hubby and I here and wouldn't use them fast enough.

A few weeks ago I went to dollar tree and bought some of those bath scrubbies to make slings with to use on the cantaloupes on my trellis. They worked for a while but they also tore under the strained weight of the cantaloupes, I added more layers of those to keep the cantaloupes up on the trellis. It did work and I didn't lose any of them but I did lose the one watermelon I had growing on the other trellis, because it's support tore, and it fell to the dirt below.

I ordered produce bags off Amazon thinking they would be big enough to use them on the watermelon but they are not big enough. I thought I could go ahead and make three slings for one watermelon but they are just too small. These produce bags are not a loss because they will be perfect for cantaloupes and small squashes I trellis next season.

So, my final idea seems to be the best one of all. I cut some white knitted shade cloth and cut it into large oblong pieces 16.5" x 18" and folded each corner to add a grommet to them. The knitted shade cloth doesn't unravel when cut. Hubby and I then very carefully pulled the at least 10 pound sugar baby watermelon away from the trellis, being careful not to break the vine connection, and slipped one long side of the new sling between the watermelon and trellis then let the watermelon rest on it.

I carefully added a releasable zip tie to both corners and secured them to the trellis. We then moved onto the other side and secured the watermelon to the trellis. This left all five of the other supports I had to keep adding onto the watermelon as it outgrew them, or the support was tearing from the weight. These layers were really tight because the watermelon kept out growing them. Even the new produce bag sling was extremely tight on the bottom of the watermelon. So hubby lifted the watermelon slightly from the new shade cloth sling and I cut all the zip ties to the other supports and removed them all. Then he set the watermelon back down into it's new sling and it seems to be doing very well out there.

Now I have 6 more watermelons to sling up that are growing real well. Tonight we will do that, hubby is currently adding the grommets to the new slings I cut for them.

In the spring
at the end of the day
you should smell like dirt

~Margaret Atwood~

Last edited by Rockporter; July 9, 2017 at 12:40 PM.
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