Growing Watermelons and Cantaloupes in my Zone 5 climate can be a bit of a challenge. I have learned that if I want a great crop its necessary to use a lot of manure. I also grow them vertically in three-foot boxes.
By using a box that is three foot by three foot wide and three foot tall I have better control over temperatures, water and soil. I fill the box with two foot of manure and one foot of compost to fill the box and sink a two liter plastic pop bottle in the center of the box for deep watering.
Next I place four plants in each box and set the side up for the plants to trellis on. If its cold weather I place black plastic on the outside of the box to attract the heat from the sun and wrap clear plastic on the sides to create a mini greenhouse effect.
Just to add color I place a few flowering vine plants near the edge of the box to vine down the sides. One year I added a few scarlet runner beans to climb up the sides for color.
By using the boxes for melons I have increased the crop and added a fun look to the gardens.
At the end of the year I empty the soil from the boxes and add to the compost pile to be composted into fresh material for the following year.
Tags: Growing better cantaloupes and watermelons, growing melons in boxes, tips for watermelons and cantaloupes