I live in Niagara on the Lake. I’ve purchased a few honeydew melon plants. I don’t have a lot of room and wish to also use it for some herbs and veggies. I saw a video where they made use of a teepee structure and the vines were to grow up it, which would be perfect to conserve space. Should I put only one plant per teepee or could I plant two or more. The video also explained to use pantyhose in which to nestle the melon which will expand as the melon grows and offer support.
This is a super way to maximize the space you have, and your gentle Niagara on the Lake microclimate will be helpful as our short growing season can be a challenge for many melon varieties. When you look for plants, try to go for “short season” varieties which will ripen more quickly than traditional varieties. Melons do well on vertical support structures placed in a location that gets full sun. Toronto’s Frankie Flowers, author of Food to Grow, says that melons should be planted 2 to 2.5 metres apart. This is sound advice given that melons are vigorous growers which can achieve a height of between 1.5 to 3 metres. In addition, their fruit is quite heavy. Whether you plant more than one will depend upon the size of your teepee. When you support the ripening fruit with pantyhose or other mesh, do make sure the sling is securely fastened to the teepee structure. Your teepee should be at least 5 feet high and should be strongly built to take the weight of the mature plant. In his book, Frankie Flowers describes not a teepee but more of a trellis, of 1.5 to 2 metres high and 2.5 to 3 metres wide. If you opted for a structure like this, using his calculations you could accommodate a couple of melon plants.
Very best of luck for a tasty harvest at the end of the summer!