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12 DIY Watermelon Trellis Ideas – Grow Watermelons Vertically!

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As the days get longer and warmer, it’s the perfect time to embark on a new garden project (like a watermelon trellis!), especially as late spring and early summer are ideal for planting summer fruits like watermelons.

These large, round, and full-of-flavor fruits offer a ton of health benefits, provide essential refreshment during hot summer days, and can even be used as a disguise next time you need to rob a convenience store or bank !

The trouble is, watermelons are big.

The fruits weigh around 15 to 30 pounds apiece, while a single vine can reach up to 20 feet long. To maximize space while still enjoying the fruits of your labor, why not try growing watermelon on a trellis instead?

Vertical gardens capitalize on the available space, create shaded areas for other plants and animals, and give the fruit themselves better ventilation, thereby reducing the risk of fungal diseases.

With a watermelon trellis, the only thing restricting you is your imagination and budget.

The good news is…

If you’ve got a lot of imagination, you won’t need a big budget – especially not once you’ve been inspired by these 12 ideas!

Psst… Don’t miss our other post – 15 Sturdy Grape Trellis Ideas! Many of these trellises and arbors are awesome for your watermelon plant too

10 Great Ideas for a DIY Watermelon Trellis

Watermelon fruits in fruit nets to enable vertical growing
These watermelons are grown in fruit nets (hammocks) to help support their weight. You can find them on Amazon!

Idea #1: The Simple A-Frame Watermelon Trellis

watermelon-trellis-farmgirl-in-the-making

This simple style of DIY watermelon trellis by A Farm Girl in the Making is made out of almost any material strong enough to support the heavy fruit.

Plenty are available to buy, but you can easily make your own out of some off-cuts of wood and stout wires.

Many of the designs I found used twine or cordage instead of wire, but these looked a little too flimsy to support the larger watermelon varieties. This one, on the other hand, is robust yet uncomplicated.

The frame is made out of fence posts, while two hog panels (like these ones) form the trellis. You can also add bamboo shelving to your design to support the weighty fruits as they grow.

Idea #2: Easy DIY Watermelon Trellis

diy-garden-watermelon-trellis-one-creative-mommy

This versatile watermelon trellis by One Creative Mommy is designed so you can grow companion plants like borage, lavender, and marigold alongside your melons.

Nylon or wire mesh is supported by a galvanized steel frame that is bolted into place to create a structure capable of supporting the weight of a large watermelon vine while giving it plenty of growing space and ventilation.

Perhaps not as easy to construct as the A-frame watermelon trellis, it’s straightforward and liable to outlast your first harvest. 

Loving the vertical gardening journey? Don’t miss: How to Grow Zucchini Vertically!

Idea #3: Old Spring Bed Watermelon Trellis

watermon-trellis-bed-spring-DIY-My-Sweet-cottage

I love this watermelon trellis idea by My Sweet Cottage, partly because I have an old bed I don’t know what to do with and partly because it doesn’t require advanced DIY skills to construct.

Strip the old bed apart until you’re left with the frame and the springs, and secure it to a garden wall or greenhouse.

Alternatively, you can build your own planter and incorporate the watermelon trellis into your design.

While I’m not convinced it would be strong enough to support the larger varieties of watermelon, like the Crimson Sweet or Charleston Gray, it should prove strong enough for the smaller types, like the diminutive yet delicious Golden Midget

Idea #4: T-Posts and Twine Watermelon Trellis

watermelon-trellis-DIY-t-post-twine

This clever yet straightforward idea by Seed Savers Exchange makes the melons decorative as well as delectable. All you need is a few T-posts and some twine.

Start by installing the metal T-posts so that they lean out at an angle. Now tie the twine to each T-posts to create the watermelon trellis.

Plant your watermelon seeds or seedlings inside the V-shaped structure, training them along the trellis. The flowers and fruits will hang on either side of the V as they grow, creating an attractive garden feature.

Idea #5: PVC Watermelon Trellis

PVC Garden Trellis - Easiest & Cheapest DIY Vegetable Trellis

I’m not a big fan of PVC because it perishes too easily in sunlight, and in Africa, we get a lot of that!

This lightweight but strong trellis by Great Lakes Prepping, however, is designed to be covered with peas and cucumber vines most of the time, so it should last at least one growing season.

One of the joys of PVC is that it’s light and easy to work with. You don’t need much DIY experience to make this watermelon trellis, and in terms of materials, all you need is a few PVC pipes, elbow joints, PVC primer, and some PVC glue (cement).

Idea #6: Arched Trellis for Watermelon Plants

Create an eye-catching feature by building a garden archway to support your watermelons!

While some designs are complex and require some serious carpentry, others can be cobbled together using a few branches and some garden wire.

This particular trellis is part of the kitchen garden at Salle Hall, near Norfolk, England. This walled kitchen garden dates back to the 1780s and still has many original characteristics!

Idea #7: Mobile Trellis for Mini Melons

Watermelon-trellis-portable-DIY

In some areas, the weather doesn’t play ball for the entire 80-day growing period required by the watermelon, which is where a mobile trellis comes into its own.

This inventive design (found here) means you can start your seedlings in a greenhouse and then move them outside as the weather gets warmer.

If the temperature drops before the fruit starts to ripen, simply move them back inside again!

Look closely; you’ll see the fruits have been given additional support with some innovative DIY melon slings. This trellis was designed for the sugar baby variety, which is exceptionally suited to vertical growing.

Idea #8: Bike Wheel Trellis

recycled-bike-wheel-garden-trellis-02

Upcycling is always my first choice, and these bicycle-wheel trellises by The Family Chapters were too cool to overlook, even though they may be more suited to cucumbers and potentially not robust enough to support a watermelon vine.

You could probably get away with this design if you replaced the twine with wire and found some way to support the base, but only if you were growing a small watermelon variety, not if you were hoping to cultivate the world’s largest watermelon.

Idea #9: Upcycled Vintage Tool Trellis

diy-garden-trellis-from-vintage-garden-tools

While this design by Sadie Seasongoods looks supremely funky, it would need a little more backbone if you wanted to grow watermelon on it.

Perhaps a couple more utensils to create a more A-framed structure would do the trick?

I would also recommend using wire instead of jute, which is biodegradable and doesn’t seem to last long.

Idea #10: Cattle Panel Trellis

How to Make A Watermelon Garden Arch Trellis from a Cattle Panel

This idea is similar in essence to the A-frame trellis. It’s also one of the quickest to construct so it’s ideal for people like me who may have only just noticed that summer’s on the way.

Built using a cattle panel with some metal posts for support, it creates an attractive arch that’s tall enough to walk through, giving you easy access to your watermelon plants and fruits.

Idea #11: Grow Watermelon on an Existing Fence

This is one of my favorite methods for vertical vegetable growing. I use all my fences to grow plants on! This does depend a little on whether the animals have access to the particular fence – cows and horses love watermelons, so you’ll need to protect your fruits!

If you have a fence, you can turn it into a watermelon trellis with minimal effort. If it doesn’t already have wire or mesh, all you need to do is attach sturdy netting or wire mesh to the fence. Make sure it’s strong enough to support the weight of growing watermelons.

This method is excellent for those with limited space and offers the added benefit of using existing structures. Multipurpose for the win!

Idea #12: Hinged Pallets as Plant Support

Repurposing wooden pallets is a cost-effective way to create a watermelon trellis. Stand the pallets vertically, similar to the compost pile structure in the photo above. Connect the pallets using hinges to form a zig-zag pattern. This structure provides plenty of support and climbing space for watermelon vines, and you can easily adjust the size and shape to fit your garden.

Watermelon Trellis Guide

watermelon-sling-trellis

These DIY trellis ideas are adaptable to different garden sizes and budgets, allowing everyone to enjoy the benefits of vertical gardening – whether you’re on a homestead or urban area.

By elevating the vines and the fruits, trellises can minimize diseases, improve air circulation, and make harvesting easier.

To finish up, here are some commonly asked questions about growing watermelons on a trellis:

Do watermelons need a trellis?

Watermelons don’t care if they’re growing up or out – they just love to grow!
Some say growing vigorous watermelon vines on your lawn works well, while others say growing it vertically prevents fungal diseases and increases the watermelon yield.
I grow mine on the lawn, but remember that you can’t mow the grass underneath – it looks pretty messy!
The choice is yours, but if you’re short on space, training it to grow on some kind of climbing structure allows you to grow other things at the same time.

How Tall Should a Watermelon Trellis Be?

For small melon plants, like the Mini Love, a trellis of around 6 feet is sufficient. Larger watermelons will inevitably need larger, more substantial structures.

How Do You Support a Watermelon on a Trellis?

Most melon varieties need some kind of support as they ripen, and many different methods exist.
You could use old nylon stockings, mesh, lattice, bamboo shelves, soft plant ties… the list is almost endless. You can buy specialized watermelon hammocks on Amazon, too.
I even saw someone using old mesh carrot bags, which seemed to work effectively and complement the style of an upcycled vertical trellis.

The Best Watermelon Varieties + Vertical Growing Accessories

  1. 150+ Heirloom Crimson Sweet Watermelon Seeds
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  3. 50 Charleston Grey Watermelon Seeds (Non-GMO Heirloom)
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  4. Watermelon Seed Collection - Crimson Sweet, Allsweet, Sugar Baby, Tendersweet, and Golden Midget
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  5. 10 Mini Love Hybrid Watermelon Seeds
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You Don’t Need Acres of Space

You don’t need acres of space to successfully grow a crop of watermelons!

As long as you choose your variety with care and build trellises according to the needs of the vine, its trailing stems, and ripe fruit weight, you should be able to enjoy the health benefits of sweet watermelon all summer long.

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