The Melon Bag

We keep coming up with new ways to use our Grow Bags. Sarah, our display garden manager, wanted to try growing melons in the Potato Bag. Melons love heat, and she thought the black fabric of the bag would warm the soil.

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July 13: A melon ripens in the Potato Grow Bag.

We keep coming up with new ways to use our Grow Bags. Sarah, our display garden manager, wanted to try growing melons in the Potato Bag.

Melons love heat, and she thought the black fabric of the bag would warm the soil. To make it even more cozy, she added a Tomato Teepee, which has insulating, water-filled cells. A Tomato Ladder provides support for the growing vine. The best part is, you put the whole thing together at planting time and leave it in place throughout the season. Old stockings can be used to create slings to support the ripening melons.

So far, the experiment has been a success. We already have one large melon ripening on the vine, with others on the way. Because melons do best with regular watering and good drainage, it’s important to monitor moisture levels. Don’t let the pot dry out.

Any kind of melon would work, though small varieties — such as charentais — would be more suitable. Next year, we’d like to try a small watermelon.

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10 Responses to The Melon Bag

  1. meemsnyc says:

    This is such a neat idea!

  2. Anonymous says:

    You should consider making blog posts so that when you click on an image you get a larger version. For this and others (eg, the blueberry netting) I'd have liked to see more clearly how you set things up.

    Thanks, Jeremy

  3. good idea. We'll look into how to do that. Thanks

  4. Anonymous says:

    What a great idea. I grow the small cantalope type melon in a raised bed in the Pacific Northwest. It does fairly well but I can see that this idea would be even better.

  5. kim says:

    I live in southern Oregon, and I've never had much luck with melons. I didn't know they needed extra warmth. Maybe I have just found my solution! Do you have any more advice about growing melons in this zone?

  6. Learn more about growing melons in the Vegetable Encyclopedia. http://bit.ly/a2Ei9r
    -David Grist, Gardener's Supply

  7. Nicole says:

    I planning to us a similar technique for muskmelon and a small watermelon during upcoming season. How many plants did you use per grow bag? I had been thinking the potato bag could support 2 or 3 short-vined plants. I was thinking of using a row cover to keep the plants warm instead of the teepee, but wonder if that would be good enough.

  8. Hi, Nicole. Sarah used one plant, and the melon was a small-fruiting variety. If you try our experiment, choose something that produces small fruit, or the whole thing is likely to topple. Wait till it's good and warm before you plant. The purpose of the Tomato Teepee is to provide extra warmth and some protection. I don't think you'd get the same boost from row cover, but it would help.

    Let us know how your experiment works out.

    -David Grist, Gardener's Supply

  9. Nicole says:

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm planning to try Jenny Lind for the muskmelon and Yellow Doll for the watermelon. Both have small fruit and shorter vines. I may use the tomato teepee idea also- it certainly couldn't hurt!

    I also made a self-watering tray using your large boot tray, your capillary matting and 2 plastic pallets that bags of horse grain are stacked on (the pallets go in the tray and the matting goes over the top of them with the ends in the tray to soak up the water). I can fit two potato grow bags on top of the matting. Last year I used it for potatoes, but I think it will be good for keeping the melons well watered.

  10. Wow, Nicole. That sounds like a good plan. Let us know how it works out. Would love to see a photo of your contraption. Ours got lots of comments in the display garden. -David

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