Introduction: Pantyhose Melons
This year I was limited on garden space and wanted to grow a lot of fruits and veggies. I ended up trellising a majority of my plants including my melons. I knew that trellising melons would be quite an experiment because they can get big and heavy. I needed something to support the weight of the melons keeping the stem from breaking and the melon falling. I settled on using pantyhose as a sling. It helps support the melons and doesn't impede its growth. It also keeps the melons off the ground and protects them from rot and ground bugs.
Give pantyhose a try in your garden!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- First, before building your trellis or even planting your melon seeds, pick melon varieties that are smaller. I picked honey dew melon, cantaloupe, and a small watermelon variety. If you plan to plant the huge seeded watermelon variety, it is best to keep them on the ground. I suppose you could give it a shot! You would need a heavy duty trellis, maybe several layers of pantyhose, and a stronger rope.
- Second, plant your seeds and allow them to sprout.
- Third, build your trellis. I used the green 6 ft. steel U posts and rolled galvanized steel wire fencing that had 1" squares. (you could use 2 x 4'' wood for posts or any kind of wire fencing as along as it is sturdy enough to handle the weight of the growing melons).
- Wait until your melon plants are a long enough vine (about 2 ft.) to start to guide it onto your trellis. Melon plants are vines and grow little tendrils that like to wrap around and attach to things. They do really well having something to grow onto instead of just spreading out on the ground. Occasionally you will need to go check your vines to make sure they are attaching to the trellis, if they aren't then you just guide or weave them through the holes of your fencing.
- Now you are ready to start your pantyhose project!
- A pair of scissors
- Nude colored or sheer pantyhose (the longer the better, if you can buy the tall kind. Also, the cheaper the better! No need wasting money on something you are going to put on a melon!)
- Rope or Jute Twine
Step 2: Prepare Pantyhose
- Cut your pantyhose from the heel end up in about 10-12" strips. Use the whole leg of the pantyhose until you run out. Tie knots in the bottom of your double open ended pieces.
- Cut your twine about twice the length as your pantyhose pieces.
Now you are ready to go outside and put the pantyhose on your melons!
Step 3: Trellis Your Melons
Wait to pantyhose your melons until they are about the size of baseballs.
- Take one cut of your pantyhose and gather it down like you were putting on a sock or "pantyhose" haha!
- Wrap the pantyhose around the melon making sure the bottom of the melon is touching the very bottom of the pantyhose.
- At the top of the pantyhose tug on one side of the pantyhose and kind of gather it so you can take your twine and tie it around the pantyhose.
- Tie your twine around the section that is gathered. Make sure your knots are tight or the pantyhose will slip right through from the weight of the melon. Also make sure there is enough room for the vine sticking out.
- Pull the twine taut until you slightly feel the melons weight. You don't want to pull too hard. You want the melon to be partially supported by the melon vine and the twine.
- Find a place on your trellis to tie the taut twine. Make sure it is a place that will support the weight of the melon once it becomes fully ripe and disconnects from the vine.
Step 4: Enjoy You Pantyhose Melons Until They Are Ripe!
You will need to periodically check on and monitor your melons. Also check for new melons. Every time your melon vine flowers you will get a melon (that is if nature works right for you!). Keep an eye out for new melons to trellis. If you have a melon that ripens, just untie the twine and reuse your materials for new melons.
I hope you enjoyed this Instructables about how to use pantyhose in an unusual way!