Growing watermelons in hanging nets: A beginner’s guide

Growing watermelons in hanging nets is an innovative and space-saving method that allows even those with limited garden space to enjoy this juicy summer fruit. This beginner’s guide will take you through the steps to successfully grow watermelons using this unique approach.

Why Grow Watermelons in Hanging Nets?

Growing watermelons in hanging nets offers several advantages:

  • Space Efficiency: Ideal for small gardens or balconies.
  • Better Air Circulation: Reduces the risk of diseases and pests.
  • Improved Sun Exposure: Ensures even ripening of fruits.

Steps to Grow Watermelons in Hanging Nets

  1. Choosing the Right Variety
    • Select a small to medium-sized watermelon variety, such as Sugar Baby or Crimson Sweet, which are more manageable for hanging cultivation.
  2. Preparing the Growing Area
    • Choose a sunny location with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
    • Install a sturdy trellis or frame capable of supporting the weight of the watermelon vines and fruits.
  3. Planting Seeds
    • Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last expected frost date.
    • Plant seeds in seed trays or pots, using a high-quality potting mix.
    • Transplant seedlings outdoors once the danger of frost has passed and the soil temperature is consistently above 70°F (21°C).
  4. Setting Up the Hanging Nets
    • Attach strong, durable nets to the trellis or frame, ensuring they can support the growing melons.
    • As the watermelon vines grow, gently guide them into the nets.
  5. Caring for Your Watermelons
    • Watering: Water regularly to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
    • Fertilizing: Apply a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season to encourage healthy growth.
    • Pruning: Trim excess leaves and side shoots to focus the plant’s energy on fruit production.
  6. Supporting the Growing Melons
    • As watermelons develop, they can become heavy. Secure each developing melon with additional netting or a sling made from old cloth or pantyhose to prevent them from falling or damaging the vines.
  7. Monitoring for Pests and Diseases
    • Regularly check for signs of pests such as aphids or spider mites, and treat as necessary with organic insecticides or soap sprays.
    • Ensure good air circulation around the plants to prevent fungal diseases.
  8. Harvesting
    • Watermelons are typically ready to harvest 70-90 days after planting.
    • Look for signs of ripeness, such as a dull skin color, a creamy yellow spot where the melon rests, and a hollow sound when tapped.
    • Carefully cut the melons from the vine using a sharp knife or pruners.


Growing watermelons in hanging nets is an excellent method for maximizing limited garden space while enjoying the fruits of your labor. By following these steps, even beginners can successfully cultivate delicious, home-grown watermelons. Embrace this innovative gardening technique and look forward to a bountiful harvest of sweet, juicy watermelons.

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