help with building cages for melons and squash

kawaiineko_gardener(5a)April 28, 2011

Long story short I'm going to make my own cages using poultry netting; they'll be sturdier and will last longer, and I think it will be more economical than buying the premade ones. Just to clarify I'm not asking how to trellis the plant up the cage, I'm asking for advice on how to build it, how tall it needs to be, and how much of the material I need for making my cages.

a few requests about this:

I took a considerable amount of time into making this post. Read it. Please answer the questions that I've asked. I'm not trying to be rude, but half the time when I ask for answers to the questions I ask, I get answers and advice about everything there is to know about it, but don't get answers to the questions I ask.

To avoid starting an argument all of these will be grown in containers; the squash plants will be grown in large 50 gallon rectangular storage containers.

I have what is going to seem like a really stupid question, but I honestly don't know, if I did I wouldn't be asking. When a gardening catalog/website refers to how large the spread of a plant is, is this referring to the width of the plant?

My other question is that since the melons and squash will have the

cage to climb up, is it really necessary to put them in slings as the fruit is maturing, so it doesn't break off the plant, or is this not necessary due the cage?

Somebody also suggested to me with melons that I can grow one melon plant in a 5 gallon container (be it a bucket, a rectangular container etc.). However with the spread of some of the melons listed below, the width of the plant is bigger than the diameter of my containers. Does it matter that the plant will be poking out of the cage (with the width, not the height.....that is it will be sticking out horizontally, not vertically)

The main thing I need help with is figuring out what the dimensions for them need to be (length, height, width). I realize this depends on the length of the vines as well the dimensions for the plants themselves.

NOTES: Some of the squash listed below I don't plan to grow this season. The main ones I'm going to grow are goldetti, butterbush, and table king; the melons I'll be growing are sugarbush ( a bush type sugar baby watermelon), tasty bites (a cantaloupe plant that bares many small cantaloupes) and honey pearl (a honey dew that bares many small honeydew melons).

The other ones I've provided because I'd like to grow them in the future and I need to know what the dimensions for their cages need to be. I realize for some squash and melon plants listed, I haven't put the height, spreasd, and vine length of the plants; it's because I wasn't able to find this info.

Below is a list of what I'll be growing:

Goldetti (spaghetti squash)

Spread: 24"-36"

Height: 18"-24"

Vine Length: About 4'

Butterbush: (butternut squash)

Spread:24"-36"

Height: 18"-24"

Vine Length: 3' to 4'

Bush Table King-I don't know what the dimensions of the plant are (spread, and height of it, I couldn't find this info). All I know is the vines are about 4' long

Discus Buttercup-A bush type buttercup squash; the spread is about 3 feet long; I don't know what the vine length and height of the plant is, the website that sells the seed packets doesn't say.

Sugar Bush (Sugar Baby Watermelon):

Spread:4-5 feet

Height: 15"-24"

Vine Length about 3-1/2' feet, the maximum length the vines will reach is 5'

The other types of melons I'm growing aren't bush types and their vines are very long, about 6'-8'. I don't know what the dimensions are for their spread and height.

I'll list them below:

Tasty Bites (bares many small cantaloupes, each one is 1-3/4 to 2-1/2 lbs in weight)

Honey Pearl a honeydew melon plant that bares many small honeydews (don't know how much each one weighs)

I also need to know how much poultry wire I'll need for making my cages. I realize this depends on how many cages I'll be making. For the squash, I'm going to make 15 cages total (5 spaghetti squash, 5 butternut squash and 5 acorn squash)

For the melons, I'll most likely end up growing 2 plants of each variety, 3 plants of each variety maximum.

Listed below is the different sizes the rolls of poultry netting come in:

2' x 50'

3' x 50'

4' x 50'

2' x 5'

4' x 10'

4' x 25'

3' x 10'

3 ' x 25'

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