Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Cultivation of watermelon

Watermelon is now widespread in all tropical and subtropical regions of the world and is mostly grown for fresh consumption of the juicy and sweet flesh of mature fruit. Watermelons require long, warm growing periods. Bright, hot days (27 – 35°C) and warm nights (16-21°C).

Watermelon is propagated by seed. In general, seed rate of 2-3 kg/ha for small-seeded type and 4-5 kg/ha for large seeded type is sufficient.

Watermelons grow best on non-saline sandy loam or silt loam soils. Light-textured fields warm up faster in the spring and are therefore favoured for early production.

Fine sands produce the highest quality melons when adequate fertilizer and water are provided. Windbreaks are advisable on sandy soils to reduce “sand blast” damage and stunting of young seedlings caused by spring winds.

Water deficits during the establishment of watermelons delay maturity and may cause gaps in production. Water stress in the early vegetative stage results in reduced leaf area and reduced yield. Sandy soils may require more frequent, lighter applications than heavier soils to prevent moisture stress. Irrigate the field before dibbling the seeds and thereafter once a week. Irrigation should be given at regular intervals of time. Irrigation after a long dry spell results in cracking of fruit.

Days to maturity: It is usually 80 to 90 days for baby bush varieties and 90 to 100 days or more for the larger varieties.
Cultivation of watermelon
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