Watermelon farming originated in South Africa. It is an essential cucurbitaceous vegetable in India. It is an excellent dessert fruit, and its juice includes 92% water and proteins, minerals and carbohydrates. In Japan, cubic shaped watermelons are famous. They grow watermelon in a glass box and give it a cubic form. Watermelons are primarily cultivated in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
Soil for Watermelon
Watermelon produces well in deep, productive, and well-drained soil. It gives the best result when grown on sandy or sandy loam soil. Dirt having insufficient drainage capacity is not suited for watermelon cultivation. Follow crop rotation as the continuous growth of the same crop on the same field leads to loss of nutrients, poor yield and more disease attacks. The pH level of the soil should be between 6-7.
Land preparation for watermelon
Ploughland and bring to a fine tilth. In North India, planting is done from February – to March month. In Northeast and west India, planting is done from November to January. Watermelon can be direct-seeded or transplanted in the greenhouse and then transplanted to the major field. Swaraj 735 is best for land preparation because this tractor model can handle every type of farming easily.
Planting of watermelon
The time of sowing in the north is planted during the middle of January to March and from November to December.
Spacing depends upon the sowing method. Spacing may get changed. In-pit way use row to row spacing of 2-3.5m and 60 cm between two plants. The sowing depth of the Plant seed is about 2-3cm deep.
Method of sowing is different planting methods like furrow method, method and Pit method hill can be depending upon conditions and season.
Planting is done on either side of furrows. Sow 3-4 seeds at a time and keep the plant to plant distance of 60-90cm.
Similar to the pit method. In this, a pit of 30x30x30cm pits is made at a length of 1-1.5m. Two seeds were sown per hill.
Sow 4 seeds in a pit and for that, make a pit of 60x60x60cm at a distance of 2-3.5m between two rows and 0.6-1.2m between plants. Fill the hole with well-decomposed cow dung and soil. After germination, keep only one seedling.
A seed rate of 1.5 to 2 kg is needed for sowing one-acre land. Seed treatment before planting, treat the seed with Carbendazim 2gm/kg of seeds. After chemical treatment sources with Trichoderma viride 4gm per kg of seeds. Dry seeds in the shade and then do planting immediately.
Fertilizer for watermelon
Apply Farm Yard Manure or well-decomposed cow dung 8-10tonnes per acre. The whole amount of Phosphorus, Potash and one-third amount of Nitrogen before sowing seed. Apply a remaining dose of Nitrogen near the base of the vines, avoid handling it and mix well in the soil during the initial development period.
When a crop is 10-15 days old, for good crop growth and good quality, take a spray of + Micro-nutrients 2-3gm/Ltr of water. Stop flower drop and improve yield by up to 10%. After 55days of sowing, spray 100gm + Hexaconazole 250ml/150 Ltr water for fast development of fruits and protection against powdery mildew. 65days after sowing to increase fruit size, sweetness, and colour, take the spray with 1.5kg/acre using 100gm/15Ltr of water.
Weed control of watermelon
Keep bed weed-free during an early stage of development. In the absence of proper control efforts, weed can cause a loss of 30%. 15 – 20 days after sowing, intercultural processes required two to three times sowing.
Irrigation of watermelon
Apply irrigation every week in the summer season. At the time of maturity, give irrigation only when required. Avoid over flooding in the watermelon field. At the time of using irrigation, you should not wet the vines or vegetative parts, mainly during flowering and fruit-set. Avoid frequent irrigation in heavy soil as it will promote excessive vegetative growth. For better sweetness and flavour, stop watering or decrease watering 3-6days before harvesting.
If the tendril near the stem also gets parched whitish, the colour of the fruit that touches the ground gets yellowish, then assume that the fruit is ready for harvesting. On hitting melon, if it sounds hollow, it is ready for harvest, and immature fruit sounds dense. Don’t pick green fruits as they are ripe only when connected to the vine. Green fruit doesn’t have rich sugar content or colour. To gather ripe fruit, cut stem 1″ from fruit with a couple of sharp pruners or knives. Fruit can be stored in calm, humid conditions. Farmers mostly use Swaraj 744 tractor model for better harvesting because it comes with an economical price range.
Post-harvest of watermelon
Grading is done based on the size of the fruit. It can be stored for 14 days at a temperature of 15°C. Do not store watermelon with apples and bananas as it develops off-flavour and softened fruit.
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