Watermelon farming

Watermelon Planting

Cultural Requirements

Land preparation

The field should be thoroughly prepardd by alternate plowing and harrowing. It must be pulverized and leveled. If the soil pH is lower than 5.8 lime is applied one month before sowing at the rate of 3 tons/ha. Furrows are spaced at 1.5 meters apart.

 

Sowing

Drill the seeds 2 cm deep into the furrows at a distance of 1 meter between hills with 2-3 seeds per hill.

 

Fertilization

Mix thoroughy 3 bagsĀ  14-14-14 and one bag 16-20-0 and apply basally before drilling the seeds. Fifteen to twenty five days after emergence. Sidedress 1 bag 0-0-60.

 

Weeding and Cultivation

Crop ashould be weed-e for 25-30 days after planting. During this period, inter-row cultivation can be instituted before crops hae attained sufficient size to cover the soil, which in turn will suppress the growth of weeds.

 

Vine Training

Rearrange or train the vines along the rows 25 days after planting. This will facilitate watering and weeding in the field. Big vines should not be touched anymore so that yield will not be affected.

 

Irrigation

The field should be irrigated whenever necessary either by furrow irrigation of manual watering. The periods wherein water is most needed by the crop are during planting, flowering and fruit development stages. Once the fruit attain its full size, watering should be stopped.

 

 

Pollination

Hand pollination should be done when the 1st female flower appear at 8-10th node. Hand pollination enhances production of quality fruits.

Prune laterals before the 8th node after pollinated fruits have developed (optiona). But leave the laterals after fruit. This is responsible for the sweetness of the watermelon.

 

Fruit Thinning

Thin out the first deformed fruits and leave only 2-3 healthy or vigorous fruits per plant.

 

Harvesting

Harvest the crp when the fruits are mature enough. The common practice of detecting fruit maturity is by snappingĀ  knocking with the fingers, a dull and hollow sound indicates maturity. Another indication of maturity is the change in color of the lower part of the fruit where it rests upon the ground. T maturity, it turns yellow Watermelon is considered mature 5 days after pollination.

 

Pest and Disease

Thrips. These are very small crawling insects at the undersize of the leaves. Spraying of appropriate insecticide is recommended when the population can cause economic damage to the crop.

Downy mildew. Severely infected leaves become dry and the plants eventually die. Fungicide application is recommended

Powdery Mildew. The first sign is the presence of talcum-like growth on the surface of the young leaves and stems. This can be controlled by spraying appropriate fungicide and strict field sanitation.

 

Source: Northern Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Research Center (NOMIARC)

Department Of Agriculture RFU-10, Dalwangan, Malaybalay CIty

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