Agripedia

Go ahead and harvest the Watermelon

The watermelon is a scrambling and training vine in the flowering plant family Cucurbitaceous . Watermelon may be a natural Viagra, says a researcher. That's because the summer fruit is richer than expected believed in an ammonia acid called Citrulline, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels much like Viagra and other drugs meant to treat erectile dysfunction. Lets know more about the watermelon.

SOIL & CLIMATE

It is a warm season crop mainly grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Broadly a long period of warm, preferably dry weather with abundant sunshine is required. It is susceptible to frost. Excess humidity will promote the attack of diseases and insect-pests. For good quality and sweetness, dry weather during the fruit development is necessary. It requires tropical climate and fairly high temperature {35-40 degree} during fruit development, cool nights and warm days are the ideal for accumulation of sugars in the fruits.

Watermelon grows best in fertile, well draining, sandy loom soil. Most soil benefit from incorporating a few inches of organic compost before planting and have some fertilizer as well. A 2- 3- inch layer of mulch around the bases of the plant can help with weed suppression with little manual labor. After growth emerges, the plant may benefit from a side dressing of 33-0-0 or 21-0-0 fertilizer to encourage strong growth.

 

IMPROVED VARIETY

SUGAR BABY { BEFORE 1962} :- This variety  produces small to medium sized fruits with dark green skin. The flesh of the fruits is deep red and very sweet having 9-10% TSS. It yield 72q/acre.

AGRONOMIC PRACTICES  

The watermelon sowing time is mid January to March and under protection in November to December.

SEED RATE & SPACING

For an area of one acre one and half kg of small seeded varieties and two kg for large seeded varieties. The spacing section of two and a half to three meter wide beds should be prepared for sugar baby. Seeds should be shown on both sides of the bed at a distance of 60cm between the plants.

MANURE AND FERTILIZERS

Apply 8-10 tones of farmyard manure along with 25kg of N, 55kg of urea 16kg of P2O5 ( 100kg superphosphate) and 15kg of K2O ( 25kg of muriatic of potash) per acre in the same way as in the case of muskmelon.

The irrigation should be done at 9-13 days interval. Toward maturity irrigation should done at longer intervals. Total number of irrigation should be 7 to 9.

HARVESTING

When it comes to harvesting watermelon timing is everything. There are four step to harvest watermelon.

* Inspect the watermelon:- If it has lost shiny appearance, you're off to a good start

* Thump the watermelon:-- Rap it with your knuckles. If it sounds hollow inside, it's getting close to being ready.

* Inspect the stem:- You should see a spiral coil near the stem of the watermelon. If the coil is brown and dried up the melon is almost ready to pluck.

* Inspect the bottom of watermelon:- Look at the spot that was lying on the ground. If it's still white, the watermelon isn't ready yet. If the spot has turned a rich yellow color, go ahead and harvest the watermelon.

SEED HARVEST

Sufficient time must be allowed for the seed to reach maturity which is at least a week later and then the optimum stage for the marketing the fruit. The harvesting stage for the seed production can be confirmed when the tendril have withered on the shoot of bearing the fruits. 

PAYAL GUPTA
KRISHI JAGRAN
NEW DELHI 


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