For gardeners it has become commonplace to grow watermelon. The process is simple, but it has certain difficulties that need to be taken into account when growing (the plant may die before the start of flowering, the fruits do not always grow tasty and so on). Learn more about how to grow a watermelon with your own hands, and will be discussed in this article.
How to grow watermelon
Content step by step instructions:
The choice of variety should be approached with particular responsibility. For the middle zone of the Russian Federation, it is advisable to choose only early ripe varieties, and it is not necessary to lead the pursuit of huge fruits in this business - such watermelons realize their potential by 100% only when grown in the south of the country. Be sure to read the description of the variety on the package - it indicates the information on the duration of ripening (the ovaries of plants should ripen as quickly as possible).
Selection of watermelon varieties
On a note! You can neglect some qualities when choosing a variety. First of all, it is large-fruited and transportable. Do not pay attention also to the color and shape of the fruit - it is necessary only in those cases when you grow watermelons not for yourself, but for sale.
The most common varieties of watermelon:
- "Sugar Baby",
- "Ataman F1",
- "Ultra Early"
- "Moscow Charleston F1",
- Krimstar F1,
- "Pink F1 champagne",
- "A gift to the north of F1."
This is only a small part of the varieties that can be grown not only in the south of the country, but most often people choose them. Having defined the variety of watermelon, you can start growing.
There are many different varieties of watermelons.
After selecting the appropriate variety, wrap the seeds in a fabric bandage and place on a shallow plate, filling the pre-prepared solution of potassium permanganate. The solution should be light pink and warm. After that, the saucer with seeds should be put in a plastic bag and tied with some air. Transfer the plate with seeds to a warm room (at least + 20 ° C). Change the solution daily and air the bag. After 2-3 days, the seeds should slip, after which they will be ready for planting in the ground.
It is very important to prepare the land before planting a watermelon. This is an integral part of the cultivation, without which you can hardly get a good harvest. The prepared soil should provide plants with nutrients throughout the entire growth period, it should be protected from strong winds, and also well lit.
Soil preparation for planting
Clearing and leveling
For watermelon, as well as for other melon crops, a loose, fertile and light soil is needed. Well, if on your suburban area there is sandy or sandy soil that you have enriched with rotted humus in the autumn period. If we talk about suitable forerunners of watermelons, they are, of course, tomatoes, potatoes, cruciferous vegetables, and legumes.
For better results, it is advisable to prepare the beds in advance and fertilize the soil. To do this, on 1 square. m plot need to make 20 g of potash, 40 g of superphosphate and 30 g of ammonium sulfate. Such a combination of mineral fertilizers will significantly accelerate the growth of watermelon, as a result of which you can enjoy juicy and sweet fruits a little earlier.
Sowing watermelon seeds
The process of planting watermelon seeds is simple and practically does not differ from the planting of any other crop.
Table. Step by step instructions for sowing watermelon seeds.
Waterhole for open watermelons
Important! First, 5-6 seeds should be sown in each well, but over time, when they begin to grow, leave one plant in the hole.
Without providing full care, including feeding and watering, it is impossible to grow a watermelon in the garden. The juiciness of the fruit depends on the level of humidity, but you should not overdo it as well, because you will not be able to enjoy the sugar pulp of sweet berries, which everyone loves so much. Conditionally, subsequent care can be divided into 4 stages: watering, feeding, pruning lashes and destroying pests. Consider each of them separately.
When growing watermelons at their summer cottage, it is advisable to use drip irrigation systems. This will allow regular feeding of crops.
The best option is drip irrigation.
Agrochemical analysis of the soil is simply necessary for the most correct and accurate application of fertilizers.
Watermelons need abundant, but rare watering, especially in the hot period with a lack of natural moisture - remember this! For comfortable growth of watermelons, the soil moisture level should be at least 80%. If the plot is located on sandy ground, then watering the beds should be more often due to poor moisture retention. Clay soil and black soil water less often. After the ripening of the berries begins and they become poured, reduce the number of waterings, and after a few weeks, stop them altogether.
Top-dressing of watermelons grown at the dacha consists of three procedures, each of which must be carried out under certain conditions: at least 2 liters of liquid fertilizer must fall on one plant. After 7 days from the moment of planting the seeds, it is necessary to regularly water the plants with a special solution prepared by themselves (all the ingredients and their proportions were described above).
Watermelons need to be fertilized in a timely manner.
After the whips on the plants begin to grow actively, you need to make a second feeding of watermelons, but this time the amount of potash and phosphate fertilizers should be two times smaller. When the formation of the ovaries begins, you need to carry out another feeding, only with a different composition. Mix 10 liters of water, 35 g of potassium salts, 10 g of superphosphate and 20 g of ammonium sulfate.
Add the prepared nutrient mixture to the prepared furrows, which should be located at a distance of 15 cm from the bushes of the plant. The amount of nitrogen fertilizers should be reduced due to the probability of their accumulation in the pulp of watermelons. In addition, such measures can provoke the maturation of the plant, and not a set of green mass.
Fertilizer for watermelons, melons and pumpkins
During the short and not warm enough summer, some of the fruits of the watermelon do not have time to ripen, although the bush still spends on them the forces that could be distributed to other berries that really ripen. Therefore, each plant should be no more than 5 watermelons. Remove all unnecessary.
Watermelon Formation Scheme
Important! When growing watermelons, it must be remembered that female flowers are formed on the main lash of the plant - they cannot be touched, but remove the side lashes. Compliance with all recommendations will allow to get a harvest in the second half of August.
Pollination of watermelon flowers
Gourd aphid, appearing in June, can create many problems for watermelons. Dwelling on the underside of the sheets, it sucks all the vital juices from the plant, as a result of which the leaves shrivel and dry. During the summer, aphid can give 2-3 generations. At first, pests live only on weeds, but with the onset of June, females move to watermelons, staying there until the beginning of autumn. Gourd aphid lays its eggs on the weeds, which winter there.
Gourd or cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii)
To protect watermelons from aphids, it is advisable to regularly weed the beds from various weeds, as well as to mow the areas located near the watermelons grown. If you notice pests - immediately treat the plants with a special broth or infusion prepared from celandine, garlic or onion peel. If these funds do not help and the foliage system of plants is badly damaged, then you can use strong chemicals - for example, INTA-VIR, Karbofos, Iskra.
In addition to aphids, watermelons can be subjected to various diseases, such as sclerotinia, bacteriosis, verdigris, various types of rot and so on. For treatment, you need to prepare a decoction of horsetail. To do this, pour 1 liter of water 1 tbsp. l plants and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can use another tool - milk mixed with iodine. If plants are severely affected, use Kuprosat or Oxychloride. The development of fusarium wilt can lead to the fact that the plant will die within a few days. The infection spreads through plant residues, seeds or soil.
Fighting Diseases in Watermelons
As a prevention of watermelon from the occurrence of diseases, it is desirable to plant the seeds with a “Baktofit” solution for 3 hours before planting. If some plants were damaged by an illness, they must be destroyed to protect healthy ones, which, in turn, must be fed with potash-phosphorus fertilizers.
Fruit picking is the final stage in the process of growing watermelons. Hurrying with this case is not recommended, because many fruits that have reached large sizes are still immature. Ripe tomatoes can be identified by changing the color of the fruit; when growing zucchini and cucumbers, it is important not to be late in picking, otherwise vegetables may lose their beneficial properties. But when should watermelons be collected? When planting early-ripening varieties, the harvest can be obtained not earlier than mid-August. Mass gathering during this period is not carried out, it is necessary to determine the ripeness of the berries by external signs. First of all, look at the bract and tendrils - if they are dry, then you can collect watermelon. Also, when tapping the berries lightly, deaf sounds should be heard. The combination of these signs speaks of the ripeness of the fruit.
Check the ripeness of watermelon
If you grow watermelons for further transportation and storage, it is best to pick berries a couple of days before ripening. They will later ripen, being in a warm and dry room. At the same time, watermelons will not lose their qualities.
Self-grown watermelons are not boring!
Video - Growing watermelon seedlings
There are different ways of planting this crop, but usually do this: on organic beds filled (width - 1 m, height - 20 cm) build ridges that make 45-50 cm in width and 18 cm in height. In each row on the ridge, after 80 cm, make holes 10 cm deep and plant seedlings with a clod of earth in them to the cotyledon leaves. Then spill with warm water — 1 liter per sapling.
As long as there is a threat of frost, it is still better to plant a landing at night with lutrasil or film. To do this, at the ends of the beds, install arcs, which can then be removed as useless. The culture is quite moisture-loving, so water the plants generously, but only before flowering. Then stop watering, otherwise the fruit will grow cotton, unsweetened. The optimum temperature for ripening is from 25 o C to 28 o C.
Well, and how without top dressings: first make a week after disembarkation - add 30 grams of chicken droppings to the bucket of mullein solution (as usual 1:10). superphosphate, at least 15 grams. potassium (1 tbsp. ash), spend the second in the lash formation phase, spending 6 grams on one bush. superphosphate, 4 gr. potassium and ammonium nitrate. Before planting, plant plentifully, so that fertilizers do not burn the root system and are well digested.
Good care is also in loosening, cleaning weeds, combating diseases. Watermelons bloom for 40-50 days after sowing: first, male flowers bloom, then female ones. Spraying in the morning with a solution of sugar (h. Spoon per liter of water) will help improve the pollination process and attract the bees. As soon as you noticed the fruit, it starts, count five leaves from it and pinch so that all forces are directed at getting the harvest.
You will meet the first mature debutant on a bed 70-90 days after landing. Ripeness can be identified by a bright brilliant pattern, a deaf sound when tapping and drying out of the stem. The main cleaning is in the middle of August. The weight of the fruit depends on the care, growing conditions and varies in the range of 1.5-10 kg.
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Adding an article to a new collection
How to grow watermelons in the country, if you live in the middle lane. Very simple, if you choose the appropriate plant variety and grow a crop through seedlings. What else you need to know about watermelons in the middle lane?
In fact, growing watermelons is not as difficult as it seems. The main thing is to follow all the rules and not be afraid of difficulties.
Step 1. Choose a watermelon variety
For sowing, it is best to take the seeds of watermelons of hybrid varieties: they are resistant to many diseases, withstand dramatic changes in the weather, and the fruits ripen faster. Thus, even if the summer is not too warm, the watermelons will still grow to the required size and acquire the appropriate sugar content for the variety.
Step 2. Preparing the seeds for sowing
In order for the seeds to grow well, and the seedlings to be strong and healthy, before sowing a whole series of activities should be carried out: calibration, scarification, heating and disinfection. Do not worry, it's not as difficult as it seems.
For sowing in the middle lane, choose hybrid varieties of watermelons
Calibration - this is sorting seeds by size. Why do you need to carry it out? The fact is that larger seedlings will not allow small to develop well. And if you divide the seed into groups and sow them depending on the "caliber" in different containers, all the plants will develop equally well. The seedlings in each of the containers will grow friendly and even.
Scarification - Not absolutely obligatory procedure. It is the damage to the seed coat, which contributes to their early germination. Since watermelons in the middle lane already have to be difficult, it is still necessary to scarify before sowing. To do this, just enough to rub each seed "nose" on the sandpaper.
Warming up. This procedure, on the contrary, is obligatory for watermelon seeds. It also accelerates the process of their germination, since with increasing temperature at the seeds the rate of all biochemical reactions increases. To warm the seeds of watermelons, they must be dipped in water at a temperature of about 50 ° C and kept in it for 0.5 hours.
Disinfection. To disinfect the seed, it is recommended to hold it for about 20 minutes in a pink solution of potassium permanganate. After that, the seeds need to be dried in natural conditions (not on the battery) and sown.
Some gardeners, in addition to the above procedures, also germinate watermelon seeds before sowing. To do this, they are wrapped in a damp cloth and put in heat (closer to the battery or heater). Cloth should not dry out. When the seeds germinate, they can be sown.
If you correctly prepare the seeds of watermelons for planting, you can significantly increase the percentage of their germination.
Step 3. We select capacity and soil
Since watermelon seedlings do not tolerate transplantation, each seedling is initially grown in a separate container. Its size must be at least 10 cm in diameter and 12 cm in height. Rassatnye containers should be filled with soil so that up to the edge of the pot remained about 3 cm (this will allow you to pour earth into the pot as the plants grow.
Watermelon seedlings grow best in humus or peat-humus soil (compiled in equal shares). But you can grow a culture in a mixture of humus (3 parts) and sod land (1 part). Do not forget to add 1 tsp to any of these substrates at the end. superphosphate or 2 tbsp. wood ash per 1 kg of soil mixture.
Do not sow watermelon seeds to a depth of more than 3 cm.
Step 4. We sow watermelon seeds
To plant watermelon seedlings in open ground should be no earlier than the end of May. By this time, seedlings should be 30-35 days old, and they should be at least 4 leaves. Based on this, you can roughly calculate the time of sowing seeds for seedlings: they do it in the middle - end of April.
Watermelon seeds are sown in a pot of two to a depth of 3 cm. When the seedlings sprout, the weaker need to be removed. Capacities should preferably be placed on the window sill of a south-oriented window. It is only important to ensure that there is no draft.
Step 5. Take care of seedlings
To germinate, the seeds of watermelons need a temperature of up to 30 ° C - then the shoots can be expected already on the 6th day. After that, the temperature should be immediately reduced to 18 ° C. Then the sprouts must be given a couple of days for adaptation, remove a weak seedling from each container and again raise the temperature to 20-25 ° C. At the same time at night it should be reduced to 18-20 ° C. This regime should be maintained for 3 weeks.
For good growth, watermelon seedlings need light and heat.
So that the watermelon seedlings are not stretched and not deformed, it must be grown in good light. Обычно чтобы обеспечить молодые арбузы достаточным количеством света, необходимо досвечивать их с помощью специальных ламп. Рекомендуется также регулярно проветривать помещение, но не допускать при этом сквозняков.
After 10-12 days, seedlings should be fertilized with fertilizer on the basis of a fermented mullein (it is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10). The second feeding is carried out in 2 weeks. This time, 50 grams of superphosphate, 30 grams of potassium sulfate and 15 grams of ammonium sulfate for each liter of fertilizer should be added to the mullein.
Step 6. Planting seedlings in open ground
An important stage of care - hardening. It is carried out a week before planting seedlings in the garden. The essence of the procedure is to gradually reduce the temperature of watermelon seedlings by 2-3 degrees and reduce watering. The last few days before the "move" into the open ground, seedlings should be spent on the balcony or in the street greenhouse. The evening before the transplant should be well watered. You can spray them with a 1% solution of Bordeaux liquid.
Watermelon seedlings should be transplanted in the morning, carefully removing each plant along with the earthy clod from the container and transferring it to a separate well. You should not place young watermelons on a bed closer than 70-100 cm to each other. Seedlings need to be deepened to cotyledon leaves. After planting, it should be watered and covered with foil.
Hardened seedlings are more resistant to unstable outdoor weather conditions
Step 7. Properly care for watermelons in the garden
Watering. Young seedlings of watermelons consume a lot of water, so they need to be watered abundantly, but not more often than once a week. When the female flowers are open on the plant, the frequency of watering can be reduced, and when the fruits are formed, stop it altogether.
Shelter. Usually the film that covers the plants is removed at the end of June. But if the difference between night and day temperatures is significant, polyethylene can be returned to the beds. It is also worth protecting watermelon planting from rain. The shelter should be regularly ventilated to remove condensate.
Pollination. In the middle lane there are enough insects that can pollinate watermelons. And yet, if during the flowering of plants there is cloudy weather, the procedure will have to be carried out manually: (referring to the stamens of one flower of the pistils of several others). Fruits should ripen about 40 days after pollination.
Shaping. In the northern areas when growing watermelons on the trellis they are formed into one stem. When the plant is fastened with 3-4 fruits, and the main stem "reaches" to the trellis, nip can be done (removal of the apex of the shoot).
Pest protection. Watermelons often suffer from aphids, wireworms, meadow moths, shovels and sprout flies. If you find pests before they spoil the watermelons, it is worth treating the plants with biologics (for example, Fitoverm). If there are a lot of insects, it will be necessary to use chemical insecticides (Aktar, Decis or Fufanon, from the melon aphid - Tantrek).
Disease protection. Watermelons are subject to the same diseases as cucumbers: powdery mildew, anthracnose, peronosporosis, ascochitis. Accordingly, the prophylactic agents will be the same - HOM, Ordan, colloidal sulfur, Abiga-Peak.
Growing watermelons is a very interesting and exciting activity for ambitious people, because not everyone can get the mature fruits of this heat-loving culture in the middle zone. But imagine how great at the end of summer to cut a ripe, juicy and sugar watermelon, which was grown in its own garden!
Preparation of watermelon seeds for sowing
Of all the melons and gourds, watermelons have the hardest-growing seeds. To seedlings were friendly and strong, first the seeds are immersed in salt water. This will allow to identify and remove not vigorous, lightweight specimens, but those that are heavier and sank to the bottom, to be used for planting.
However, this is not enough. Shortly before planting, the seeds are heated for 3–4 hours at a temperature of up to 55 ° C or left for a week in the sun in order to disinfect the seed. Then, for a day, the seeds are soaked in warm water, which will accelerate germination and give the sprouts additional strength.
Planting watermelon seeds
In the Chernozem region and the southern regions, where watermelons are grown in summer cottages and industrial melons, the crop can be planted in open ground with seeds.
The best time for this comes when the ground at a depth of 10 cm warms up to 12–15 ° C. For sandy and other types of light, friable soils, the depth of embedding watermelon seeds is 4–8 centimeters, but if the soil is heavy and dense, it is more correct to deepen the seeds by no more than 4–6 cm. And the smaller the seeds, the finer the grooves for planting .
Gourds, especially during the period of ripening, require good nutrition, which is provided by the main root system and small roots formed on individual lashes. Therefore, when growing watermelons in open ground, a rather large area is allocated for planting, the size of which depends both on the type of soil and on the variety, as well as on the expected load on the plant.
- If watermelons are sown in rows, between the bushes leave gaps from 0.7 to 1.5 meters. The aisle in this case must be at least one and a half meters.
- When using a square planting scheme between plants, lay a distance from 0.7 to 2.1 meters.
The main thing is that as the planting grows, they should not be overly thickened, and all the berries tied should have enough light, moisture and nutrition.
Rassadny method of growing watermelon
In the middle zone, for example, in non-black-earth regions, as well as in cold prolonged spring in the southern regions, watermelons can be grown in open ground through seedlings. From the moment of sowing to the transplanting of young plants into the soil usually takes from 25 to 35 days. The most convenient way to sow is to use peat pots with a diameter of about 10 cm, which are filled with a mixture of equal amounts:
In wet soil, seeds are buried by 3–4 centimeters, after which the pots are left under the film at a temperature not lower than 20–25 ° C until the shoots appear, only at night can the background temperature decrease to 18 ° C.
When sprouts appear above the ground level, the seedlings are transferred to a cooler room. At a temperature of about 17–18 ° C, the seedlings of the watermelon will have to stay for 3 to 4 days, which will make it possible to obtain strong shoots and prevent them from being pulled out. Later on, the temperature around 22–25 ° C is returned to the daytime.
Regular watering is carried out with warm water, trying not to fall on the leaf plates. A week after sprouting sprouts, seedlings under the roots are fed with fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorus.
Since melon crops are heat and light-loving crops, well-lit warm rooms or greenhouses are chosen for young watermelon plants, but a week before the seedlings enter the open ground, it should be hardened. To do this, the transplant boxes are exposed to the open air at first for 2-4 hours, then gradually increase the time. In early June or at the end of May, watermelon seedlings are planted on the beds.
The choice of land and soil for growing watermelon in the country
In order to obtain a good harvest from a watermelon grown at the dacha, it is important that the area intended for planting:
- was well lit
- closed to cold winds
- provided plants with proper nutrition.
The best soil for melons is light, fertile and loose. It is optimal if, on summer cottages, there is sandy and sandy sandy soil, which since the fall has been enriched with humus or another, well-decomposed organic matter.
The best precursors for watermelons are leguminous, cruciferous crops, including cabbage and radish, as well as potatoes and tomatoes.
Before growing watermelons in the open ground, care should be taken to prepare the ridges and fertilize the soil. Per meter beds in the spring make:
- 24–35 grams of ammonium sulfate,
- 40–45 grams of superphosphate,
- 15–25 grams of potash fertilizers.
In the pre-moistened wells, located at intervals of 1–1.5 meters, 1–2 plants are planted or one peat cup is immersed in such a way that seedbed leaves remain above the soil level. After planting, the bed is mulched with sand, and the plants are sheltered from the sun. Similarly, when shoots appear, watermelons in the open ground are grown from seeds.
In the first week, while the acclimatization process is underway, watermelons are watered with warm water.
Features watering and feeding watermelons
It is impossible to grow a watermelon at the cottage without providing the plant with proper watering and top dressing. Without water, it’s hard to talk about the juiciness of sweet berries, but you don’t need to overdo it, otherwise you don’t achieve such a favorite sugar pulp. Before the appearance of flowers, watermelons are watered sparingly, and when the ovary appears on the lashes - more generously.
At the summer cottage for watermelons, it is convenient to use drip irrigation systems, with the help of which regular feeding of plants can be carried out.
Growing watermelons in the country, you need to remember that the culture loves rare but abundant watering, which is extremely necessary in the hot season, in conditions of a deficit of natural moisture. The comfort level of soil moisture for watermelons is 85%. On sandy soil, poorly retaining moisture, the beds are watered more often, and on black soil and clay soils - less. When the berries are poured, and their maturation begins, watering is carried out less often, and then stop altogether.
The schedule of fertilizing the watermelons grown at the dacha includes three procedures, during each of which the plant should have approximately 2 liters of liquid fertilizer. A week after landing in the ground watermelons watered with a solution of 10 liters of water:
- 40-50 grams of superphosphate
- 30–35 grams of ammonium sulfate,
- 15–20 grams of potassium salts.
When active growth of lashes begins on plants, watermelons should receive a second feeding with a twice lower concentration of phosphate and potash fertilizers. Since the beginning of the formation of the ovaries, they carry out another additional feeding, introducing a solution based on:
- 20–25 grams of ammonium sulfate,
- 10 grams of superphosphate,
- 35 grams of potassium salts.
The introduction of the nutrient mixture is carried out in the grooves pre-arranged at a distance of 15–20 cm from the bushes.
The decrease in the proportion of nitrogen fertilizers is associated with the possibility of accumulation of nitrates in the pulp of berries. Also, this measure will push the plants not to a set of green mass, but to ripen.
Care for watermelons grown in the country
Care for watermelons growing in the open field is:
- in regular soil loosening under the plants,
- in watering and feeding melon crops,
- in the removal of weeds,
- in the fight against pests and plant diseases,
- in protection of lashes and ovaries against freezing.
The soil under the plants is loosened to a depth of 7 cm, not only after planting, but also after watering and rains, until the lash and foliage close the space between the individual bushes.
In order to protect the ovaries and shoots from the wind, it is useful to fasten the scourge on the ground with the help of wire pins or sprinkling parts of the stem with moist soil.
If in the area where watermelons grow, there is a risk of stagnant moisture or not enough light, trellis plants are constructed for plants and at the beginning of lash growth they transfer shoots from the ground to strong vertical supports. The same technique is useful if there is not enough space for growing watermelons in the traditional melon at the dacha. As they grow, shoots are distributed on the trellis or laid out on the ground so that one whip does not obscure the other.
If the watermelon in the country is grown on a trellis, it is recommended to leave only one main whip, on which from flowering, depending on the variety and climate, 3 to 6 fruits should be tied. The rest of the shoots pinch in the early stages of growth, and then, when the ovary reaches the size of a five-ruble coin, remove the top of the fruit-bearing stem.
When growing watermelons on the open ground in the melon and gourd way, pinch all the shoots after 3–6 ovaries, remove the stems that appear from the leaf axils and female flowers.
Interestingly, cropped side scourges can be rooted and also obtained from them, albeit late and small, but high-quality harvest.
If there is a threat of frost in the area where watermelons grow, plants are protected with cardboard or a special covering material.
When to collect watermelons?
Ripening tomatoes are easily recognizable by changing color. With cucumbers and zucchini - the main thing is not to linger on the collection, so that vegetables do not lose juiciness and healthy properties. And when to collect watermelons, how to distinguish a ripe berry from the one that still has to warm its sides in the sun?
The earliest ripening varieties of watermelons in central Russia can yield only by mid-August. In this case, mass harvesting at the summer cottage is not carried out, unless the berries are threatened with frost. While the warm season lasts, the mellow watermelons are cut off with lashes:
- with glossy dense bark,
- with a deaf, audible sound when tapped,
- with a smooth, without the inherent green ovary hairs of the stem,
- with a dry bract and mustache at the base of the leaf.
All these signs of ripeness should be considered together and only then watermelons should be collected, otherwise it is possible that the cut berry will be immature.
However, when watermelons are used for storage or transportation, it is better to take the berries a few days before full ripening. Such watermelons, being in a dry warm room, can ripen without losing any useful properties, taste or aroma. But for the seeds are suitable only watermelons, collected in a fully ripe state.
How to plant watermelons: choose a place and prepare the soil
A place to plant a watermelon should be located on the south side, away from shrubs, trees and the countryside - this culture will not bear fruit, growing in the shade.
Sandy soil - the most suitable option. It is very good if in the previous year tomatoes, grain crops, corn or potatoes grew on this place.
As for the soil, here it should be remembered that the watermelon root system goes quite deep into the ground, respectively, you need to apply a large amount of organic fertilizer to the soil before planting the watermelon, namely:
- Humus (approximately 2-3 kg per plant),
- Neutral peat (about 7 kg per 1 square meter).
Mineral fertilizers can also be used, the most commonly used are:
- Urea (30-40 gr per 1m2),
- Superphosphate (30 g per 1 m2),
- Potash fertilizers (20 grams per 1m2).
Exceeding the dosage of these substances provokes an abundant growth of greenery to the detriment of the growth of the fetus, therefore it is necessary to strictly adhere to the recommended amount.
Choosing watermelon seeds
Watermelons are sorted into three types depending on the time of their maturation.
- Early ripening varieties like Atlant, Ay - producer, Borchansky, Borysfen, Gloria F1, Darunok, Crimson, Knyazhich, Ogonyok, Sugar Sugar, Royale, Tulip, Orbiy f1 (usually in the form of seedlings).
- Mid-season varieties: Astrakhan, Melitopol 60, New Year's, Ryasny, Snezhok, Sichelav, Tavria, Whole.
- Medium late variety - Chill.
Before planting, the seeds are strongly recommended to warm up well. This can be done under artificial conditions: watermelon seeds are poured out onto dry gauze and placed on a warm heating battery, in 4 hours the temperature should gradually increase from plus 15 to 50 degrees. Celsius. It is very important to constantly stir the seeds so that they warm up evenly.
Under natural conditions, the seeds can be heated by laying them out in the open sun for 7-10 days.
Sprouting and preparing watermelon seeds
Next, watermelon seeds should be soaked in a slightly warm solution of potassium permanganate for 20 minutes and washed 3-4 times with running water. Then the seeds are placed in gauze and left in a warm place, where the temperature reaches + 20-30 degrees. Celsius. We are waiting for the first seeds to start spitting.
When to plant watermelon seedlings?
You can plant watermelons for seedlings, and after 20 days, plant them in a greenhouse or open ground.
Sowing watermelon seeds in peat cassettes
It is worth remembering that all pumpkin plants do not tolerate replanting, so they should be planted in fairly large containers so that they can be transplanted along with a large amount of land.
Growing watermelon seedlings at home
So, for seedlings, pots with a size of 8 * 8 * 8 cm and other containers at hand are quite suitable.
We are preparing a universal mixture for planting. Mix in the ratio of 2: 1: 1 humus, peat and sod land. Next, add 300 g of superphosphate and 100 g of wood ash to the mixture based on 10 kg of the mixture. Separate the mixture into pots and pour it 3 days before planting the seeds.
Planting watermelons for seedlings should be at the end of April, in this case in 20-25 days they will be ready for transplanting into a greenhouse or open ground.
We try to maintain the soil temperature in the pots not lower than 15 degrees, also requires good lighting, about 15 hours a day.
Watering is done at the request of the plant - when the soil is almost dry, otherwise there is a chance that the seedlings will deteriorate due to high humidity and the development of the black leg.
Feed the seedlings in pots
At 10 liters of water you will need:
- Ammonium nitrate - 20 gr,
- Superphosphate - 35 g,
- Sulfate or potassium chloride - 30 gr.
Top dressing is made 3-4 days before planting watermelons in the ground, for each pot we spend 1 glass of fertilizer (250 ml).
When the average daily air temperature has reached 11-12 degrees, we transplant watermelons in a greenhouse or open ground.
- Carefully loosen the soil before planting.
- Расстояние между рассадой в рядах - 30-40см, между рядами - 60-70см.
- Желательно высаживать арбузы вечером, чтобы они не засохли.
- Лунки предварительно поливаются водой.
- После посадки рекомендуется плотно закрыть теплицу, тем самым увеличите шанс на хорошую приживаемость рассады.
- If you planted watermelons in open ground, you can create a greenhouse effect with the help of available tools - cut a plastic bottle in half and cover each of the parts with 1 seedling.
- During the first week you have to water the seedlings every other day, pouring 0.5 liters of water under each plant. If it is very hot outside, try watering the watermelons daily.
- After 7-10 days, watermelons begin to grow rapidly, it's time to feed and reduce the amount of watering - 1-2 times a week is enough.
- Try to get rid of the yellowed parts of the plant.
Maturing crop care
The harvest begins to ripen in August. It is very important to turn the watermelons down to the sun once a week - in this way, they will ripen evenly.
Fully ripe watermelon
If the weather is wet, try to put small planks under the watermelons so that the crop does not start to rot.
Stop watering the plants only 3-4 days before the intended harvest. The opinion that watermelons will be tasteless from excess moisture is a fiction. To make a watermelon really tasty and ripe, it needs a lot of sun and water!
Perhaps, we considered all the main points about which you should be aware when growing watermelons in your country house. Your work will be rewarded and you will certainly get a good harvest of watermelons!