Watermelon (Citrullus Lanatus)

Watermelons is also planted and sell in our Nursery, where mainly 4 following varieties of watermallon are maintained:

  1. Anjani Watermellon
  2. Kiran Watermelon
  3. Nandani Watermelon

Planting and Transplanting:

Watermelon can be direct seeded to the field or grown as transplants in seedling pots and then transplanted to the field.

For direct seeding, treat seed with Thiram or Captain and then plant 2-3 seeds per hill about 2-3 cm deep. The hills are usually spaced 1 to 1.5 meters apart in the rows also 2 to 2.5 meters apart. A variation of spacing hills 4 meters apart in the rows 1.5 meters apart are also commonly used for the tropics.

Another method is planting seeds in pots or some similar type containers for germination to grow seedlings and then transplanting later to the field. If onefollows this procedure, the seed should be planted 2-3 weeks before planting to the field. Transplant so handled should be planted to the field before the 5th true leaf stage

Mulching:

Mulching the bed surface with straw is recommended for growing watermelon in the Tropics. Mulching not only retain the soil moisture, prevent nutrient leaching and improve soil aeration, but also control the weeds and provide support for tendril. Rice straw and sugar cane leaves are good material for mulching.

Pollination:

Male and female flowers are separate on the same plant. Bees must carry pollen from flower to flower to insure good fruit set and development. Wild bees will help, improve pollination. However, where commercial acreages are involved, one should consider setting bee hives near the field. Under normal conditions, one hive of bees should be adequate for one hectare of plants. Watermelons do not require pruning. However, it is better to remove the first fruit on the primary vine as early as possible, because this fruit is too near the crown that cannot develop well and will affect the later fruit setting."

Irrigation and Drainage:

Soil moisture should be adequate throughout the early growing season to produce good plant growth. When the female flower appears, it is recommended to withhold water supply in order to improve the fruit setting. When fruits are starting to develop, water should be added more to produce good size of fruits. After fruits reach full size it is usually best to withhold or reduce irrigation during ripening season. Sugar content will usually be higher and the melons have better flavor where they are not exposed to high moisture levels at ripening.

Weed Control:

Good weed control is essential for high quality melons. Sugar content of the melons can be lowered where weeds shade and compete with the plants. Mulching helps weed control but it still requires hand removal of weeds. Watermelon is sensitive to some herbicides and should be applied with care.

Watermelon (Citrullus Lanatus)