Watermelon Farming in India: What, Why and How?

Watermelon Farming in India: What, Why and How?

Climate Information for watermelon Farming.

Best climatic conditions required for Watermelon is moderate humid and required temperature should range from 20 to 30 Celsius, with average rainfall between 50 cm. to 75 cm.
Watermelons need a warm climate for growth. Being a warm-season crop, the plant requires ample sunshine and dry weather for production of fruits. In case they are grown in places where winter is prevalent, then they must be provided with adequate protection from cold and frost. They are extremely sensitive to the slightest of frost and hence care must be taken to keep the frost away from the crop.

watermelon farming

Suitable soil for watermelon Farming.

Watermelon can be grown on alluvial soil.

It yields best if it's grown in soil having texture sandy loam, sandy, with pH 6.0 to 6.8.

Watermelon grows well in deep fertile and well-drained soil. Soil having poor drainage capacity is not suited for watermelon cultivation. Follow crop rotation as the continuous growth of the same crop on the same field leads loss of nutrients, poor yield and more disease attack.

Recommended Sowing Times for watermelon Farming.

Rabi: Sowing starts in November and lasts up to February

Land Preparation for watermelon Farming.

The land is ploughed until the soil becomes very fine tilth. The land is then prepared according to the type of sowing to be done. Watermelons are generally seeded directly in the farms. However, in case it has to be protected from frosts, then it is seeded in nurseries or greenhouses and later transplanted into the main field.

Watermelon Farming

Sowing methods and tips for watermelon Farming.

Sowing can be done by given methods of planting like furrow method, Pit method and hill method can be used depending upon climate and season.

Furrow Method: Sowing is done on either side of furrows. Sow 3-4 seeds (After germination keep only healthy seedling) at a time and keep the plant to plant distance of 60-90cm.

Pit Method: Sow 4 seeds in the pit. For that make pit of 60x60x60cm at a distance of 2-3.5m between two rows and 0.6-1.2m between plants. Fill the pit with well-decomposed cow dung and soil. After germination keeps only one seedling. Hill method: Similar to pit method. In this, the pit of 30x30x30cm pits is made at a distance of 1-1.5m. Two seeds are sown per hill.

Should have row distance between 70 - 75 cm.

Plant/Seed should be sown at a distance of 40 to 45 cm.

Seed depth should be in between 3.0 and 5.0 cm.

Irrigation Methods for watermelon Farming.

Watermelon is a dry season crop and it must be planted with irrigation. The watermelon beds are irrigated two days prior to sowing and then again 5 days after sowing the seeds. As the plant grows, irrigation is done on a weekly basis. Attention must be paid to water stress at the time of irrigation since it can lead to fruit cracking. While irrigating, water must be restricted to the root zone of the plant. Wetting of vines or other vegetative parts must be avoided especially during flowering or fruiting time as wetting can lead to withering away of the flowers, fruits or even the plant as a whole. In addition, wetting of the vegetative parts can also lead to the development of fungal diseases. Moisture must be maintained near the roots so that the plants develop a taproot system. As the fruits near maturity, irrigation frequency is reduced and it is completely stopped during the harvesting stage. This helps in developing flavor and sweetness in the fruit.

Fertilizer Requirement for watermelon Farming.

Apply the whole amount of Phosphorus, Potash and one-third amount of Nitrogen before sowing seed. Apply a remaining dose of Nitrogen near vines base, avoid touching it and mixed well in the soil during the initial growth period.

Minimum Nitrogen Content (Kg/Ha): 50, Maximum Nitrogen Content (Kg/Ha): 60, Minimum Phosphorus Content (Kg/Ha): 32, Maximum Phosphorus Content (Kg/Ha): 35, Minimum Potassium Content (Kg/Ha): 30, Maximum Potassium Content (Kg/Ha): 35

Seeds Requirements for watermelon Farming.

Seed required for sowing one hectare farmland is in between 3.0 Kg. and 3.5 Kg.

Watermelon Farming

Seed Treatment for watermelon Farming.

Before sowing treats the seed with Trichoderma viiridi 4 g or Pseudomonas fluorescens 10 g or Carbendizim 2g/kg of seeds.

Best Seed varieties for watermelon Farming.

Varun, Yuvaraj, Aayesha, Madhubala, Chetan, NS 295, NS 34, NS 450, Arjun, Sumo, KSP 1081

Watermelon Farming

Best Practices for watermelon Farming.

Watermelon vines are very tender and should not be transplanted until all danger of frost has passed.

Mulching with black plastic will serve multiple purposes, it will warm the soil, hinder weed growth, and keep developing fruits clean.

Keep soil moist, but not waterlogged. Water at the vine’s base in the morning, and try to avoid wetting the leaves and avoid overhead watering. Reduce watering once the fruit is growing. Dry weather produces the sweetest melon. Blossoms require pollination to set fruit, so be kind to the bees.

Weeding is needed only in the initial stages of watermelon growth. Being a vine, use of herbicides must be done very carefully else the healthy plants may get affected. The first weeding is done about 25 days after sowing. Subsequently, weeding is done once a month. Once the vines begin to spread, weeding is not necessary as the vines take care of the weeds.

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Written by KrishiHub

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