How to grow Watermilon?
Here are some basic requirements to grow watermilon
Ideal Conditions for Watermelon Farming
Watermelons need warm climate for growth. It can be grown all through the year in places like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Rajasthan. It is however very sensitive to frost. Hence it can be only cultivated after the frost in places like Haryana. Otherwise, these must be grown in greenhouses that have adequate protection from frosts.
Climate for Water Cultivation
Being a warm season crop, the plant requires good sunshine and dry weather for production of fruits. In case they are grown in places where winter is high or low temprature, 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. 24-27⁰C is ideal for the seed germination and growth of watermelon plants. A cool night would ensure ample development of sugars in the fruit.
Watermelon Seasons in India
In India, since the climate is mostly tropical, all seasons are suitable for watermelon cultivation. However, watermelon is sensitive to cold and frost. Therefore, in parts of the country where winter is severe, watermelons are cultivated after the frost has passed. In places like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, etc. watermelon cultivation is possible almost any time of the year.
Soil for Watermelon Farming
Watermelons grow best in sandy loam soil that drains easily. It also grows well in black soil and sandy soil. However, they must have a good amount of organic content and must not withhold water. Water must easily drain off from the soil else the vines are likely to develop fungal infections.
pH for Watermelon Cultivation
The pH of the soil must be between 6.0 and 7.5. Acidic soil would result in withering away of the seeds. While soil with a neutral pH is preferred, it can also grow well even if the soil is slightly alkaline.
Irrigation for Watermelon Growing
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 development of fungal diseases. Moisture must be maintained near the roots so that the plants develop 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.
Watermelon Varieties in India
There are lot of companies in Indian market who do produce and market the watermelon seeds amongst them there are some selected company seeds which farmers have achived lot of success and yeild. These seeds are have good resistance towards the many disease and pests.
|Sr no||Brand name||Manufactarur||Remarks|
|1||Augusta||Syngenta||Maturity: 85 to 90 days|
Color: Blackish Green, Deep red crispy flesh
Sweetness : 11% to 12% brix
Uniform fruit size
Very good adaptability
Good for Long Distance transportability
|2||Sugar Queen||Syngenta||Maturity: 75 – 78 days|
Fruit shape : Voval
Color: Very dark and attractive rind, Bright red crisp and soft fine flesh
Sweetness :TSS 12% to 14% Prolific fruit set & good yield.
Rind quality:Durable rind good for long distance transportability
shelf life: Very good shelf life
|3||Sugarcube||Ankur seeds||Early and vigorous plant type|
Fruit oblong(voval) in shape and Blackish dark green rind colour.
Fruit weight: 3-4kgs and TSS: 12.14
one time harvesting potential
Excellent dark red flesh colour with crispness.
Thinner rindwitj good transport ability.
Sowing time: January-February.
|4||MELODY F1 (ICEBOX)||kalash seeds||Days to Maturity: 65 – 70 Days after Sowing Fruit Colour: Black|
Flesh Colour: Dark Red
Sweetness: Very Sweet
Fruit Weight: 4 – 5 kg
Fruit Shape: Oblong
fruit quality: Good For Long Transport, Small Seed
|5||SHAKKAR PLUS (Ice box)||Mahyco seeds||Very sweet, Ice box segment|
fruits with dark green rind colour
deep red flesh colour which is firm and granular in texture.
Fruit wt is around 3.6 kg
maturity in 65 days.
Brix value is 10 -11.
Land Preparation and Planting Watermelon Seeds
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.
It is sowed during the months of February to March in North India and then during November to January in west and North East India. The seeds are sown at a depth of 2-3 cm from the top soil. The spacing method during sowing varies according to the type of sowing being followed.
Pollination in Watermelon Farming
This is a very important step in watermelon cultivation. Unlike most other crops, flowers on watermelon plants cannot develop into fruits on their own. As mentioned earlier, male and female flowers grow on the same plant, but, separately. The male flowers are smaller in size and appear first while female flowers are huge and appear later. The female flowers have a small fruit at the base. In case it shrivels, it means there would be no pollination. In nature, bees carry the pollen while hopping from flower to flower gathering nectar. Therefore, setting up an artificial beehive in the watermelon field is a good idea. One hive per acre of watermelon field is more than enough.
Manual pollination is done early morning. For manual pollination the steps to be followed are:
Pluck the male flowers
Remove the petals around it
The stamen of the male flower (which contains pollen) is brushed against the stigma of the female flower (which is at the center). This helps the pollen stick to the female flower
It is said that the initial female flowers give the best fruits. Some farmers pinch out the tip of the branch once the fruits are set. This helps them attain large fruits.
Fertigation in watermelon
when the watermelon is cultivated on the drip irrigation , the fertilisers can be supplied in the drips as follows. watermelon have a high demand for nutritious elements, thus it is necessary to maintain a balance of fertilizers in the soil to avoid diminishing the production capacity. For this reason, the necessary mineral and organic elements must be provided. During the development of the fruits the plant has the highest demand of nutritious elements, such as calcium and potassium.
First treatment or soil preparation
|Fertilizer||Dose of application|
|DAP OR 10-26-26||50kgs-60kgs/acr|
|Novatec triplo 15-9-15||800 to 1000kg/ha|
TRANSPLANT/ ROOT GROWTH
Give humic acid at rate of 1lt / acre. and Drench with ridomil gold250gm/acr and streptocyclene 36gm/acr for the good root development and roots oriented disese precautions.
FLOWERING / FRUIT SET
|12-61-0 at the time of flowering and early fruits.||50-60kg/ha|
|0-52-34 (after the practice of 12-61-0) when fruits are of small size (1/2kg)||40-60kg/ha|
|Micronutrien mix (folior spray)||3.5kg/ha|
|calcium nitrate and Boron (to increase shelf life )||ca-25kg/acr & boron-2kg/acr|
Here we use Daman+ or any amino acid based plant growth promoter to get good flowering and henceforth good yeild.
To reduce flower drop use damman okeoo 10 10gm/acr
Diseases and Plant Protection in Watermelon Farming
Watermelon is affected by numerous diseases:
One of the major pest in watermelon cultivation.
This disease occurs wherein there are frequent rains and hence a high relative humidity. It also occurs when the moisture content in soil is high. The affected plants have a stunted growth. The fruits produced by such plants do not mature and hence have a poor taste.
Yellow colored spots appear on the upper surface of leaves which spread upto the veins. It gets restricted at the veins. This gives the leaf a mosaic appearance.
Owing to the presence of moisture, the corresponding lower surface of the affected leaves have a purplish growth.
The leaves turn necrotic, yellow and ultimately fall off.
While transplanting watermelons ensure that the plants are free of the disease.
Apply fungicide before and after installing the row cover if any.
There must be enough air circulation in the crop and the humidity level must be kept in check.
Excess irrigation must be avoided- drip irrigation would ensure just enough water in the soil.
The field must be constantly monitored.
Acrobat- Metiram 44% + Dimethomorp 9% WG
Dosage– 2500gm of formulation in 1000 lt of water per hector.
Reliable solution for effective Downey Mildew control
Convenience of balanced AI content in premix formulation. Easy dispersion, no mixing of other molecules is required.
Good tool in Resistance Management due to it Dual mode of action with low risk chemistry.
MOLECULE PRESENT-BOSCALID25.2% + PYRACLOSTROBIN 12.8%WG
Signum® features a combination of the active ingredients, Pyraclostrobin and boscalid to provide disease control in a variety of crops, giving better fruit firmness & uniform fruit development. Signum® deprives fungal cells of their energy source and eliminates the availability of chemical building blocks for synthesis of essential cellular components. It also interferes with cell respiration and the production of energy.
DOSAGE-200 to 240g/acre.
(cymoxanil 8% + mancozeb 64%)
This is systemic and contact disease control solution for crop disease control in grape downy mildew and late blight of potato and tomato.
With it’s kickback action stops unseen infections, even when applied up to three days after infection,
helping to prevent flare-ups and protect new foliage.
It continues working for two to three days after application, helping to reduce spore viability and prevent new infection.
Infected plants display white powdery spots on the leaves and stems. The lower leaves are the most affected, but the mildew can appear on any above-ground part of the plant
Powdery mildew is most common disease on the fruits production.
Mildew caused by the fungus Sphaerothnea, is a major disease of watermelon.
Of all the disorders of watermelon, powdery mildew is the simplest to diagnose.
It is same of Downy mildew. Doesn’t affect fruit but Affect the plants.
Neem oil is an excellent treatment, but increase air circulation around our watermelon plant by purn can be equal effective.
Overhead watering and poor air circulation can contribute to such problem.
Another problem solving is use of fungicidal sprays can help and other to avoid wetting leaves and use underground or surface watering method.
Anthracnose is cause by a fungal pathogen that can affect Watermelon.
Rapid defoliation of vines reduces bulk yields. Fruit infection results in unsalable melons.
A very destructive disease of watermelons and other cucurbits.
Anthracnose attacks all above-ground parts of the plant.
Watermelon can be infect at any stage of development; however, disease symptoms are first notice as round to angular reddish brown spots on older leaves.
Spots may dry, turn almost black and tear out, giving a leaf a rag appearance.
Often the leaves at the center of the plant are killed first, leaving the stem and a portion of the runners bare.
This Disease is avoid using of crop rotation with combine an Neem oil. Before harvests of new plants grow in farm.
Pest management in watermelon:
leaf curl caused by pest Thrips :
thrips are the reason for leafcurl , stunted growth and vector for many diseases in watermilon. management is neccessary in watermelon to avoid higher damage.
Bio r 303 1ml/lt