Water-Melon-Farming-Techniques

Watermelon Farming: Start Watermelon Farming Guide

agriculture

Watermelon farming is profitable however adequate land is needed for large scale production. Other things to consider is good soil, irrigation, pest and weed control. Watermelons are flowering plants with large green fruits with white strips and red juicy interior. They consist of 95% water including many vitamins and rich in potassium.

Health Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon is known to improve digestion, good for skin/hair and relives muscle ache. The refreshing fruit has many health benefits because of the surplus of vitamins. It has high water content making it very refreshing good for hydration. Nutritional content include magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin A.

Nutritional content

  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamins B1,B5,B6
Vitamin A18%
Vitamin C21%
Magnesium4%
Potassium5%
Vitamins B1,B5,B63%
Watermelon Farming

Pests and Diseases

Common pests and diseases are beetles, aphids, and spider mites. Others are melon maggots, melon miners, melon worms. Diseases are mosaic virus, gummy stem blight, powdery mildew, fusarium wilt.

Pests

  • Beetles
  • Aphids
  • Spider mites
  • Melon maggots
  • Melon miners
  • Melon worms

Diseases

  • Mosaic virus
  • Gummy stem blight
  • Powdery mildew
  • fusarium wilt.

Start watermelon farming Guide

1. Site Selection

Site selection is very important in watermelon farming. Make sure the land is well drained has good irrigation and water supply. Supply water through a dedicated well or borehole or find site with adequate rainfall.

Make sure the topography is flat, sandy/loamy soil with pH level 6 – 6.8. Watermelon requires at least 85 days of warm sunlight minimum temperature range 18 C to 35 C.

2. Land preparation

Once a suitable land is found the next step is land preparation. The first step is to remove shrubs, cut trees remove grass or obstructing vegetation. Use the plant residues to make mulching material for the farm. Next till, plough or harrow soil to form beds and treat soil with organic chemicals to kill disease vectors and apply herbicides to control weed formation.

3. Select quality seed

There are huge verity of watermelon seed available for commercial production. Purchase seeds from farmers or research institutions, agriculture universities or government agencies. The quality of the seed will determine the type of fruit, growth rate, disease resistance of the plant. Good seed types to consider are jubilee, Charleston, royal Sweet, All Sweet, Black Diamond.

4. Seed Preparation

There are steps to take before planting the seeds. Treat the seeds with fungicides, soak in warm water for 14 hours. Then drain them and place in bag to encourage germination. Plant the seeds in 1.5 inch deep hole and thin strands once germinated to reduce competition space them 4 ft. apart in a row 6 feet apart between rows to accommodate vine growth.

5. Irrigation and Weed Control

Best planting season is during hot warm weather, good rain period. Avoid waterlogged area however apply irrigation for shortfalls in water supply. Weed farm regularly to reduce grass growth and competition for soil nutrients. Use shallow hoeing method, apply sethoxydim herbicide to control weeds.

6. Fertilizer

In early growing season use well-rotted manure, organic or artificial fertilizer to boost soil. Best non-organic fertilizer is nitrogen-based fertilizer, potassium based fertilizer. To prevent the large fruit on direct soil and decay apply dry straw under the fruit.

  • Well-rotted manure
  • Organic fertilizer
  • Artificial fertilizer
  • Non-organic fertilizer
  • Nitrogen-based fertilizer
  • Potassium based fertilizer

7. Pest and disease control

To reduce pest or disease avoid overcrowding, use crop rotation method and soil techniques. Avoid use of overhead irrigation, use chemicals, and ensure good sunlight.

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8. Harvesting

Once the fruits are ready for harvesting make sure the process does not damage them. Harvest when green just before full ripening. Harvesting is labor intensive, done either mechanized or manual.

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