Cultivation of Watermelon in India
Nutritive Value of Watermelon;
Climatic Requirement for Watermelon cultivation ;
Soil & its preparation for watermelon cultivation;
Watermelon can be grown in well-drained sandy soils but deep sandy loam soil rich in organic matter is best suited for the watermelon crop. It is generally cultivated on river beds. The optimum soil pH is 5.5 to 7.0.
The land is thoroughly prepared by giving 5 to 6 ploughings The field should be well leveled and free from the weeds and the previous crop remains.
Varieties of Watermelon;
Sugar Baby; This Variety is developed by IARI It has Small, round fruits and the fruit weighs is around 3-5 Kg The outer skin color of this variety is bluish-black It has deep pink flesh and consists of small seeds its yield potential is72 Quintal per Acre.
Asahi Yamatoby; Developedby IARI its fruits are Medium-sized with a weigh of 6-8 Kg per fruit. This variety is ready to
harvest in 95 days it has deep pink colored flesh.
It has small, round fruits with red color flesh This is an early maturing variety
Arka Jyoti; Developed by IIHR It has round, medium-sized fruits. it has a light green rind with dark green stripes and has crimson-colored flesh. The fruits weigh is around 6-8 Kg it is a mid-season variety
Arka Manik; is developed by IIHR This variety posses round or oval-shaped fruits and has a green rind with light green stripes It has a deep red flesh which is very sweet in taste. The Fruits weigh 6 Kg on average and Can withstand transport and storage stress it has resistant to powdery mildew and tolerant to anthracnose disease
Durgapura Meetha; Thisvariety is developed by ARS, Rajasthan It has round fruits with a thick rind and light green colored skin It has dark red flesh this variety is late maturing
The seeds have a black-colored margin and tip. it is very sweet to taste and ready for harvest in 125 days
Durgapura Kesar Developed by ARS, Rajasthan has round fruits The rind of this variety is of green- color with stripes It has a yellow-colored flesh with fruits weigh 4-5 Kg This variety has moderate sweetness and has large seeds,.It is a late-maturing variety
Exotic varieties of WatermelonHybrid Yellow Doll and Watermelon Hybrid Red Doll are from China
Sowing of Watermelon seeds
(a) Sowing time of watermelon. The seed is generally sown from November to March in the plains and from the middle of February to the end of March in the hills. The seed is soaked 12-15 hrs and should be kept overnight in wet gunny bags before sowing.
(b) Seed rate.The seed rate is one kg per acre.
(c) Method of planting. Suggest four methods of watermelon planting are as follows –
In this method, pits of 60 x 60 x 45 cm are dug at a distance of 1.5 to 2.5 meters. Each pit is filled with a mixture of soil and 4 to 5 kg of F.Y.M or compost, 30 to 40 gm Urea, 40 to 50 gm. Single Superphosphate and 80 to 100 gm of murate of Potash. After filling the pit circular basin are made and five to six seeds are sown per basin at 2 to 3 cm deep and covered with fine soil, FY.M. or compost.
This method is followed in the case of river bed cultivation. Circular pits of 60 to 75 cm diameter and 10 to 1.5 m depth are dug at a distance of 1.5 to 2.5-meter distance both ways.
4. Mound beds; Seeds are sown on the mounds. The seed rate is 1.6 kg per acre.
Manuring and Fertilizer in Watermelon Farming;
40 kg Nitrogen, 20 kg Phosphoric acid, and 20 kg Potassium per acre are recommended for watermelon farming. The suggested application of 1200 to 1400 kg of compost per acre followed by 30 to 32 kg Nitrogen, 20 kg Phosphoric acid and 20 kg Potassium per acre for a good crop
Intercultural Operations in watermelon Farming;
Two or three hoeings may be done during the early stages of growth to keep down the weeds and to conserve soil moisture. Two or three plants are kept at one place in the hills or beds by thinning the extra plant. Weeding is not required when vines cover the ground. Pinching should be done in watermelon when the apical shoot attains one meter of growth it will allow the side shoots to grow.
Irrigation in Watermelon crop;
Disease and Pest Management in Watermelon;
Diseases of watermelon;
Infected vines are conspicuous because the tips of the runners and the spreading of shoots, leaves of the infected watermelon plants also show several deformations, blistering, and remain small in size. Watermelon mosaic disease may cause a loss of up to 30-40%
Pest of Watermelon;
Harvesting of Watermelon;
1. Withering of tendrils. The tendril that subtends the peduncle of the fruit usually withers when the fruits ripes and watermelon is seldom ripe if the tendril is still green. But it may be unripe even if the tendril is dried in some varieties.
2. Thumping. Ripe fruit, when thumped with the finger, gives out a muffled dull or dead sound, whereas the immature fruits give out a metallic and ringing sound.
3. Colour of the ground spot. It is white when fruits are green and they rest over it. When the fruits are ripe they change to yellow.
4. Pressure on the fruit. A ripe melon emits a crisp cracking noise on being pressed with the flat of the hand. Moreover, the rind of a ripe melon yields little under the pressure of the thumb. In some varieties, even slight pressure will crack the fruit.
If the fruits are allowed to over ripen, the pulp loses the sweetness and soon develops an off-flavor and rot. It is, therefore, very necessary that they should be harvested at the fully ripe stage because they ripen very little on their way to the market.
The average yield is 8,000 to 12,000 kg per acre.