Water Melon

Water Melon Production Technology:

Fruits are bigger in size with dark green skin and pink is red flesh. It yields 36-38 t/ha in 122-135 days.

Soil

Sandy loam rich in organic matter with good drainage and pH range for 6.5-7.5 is ideal for cultivation of watermelon. This crop requires a moderate warm temperature.

Season

Sow the seeds during November – December

Seed rate

About 3.5 kg of seeds are required for a hectare.

Seed treatment

Treat with Trichoderma viiridi 4 g or Pseudomonas fluorescens 10 g or Carbendizim 2g/kg of seeds

Preparation of field

Plough the field to a fine tilth and form long channel 2.5 m apart.

Sowing

Sow the seeds on one side of the channel with a spacing of 0.9 m between hills. Thin the seedlings 2/hill at 15 days after sowing. Sowing during January – February enables harvest during summer months and fetches higher price.

Irrigation

Irrigate the field before dibbling the seeds and thereafter once a week. Irrigation should be given at regular intervals of time. Irrigation after a long dry spell results in cracking of fruits.

Application of fertilizers

Apply FYM 20 t/ha, P 55 kg and K 55 kg as basal and N 55 kg/ha 30 days after sowing.Apply Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria @ 2 kg/ha and Pseudomonoas @ 2.5 kg/ha along with FYM 50 kg and neem cake 100 kg before last ploughing.

Nursery preparation:

Nursery for watermelon can be prepared either with polythene bags of 200 gauge, 10 cm diameter and 15 cm height size or through protrays under protected nursery. In polybag nursery, fill the bags with 1:1:1 ratio of red soil, sand and farmyard manure mixture. Use protrays, each having 98 cells for raising seedlings. Transplant about 12 days old seedlings in the main field.

Drip irrigation:

Install drip system with main and sub-main pipes and place the inline lateral tubes at an interval of 1.5 m. Place the drippers in lateral tubes at an interval of 60 cm and 50 cm spacing with 4 LPH and 3.5 LPH capacities respectively.

Field preparation:

Raise beds of 1.2 m width and 30cm height for sowing.

Planting:

Spread the lateral tubes in the centre of each bed. Irrigate the beds by operating the drip system continuously for 8-12 hrs. Spray pre-emergence weedicide (Pendimethalin @ 1 kg a.i/ha) just before planting. Plant the seedlings in the holes made at 60 cm distance.

Fertigation:

Apply a dose of 200:100:100 kg NPK/ha throughout the cropping period through split application

Fertigation Schedule

Recommended Dose: 200:100:100 Kg/ha

  • 19:19:19 = 53 kg/ha
  • 13:0:45 = 199kg/ha
  • 12:61:0 = 25 kg/ha
  • Urea = 351kg/ha

After cultivation

Spray Ethrel 250 ppm (2.5 ml/10 lit of water) 4 times at weekly intervals commencing from 15 days after sowing. Weeding is done thrice.

Plant protection

Pests

Beetles

Bettles can be controlled by spraying Malathion 50 EC 1 ml/lit at weekly intervals.

Fruit fly

  • Collect the affected fruits and destroy.
  • The fly population is low in hot day conditions and it is peak in rainy season. Hence adjust the sowing time accordingly.
  • Expose the pupae by ploughing.
  • Use polythene bags, fish meal trap with 5 g of wet fish meal and 1 g of Dichlorvos in cotton, 50 traps are required per hectare.
  • Fish meal and Dichlorvos impregnated cotton are to be renewed once in 20 and 7 days respectively.
  • Neem oil @ 3.0 % as foliar spray as need based

Do not use DDT, copper and sulphur dust, as these are phytotoxic

Harvest

Fruits are harvested when it produces dull sound upon tapping or the fruits surface on the ground level produces light yellow colour are the harvest index for water melon.

Yield

25 – 30 t/ha of fruits in 120 days can be obtained.

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