In addition to melon and watermelon, pumpkin belongs to melons and gourds, but gardeners usually do not have problems with it. But sweet, juicy watermelons and melons are considered quite whimsical crops and rarely any of the summer residents manage to harvest a decent harvest.
We admit right away that even in the middle lane, melons and watermelons are safer to grow in greenhouses, they love the sun and heat very much, so the climate of the southern strip is optimal for them. On your site for melon, the most illuminated, southern site should be allocated, reliably protected from the winds, without the slightest shadow.
You can grow a melon and watermelon both by planting seeds directly on the beds, and by seedlings. It is not difficult to collect the seeds yourself, in melons they are very noticeable, large.
If we are talking about seedlings of melon and watermelon, then it is grown in the same way as in the case of cucumbers and zucchini..
Important! Melons and watermelons do not tolerate transplanting very well, so their seedlings are grown without picking, in separate pots, preferably peat pots, so that you can simply dig them in the beds.
When preparing melon and watermelon seeds for planting seedlings or immediately on the beds, do not forget to carry out important procedures:
- Calibration, that is, sorting seeds by size. This is necessary for the seedlings to be friendly and even, of the same size..
- Scarification. It is not necessary to do this, but damage to the seed coat helps to speed up their germination process, to get an earlier harvest..
- Warming up. Experts advise melon and watermelon seeds to warm up to +50 ° C before planting by dipping them into heated water for five minutes. This will accelerate all biochemical reactions that take place in the seeds..
- Disinfection. Especially important if you collected the seeds yourself. They should be lowered for 20 minutes in a weak, pink solution of potassium permanganate.
The plot chosen for melon should be prepared in the fall – dig up the ground and add manure or humus. In the spring, this area is simply leveled with a rake. Seedlings or seeds are planted when there is no longer a risk of frost, not earlier than mid-late May, even in the southern regions. You need to deal with seedlings about a month before planting it in open ground.
Melons and watermelons, if you are going to grow them just in ordinary beds, take up a lot of space. There should be at least a meter between the plants, the seeds are sown three pieces per hole to a depth of five centimeters, the seedlings are buried until the cotyledon leaves.
Nowadays, melons and watermelons are often grown on trellises, like cucumbers, to reduce the space that the spreading bush will occupy. However, if this option is convenient for cucumbers, since it allows you to quickly harvest and see all the fruits, then much more massive watermelons and melons need more serious support. Yes, and it is easy to notice a bright melon or a round-sided watermelon even in an ordinary garden.
At the first stage, watermelon and melon seedlings must be watered, but not more often than once a week. Melon loves drip irrigation, neat, under the root, slow. Since melons and watermelons are drought tolerant crops, the frequency of watering is reduced when female flowers appear. And after the formation of the fruits, they completely stop watering the plants. This is to keep the melons and watermelons sweet, not watery..
Melons and watermelons are fertilized at least twice – ten days after planting and another two weeks. It is recommended to use specialized mixtures as fertilizers, you can use mullein diluted with water 1:10.
To get the largest possible fruits, we recommend leaving no more than three watermelons or melons on the bush. In watermelons, one fruit should remain on each side shoot. It is better to put a board, brick, flat stone under the fruits so that they do not come into contact with the ground. This will protect the fruit from rotting and pests..
When growing melon and watermelon, it is very important to properly pinch (remove the tip of the shoot). Experts advise pinching after the appearance of the fourth or fifth leaf.
Among the pests of melons and watermelons are aphids; in damp weather, root rot, anthracnose, and bacteriosis can appear. Powdery mildew is also a threat to plants. Fight these misfortunes with special means..
As for the best varieties of melons for Russia, these are the familiar and time-tested Kolkhoznitsa, the super-early Titovka, the Amal F1 hybrid. Watermelon – “Astrakhan”, “Crimson Sweet”, “Charleston Gray”. Only super-early varieties of melons are suitable for growing in the middle lane.