Watermelon Is a melon culture of the pumpkin family, which has a berry fruit. A ripe watermelon with a sweet, bright red flesh is good for your health.
The complex of vitamins and amino acids contained in fruits cleans well the walls of blood vessels, removes cholesterol, prevents the development of atherosclerosis and promotes weight loss.
Watermelon loves sun, warmth and moderate watering. In the regions of Russia, it is not difficult to grow it, the fruits fully ripen over a long summer. In the middle zone of the country, only in the presence of hot sunny weather can a delicious juicy watermelon grow. If the summer is rainy and cloudy, then it will be very difficult to get a ripe sweet berry even in protected ground.
A place for melon is prepared in the fall. The best precursors to watermelon are wheat, corn, legumes, cabbage, onions, and potatoes.
They dig up the soil, bring in rotted manure, old chicken droppings, sand and leave until spring. As for the greenhouse, it is also prepared in the fall, applying the same fertilizers and sand.
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The best varieties of domestic breeding watermelon
The following varieties have proven themselves well:
- Sugar baby
Sugar baby excellent for growing in the northern regions of Russia, the ripening period from the moment of germination is 75-85 days. The fruit with sweet bright red pulp weighs up to 4 kg, has a rounded shape, the color of the peel is dark green without stripes. The variety is perfect for pickling. The recommended planting pattern is 60x100 cm.
Fruit varieties Twinkle have the shape of a perfect ball, excellent transportable properties. Under the thin black-green skin is juicy, bright red flesh, sweet in taste. Average weight of fruits is 2 kg.
The variety is mid-season, the ripening period from the moment of germination is 71-87 days. The recommended planting pattern is 60x100 cm.
Astrakhan - the most popular mid-season large-fruited (8-9 kg) variety of domestic selection, it is he who we see in August on store shelves and markets.
Fruits of a round or oblong shape with a pattern of dark green stripes are distinguished by excellent transportable properties and retain their presentation for a long time. The pulp has a rich sweet taste. The ripening period from the moment of emergence of seedlings is 70-81 days.
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Watermelon can be grown through seedlings and by sowing seeds outdoors. Sowing begins at the end of April. The seeds are preliminarily kept in hot water (50 0C) for about 10 minutes. Then they are germinated in water at room temperature until white roots with a size of 1-2 mm appear.
After that, the seeds are wrapped in a well-wrung cloth and placed in the refrigerator for 6 hours close to the freezer for hardening. Now you can start sowing.
The prepared seeds are planted in bowls with drainage holes 10-12 cm in diameter to a depth of 4 cm. The pots can be covered with foil. It is necessary to maintain a temperature of 23-25 ° C during the day and 18-20 ° C at night. When the seedlings appear, the day and night air temperature should be no higher than 20 ° C. Seedlings do not need diving and pinching. At the end of May, the seedlings are ready to be transplanted into a greenhouse.
Watermelon, growing and caring for it
The sunniest place is chosen for seedlings. Some of the plants can be planted in a nursery, some in unprotected soil. Seedlings are planted in a tape manner at a distance of 50-60 cm from each other or in holes of 3-5 pieces. Many summer residents plant 1-2 plants in holes with a diameter of 1 m to reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
Growing watermelons need regular watering 2-3 times a week, you should water not only the ground around the stem, but the whole melon, thereby creating favorable conditions and optimal moisture for plant development. The risk of night frosts remains until mid-June. To prevent the death of young watermelons, melon should be covered overnight with non-woven material or agrospan.
The greenhouse must be regularly ventilated and the condition of the plants must be monitored for suspicious spots on the leaves and fruits.
The holes are carefully weeded, being careful not to damage the whip. It is also not recommended to shift them, otherwise you can provoke shedding of the ovaries.
The pinching of the lashes is carried out once. When the ovaries are 8-10 cm in diameter, 3-4 leaves are left after the second fruit and the whip is cut off. On each plant, 2-3 lashes are left with the largest fruits.
As a result, 4 to 6 watermelons are obtained from each plant. In August, the fruits are turned every week for even ripening. In rainy weather, planks or pieces of slate are placed under them. Watering is stopped a week before harvesting.
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Melon crops most often infect spider mites, tobacco thrips and melon aphids. They suck sap from leaves, stems, flowers and ovaries, retarding the growth and development of watermelons. The damaged parts of the plant shrivel, curl, turn yellow and dry out.
Melon is sprayed with a saturated decoction of onion or garlic husks, a solution of laundry soap, looking under each leaf. Watermelons are also powdered with sifted ash, mixed with tobacco dust in equal parts.
For better adhesion, ash 200 g of ash is diluted in one bucket of water, half a piece of planed laundry soap is added and each sheet is processed from bottom to top.
With a lot of effort, in the country you can grow ripe large and environmentally friendly fruits of watermelon, which you can eat without risk to health. Unripe watermelons can be salted, getting a tasty and unusual appetizer.