Watermelon belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. In the past century alone, watermelons have been systematically cultivated to have more red and juicy inside than the white rind. India in the year 2020 – 2021 alone produced approximately 31 million tons of watermelon. India’s top watermelon producers are Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.
Difficulty Level: Medium
Selection of Seeds
There are various varieties of watermelon which will be in various colors, fruits that bear with seeds, without seeds, and different sizes and shapes. Some of the popular varieties are Arka Manik, Durgapur Kesar, Arka Jyoti, Special Number 1, Asahi Yamato, Sugar Baby, Madhuri 64, Black Magic, Improved Shipper, Pusa Bedana, Durgapura Meetha, Varun, Vimal, Lekha, Black Thunder, Arka Akash, Suvarnima, and Arka Muthu.
Watermelon Seed Treatment
Watermelon seeds are to be treated with Trichoderma viridae 4 g /Kg of seeds or Pseudomonas fluorescens 10 g/Kg of seeds or Carbendizim 2g/kg of seeds. This is to prevent the soil-borne fungal infection that melons are extremely prone to.
Nursery Bed Preparation for Watermelon
Watermelon nursery can be prepared either with polythene bags of 200 gauge, 10 cm diameter and 15 cm height size or through portrays under protected nursery. In a 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 15 days old seedlings in the main field.
Land Preparations for Watermelon
The land needs to be plough to a fine tilth. After the land is ploughed apply 20 tons of FYM, Azospirillum 5Kg/Ha and Phosphobacteria at 5 kg/Ha and Pseudomonas at 5 kg/ha along with FYM 50 kg and neem cake 100 kg before the last ploughing. Then raised beds are made with 1.2 m width and 30cm height for sowing. The seedlings have to be placed at least 6 inches apart and each channel has to be at least 2.5 m apart. Each of the raised bed channels is aligned with drip irrigation.
Soil Type Requirements for Watermelon
Watermelon grows well in sandy loamy soil with good drainage to avoid water logging. The optimal pH for watermelon is 6.5-7.5.
Watermelon is a medium crop unlike other cucurbits. Watermelon sowing during January – February enables harvest during summer months and fetches higher prices.
- What are the popular varieties of Watermelon?
- How to prepare nursery bed?
Watermelon nursery can be prepared either with polythene bags of 200-gauge, 10 cm diameter and 15 cm height or through portrays under protected nursery. In a polybag nursery, fill the bags with 1:1:1 ratio of red soil, sand and farmyard manure mixture. Use portrays, each having 98 cells for raising seedlings. Transplant about 15 days old seedlings in the main field.
- How to prepare the land for watermelon cultivation?
Plough the land to a fine tilth and form long channel 2.5 m apart. Raised beds are to be prepared in the main field. They are made with 1.2 m width and 30 cm height for sowing.
- How is the seed treatment for watermelon done?
Treat the seeds with PIONEER AGRO TRICHODERMA VIRIDE – 250 ml for seeds needed for one acre or Bavistin (Carbendazim 50% EC) – 2gm/litre. It can also be treated by soaking in Hifield AG Ridomet 35 -1.5gm/l + Plantomycin 0.5 gm/l + Humetsu Humic acid 5 – 10 ml/kg mixture before sowing.
- Which is the ideal time to sow watermelon?
January – February
- What is the ideal time to harvest watermelon?
Harvesting during summer months will fetch higher prices.
- What is the general dose of fertilizer recommendation for watermelon?
The fertilizer recommendation for watermelon is 22:22:22 kg/acre. The commercial quantity for field application is listed in the table below:
|General Dose (per acre)
|Single Super Phosphate (SSP) (or)
|Double Super Phosphate (DSP)
|Muriate of Potash (MOP) (or)
|Sulphate of Potash
|Soil application: 4 kg
Note: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial or legal advice. Pesticides are a considerable risk of loss in crops and viewers are advised to do their own research before making any decisions.