HomeCropGood Agricultural Practices For Maximizing Muskmelon Harvest

Good Agricultural Practices For Maximizing Muskmelon Harvest

Muskmelon (Cucumis melo L) is a fruit crop widely cultivated by farmers in India particularly during summer season. It is a warm season crop known for its unique flavour and taste. The fruit is known for its high-water content and has cooling effect on the body. They are rich in rich in Vitamin A and C. Immature fruits are used as vegetables and their seeds are edible. It is used for making desserts. In India, Muskmelon is mainly grown in Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh. India is the 3rd largest producer of muskmelon in the world after China and Turkey.  

Season and Climate:  

Muskmelon is mostly grown from November to February. The optimum temperature for seed germination is 23 – 25°C and optimum temperature required for its growth and fruit development is around 20 – 32°C. High temperature and low humidity at fruit ripening stage will enhance the sweetness and aroma of the fruit. Warm nights will hasten the fruit’s maturity. Muskmelons are tolerant to drought but susceptible to frost. High humid conditions will promote the occurrence and spread of diseases like downy mildew, anthracnose and insects like fruitfly.  


Varieties/Hybrids  Features 
Madhuraja Muskmelon 
  • Madhuras type fruit 
  • Maturity: 55 to 60 days (5 to 7 days earlier than madhuras) 
  • Fruit weight – 1.0 to 1.25 kgs 
  • Good flesh color and aroma 
  • Mild netted fruits with medium cavity 
  • 12 to 15% TSS 
Urja Kajri Muskmelon 
  • Flesh is orange in color; tolerant to BRIX13 
  • Ready to harvest in 60 to 65 days 
  • Average weight 1.2 to 1.5kg 
  • Approximate seeds count – 100 
Mridula Muskmelon 
  • This variety is prolific and early 
  • Round fruit with light yellow skin 
  • Average fruit weight: 1.5 – 2 kg 
  • Fruit harvesting: 40 days after flowering 
  • Flesh is white, tender & very sweet with aroma & unique taste 
Urja US-111 Muskmelon 
  • Flesh is orange in color; tolerant to BRIX13 
  • Ready in 60 to 65 days 
  • Average weight 1.2 to 1.5kg 
  • Approx seeds count – 50 
NS 910 Muskmelon  
  • Relative days to maturity (DS) – Green: 60-65 
  • Fruit size (kg): 1.5-2.0 
  • Fruit shape: Oval 
  • Netting on fruit: Good 
  • Flesh colour: Deep salmon 
  • Flesh texture: good 
  • Seed cavity: small 
  • TSS %: 13-14 
Sanvi Muskmelon 
  • Shape: Globe shaped with smooth, golden-yellow skin 
  • Weight: About 1-1.5 kg 
  • Its orange flesh is crispy with brix of 14-16% 
  • Early maturing, easy to cultivate and set fruit and can be harvested 70-75 days after sowing 
  • Season – Late Kharif, Early summer 
MH 38 Muskmelon 
  • Fruit is medium sized, round, slightly ribbed with orange skin & closely netted 
  • Fruit flesh is thick, deep orange & sweet with good aroma 
  • Fruit weight: 1.8 to 2.0 kg 
  • Moderately tolerant to downy and powdery mildew diseases 
  • Sugar content TSS: 12⁰ Brix 
  • Harvesting: Starts from 70-80 days from sowing 
Rudraksh Arjun Muskmelon 
  • Orange sweet flesh 
  • Sugar content: 13 – 15 % 
  • Hard net outer skin 
  • Shape/Size: Round 
  • Weight: 1.5 – 2.5KG 
  • Maturity: 65 – 70 DAYS 
  • Yield: Approximately 20 – 25 tons/acre 
FB Misthan  F1 Hybrid Muskmelon 
  • Fruit flesh: Dense netting with orange flesh with aroma and sweet in taste 
  • TSS: 12 – 15% 
  • Fruit weight: 1 – 2 kg 
  • Days to first harvest: 70-75 Days for Maturity After Transplanting 
  • Good tolerance against fusarium & diseases caused by virus, Good for Long Transport 

Soil requirement: 

A well-drained sandy loam soil rich in organic matter is ideal for muskmelon cultivation. pH of the soil may range from 6.5 – 7.5. Muskmelon is slightly tolerant to soil acidity but cannot tolerate soils with high salt concentration. Lighter soils enhance the maturity of fruit, thus early harvest. In case of heavy soils, there exists good vine growth, but the maturity of the crop/fruit gets delayed.  

Seed rate:

400 – 600 gm/acre 

Methods of Sowing and Planting: 

  • Sowing is done in between October to November in Southern and Central part of India. Muskmelon is usually direct seeded and transplanted. To get better germination, seeds should be soaked in water for 12 – 24 hours before sowing. Muskmelon seeds are sown in pits and raised beds while in riverbed cultivation, they are sown in trenches. Before sowing, treat the seeds with Trichoderma viride at 1.25 gm/lit water or Pseudomonas fluorescence at 5 – 10 ml per 50 ml of water or Metalaxyl 4% + Manconzeb 64% WP at 1-1.5 gm/ liter of water. 
  • Early crop raised from seedling grown in polythene bags matures 15 to 20 days earlier compared to direct seeded crops.  
Direct Sowing  Seedling establishment 
Pit  Raised bed  Polybags  Protrays 
* Pits of about 60 cm wide, 60 cm long and 45 cm deep are to be dug out. Pits should be spaced at about 1.5 – 2 m apart. Fill them with FYM or well-decomposed compost.  

* Sow 5 – 6 seeds in each pit with a depth of 1 – 1.5 cm. Cover the seeds with soil. 

* After establishment, only 2 or 3 plants in each pit will be allowed to grow while rest others will be uprooted. 

* Prepare beds of 3 – 4 meter wide.  

* Sow 2 seeds/hill on both sides of the beds at 60 cm distance between hills. 

* The polythene bags of 15cm x 10cm size punched at base should be filled with equal proportion of soil:FYM or soil:FYM:silt (in case the soil is sandy).  

* Seeds should not be sown deeper than 1.5 cm.  

* Seedlings can be raised in protrays under protected conditions.  

* Protrays having 98 cells can be used. 

* 1 – 2 seeds can be sown per cell. 




Field Preparation: 

Main field should be ploughed to fine tilth and long channels are to be formed at 2.5 m apart. 


Place the seedlings about 2-3 feet apart in rows that are 5-6 feet apart. 


Transplant the seedlings of 20 – 30 days old with at least 2 – 3 true leaves. Seedling is transplanted at the edges of furrows or lower half height of the ridge, so that sufficient irrigation or moisture is available to plants. Irrigation is done immediately after transplanting.  

Manures and Fertilizers: 

Farmyard manure and neem cake can be applied at the time of land preparation. Half dose of N, full dose of P & K can be applied as basal while remaining N can be applied at the time of earthing up at 4 weeks after sowing. Application of micronutrients promotes plant growth, increases fruit yield, flesh and thickness of rind. 

General dose of fertilizer recommendation for muskmelon is 32:24:12 kg/acre. 

Nutrient  Fertilizer  Dosage (per acre) 
Organic  FYM  8 ton 
Neem cake  40 kg 
Tapas Pushti All Plant Nutrient Mix   2 – 3 ml/lit 
Biofertilizer  Azospirillum   Seed treatment: 10 ml of Sun Bio Azos + cold jaggery solution (for per kg seed). 

Soil application: 1 lit Sun Bio Azos with 50 – 100 kg of FYM/compost. 

Drip: 5 – 10 ml/lit of water 

Phosphobacteria (Sun Bio Phosi)  Soil application: 10ml Sun Bio Phosi + 50 – 100 kg manure  

Fertigation: 1- 2 lit 

N  Urea (or)  70 kg 
Ammonium sulphate  156 kg 
P  Single Super Phosphate (or)  150 kg 
Double Super Phosphate  75 kg 
K  Muriate of Potash (or)  20 kg 
Sulphate of Potash   24 kg 


Gassin Pierre Green Label Magnesium 

(Mg 2%, S 5%) 

2-3 ml/lit water 
Boron 20  1 gm/lit water 


Muskmelon requires frequent but light irrigation especially during the early stages of crop growth. For direct sown crop, 1st irrigation can be delayed if the soil has sufficient moisture. For transplanted crop, irrigation is done immediately after transplanting. Subsequent irrigation can be given at weekly intervals. Irrigation can be done when it is absolutely necessary at the time of fruit maturity i.e., when withering is seen on the veins in the morning. Excessive irrigation at fruit maturity must be stopped, if not it will decrease sweetness of the fruit. A total of 7–11 irrigations may be required for the whole crop season depending on the soil type and growing season. 

‘Drip irrigation’ is recommended for better quality of fruit, minimizing disease and weed infestation and for water conservation.   

Intercultural operations: 


  • To control weeds, flooding of field should never be allowed. If possible, drip irrigation can be installed 
  • During early growth stages, the field should be kept free from weeds 
  • Weeding and earthing up should be done when N is applied as top dressing 
  • During initial stages of vine growth, light hoeing is recommended. 


Mulching can be done with straw mulches, so that fruits do not come in contact with water. 


Remove the secondary shoots up to 7th node on main stem to improve plant growth and fruit set. Pruning helps to improve yield and fruit quality. 

Use of Plant Growth Regulators (PGR):  

Stages of Application: Vegetative, flowering and fruit development stage (Also refer to the product label before application) 

Product name  Content  Dosage  Benefits 
Isabion Bio stimulant  Amino acids and nutrients  Foliar: 2ml/litre water 
  • Promotes root growth and vigorous development of the buds, induces a greater flowering 
  • Helps in pollination and good early fruit set. 
  • Improves the quantity and quality of the harvest 
Hoshi Sumitomo  Gibberellic Acid 0.001% L  1.25 ml/lit water 
  • Reduces flower and fruit drop 
  • Stimulates flower production, enlarges fruit, and boosts crop yields 
Katyayani Alpha Naphthyl Acetic Acid  Alpha Naphthyl Acetic Acid 4.5% SL    1 – 1.5 ml/4.5 lit water 
  • Induces flowering 
  • prevents shedding of flower buds and unripe fruits 
  • Helps in enlarging fruit size, increasing and improving the quality and yield of fruits 

Plant protection: 

Management of Pests in Muskmelon:

Product name  Technical content  Dosage 
Tapas fruit fly trap  Pheromone lure  6 – 8 per acre 
Coragen Insecticide  Chlorantraniliprole 18.5% SC  0.3 ml/lit 
Aphids and Thrips 
T.Stanes Nimbecidine  Azardiractin 300 PPM  6 ml/lit water 
Polytrin C 44 EC Insecticide  40% (Profenofos) + 4% (Cypermethrin) EC  2 ml/lit water 
Sivanto Bayer Insecticide  Flupyradifurone 17.09% SL
2 ml/lit water 
Leaf miner 
Econeem Plus  Azadiractin 10000 PPM  1.5 – 2.5 ml/lit water 
Voliam Targo  45 gm/l Chlorantraniliprole + 18 gm/l Abamectin  1 ml/lit water 
Benevia Insecticide    Cyantraniliprole 10.26% OD  1.7 to 2.0 ml/lit water 

Management of Diseases in Muskmelon:

Product name  Technical content  Dosage 
Downy mildew 
Anant Dr.Bacto’s Fluro (Bio fungicide)  Based on Pseudomonas fluorescence  2.5 ml/lit water 
Flick Super Insecticide  Dimethomorph 12 % + Pyraclostrobin 6.7 % WG  3 gm/lit water 
Zampro Fungicide  Ametoctradin 27% + Dimethomorph 20.27% SC  1.6 – 2 ml/lit water 
Econeem Plus  Azadiractin 10000 PPM  1.5 – 2.5 ml/lit water 
Bavistin Fungicide  Carbendazim 50% WP  0.6 gm/lit water 
Kocide Fungicide  Copper hydroxide 53.8% DF  2 gm/lit water 
Econeem Plus  Azadiractin 10000 PPM  1.5 – 2.5 ml/lit water 
Roko Fungicide  Thiophanate Methyl 70% WP  0.5 gm/lit water 
Powdery mildew 
Vanproz V-Kure Fungicide Plus Bactericide  Eugenol, Thymol, potassium salts, cationic surface agent, sodium salts & preservatives  1.5 – 2 gm/lit water 
Flick Super Insecticide  Dimethomorph 12 % + Pyraclostrobin 6.7 % WG  3 gm/lit water 
Merivon fungicide  Fluxapyroxad 250 G/L + Pyraclostrobin 250 G/L SC  0.4 – 0.5 ml/lit 


  • Half-slip stage: Fruits are not fully ready for table use, but are good for distant market use. Slight pressure is required to harvest fruit from the stem 
  • Full –slip stage: Fruits are completely ready for table use and also best for local market. Pressure is not required to separate fruit from the stem  
  • Musky flavour: On ripening, the fruits produce a pleasant musky flavour 
  • Change in colour: At the fruit ripening stage, the rind becomes soft, fruit skin colour changes from green to yellow 
  • Full netting: On the fruit surface, a net-like structure is developed. 


Muskmelon are perishable fruits and can be stored in room temperature only for 2 – 4 days. They can be stored in cold store at 2-4°C and 85 – 90% relative humidity for 2 – 3 weeks.  

Read More

Stay in Touch

Subscribe to receive latest updates from us.

Related Articles

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x