How to grow a melon at homeDue to the success of breeders, honey fruits can be grown not only in the southern regions of the country, but also in the middle lane. Moreover, fruits with excellent taste ripen not even in greenhouses, but in open ground and on the balcony.
Of course, the melon is more capricious and more demanding to the conditions of detention than the closest relatives - cucumbers and pumpkins, but with proper care, this species obeys a diligent gardener. What are the features of growing melons in the open field? What difficulties can be encountered, and how to achieve fruiting plants at home?
Preparation of Melon Seeds for Planting
Strong, well-formed seeds are used for sowing, and experts advise taking seeds from the crop two or three years ago. Observing how, in the photo, a melon grows, one can notice:
- powerful plants from fresh seeds are abundantly produced by male flowers, and there are very few ovaries on them;
- lash melons from older seeds are more productive.
To increase seed germination for 12 hours, immerse them in a solution of boric acid and zinc sulfate or other growth stimulant.
If you want to grow melons in the open field in the middle lane, it is better to worry about hardening the seeds beforehand, for which they are:
- first immersed in warm water with a temperature of about 30–35 ° C;
- is then left at room temperature for a day;
- for stratification for 18 hours is transferred to the refrigerator, where the temperature is close to zero.
Swollen seeds are ready for sowing in open ground or seedlings.
How to grow melon seedlings at home?
Because all members of the pumpkin family do not like transplants because of the risk of damaging the roots, and the culture is very thermophilic, it must be borne in mind that:
- the soil in the area designated for the melon to warm to 12-13 ° C;
- sowing in peat tablets or cups of small volume is carried out not earlier than two weeks before landing in the ground;
- in containers of larger volume of seedlings can be up to 30 days.
For example, for the middle band for seedlings, it is acceptable to sow the seeds in late April, then by June young plants should move to a permanent place.
The use of peat pots allows you to avoid painful transplantation and save up to three weeks when growing melons in open ground.
For growing seedlings make a soil mixture of equal parts:
- peeled peat;
- garden soil.
Before sowing, the soil is moistened and enriched with a complex fertilizer containing trace elements for melon growth. In each pot, with a diameter of 10–11 cm, two seeds are planted so that, depending on how the melon grows, in the photo, choose a stronger sprout, and cut the weak one without damaging the root system.
To prevent the rot of young stems, the surface of the soil in seedling pots sprinkled with a layer of clean sand.
For growing melons at home, they maintain a daily temperature of about 20 ° C, while at night the air can be cooled to 15 ° C.Watering for melon crops, including melon, requires moderate, as the topsoil dries.
Select and prepare the plot
For the southern culture, who loves heat and sunlight in the open field, select the most illuminated, but closed from the draft and the cold wind areas.
It is important that moisture does not stagnate on the melons, otherwise rot and fungal plant diseases cannot be avoided.
In this case, for the cultivation of melons in the open field the soil is prepared in advance. In the fall of the future melon:
- dig not less than a shovel bayonet;
- is fertilized with organic matter, contributing 4-6 kg of humus or rotted manure per square meter.
Melon loves loose soils, so on loamy soils it is recommended to add river sand to the beds. In the spring, potash and phosphate fertilizers are added to the melon thistle.
We plant a melon in the ground.
The basic rules for growing melons in the open field are very simple:
- Young plants need protection from rain and cold.
- The quantity and quality of the crop depends on the proper shaping of the plants, the removal of the tops of the lashes and the excessive ovary.
- Well-established irrigation schedule will help to get sweet full-bodied fruits without cracks.
- Melon requires regular competent fertilizing.
Planting seedlings and seeds is carried out at a distance of at least 60 cm from each other.
The seeds are buried by 5 cm, and, as with the seedling method, 2–3 seeds are put into the well. In the hole and under the seeds, and under the seedlings make an additional teaspoon of nitrophosphate or other nitrogen-containing fertilizer.
If plants are planted in peat pots on a melon thistle, the ground should not be buried. After sprinkling with earth, it should slightly rise above the general level, only after that the plants are watered and the already wet soil is mulched with dry ground.
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In the future, melon seedlings are better for the first time, while they are acclimatizing, shelter from the sun, rain and possible cooling. As they get used, the greenhouse is removed during the daytime, and at night the plants are hidden under the covering material again.
Melon care features
When growing melons in open ground, the watermelon must pay attention to watering, loosening the soil, feeding and weeding the beds. In addition, do not wait for a good harvest, if you do not pinch the sticks, which already have an ovary, in time, and do not remove empty shoots that take away strength from the bush.
Loosening is carried out very carefully, to a depth of 10–12 cm, without damaging the roots. When regrowth of the whip melon spud. Weeding is carried out as needed.
Watering melons plays a special role in the success of growing melons in the open field. If plants receive less moisture, they develop worse, bloom and give an ovary. Excessive watering leads to decay of lashes and fruits, and the melons themselves lose their sugar content and become watery. Understanding the needs of plants will help to observe how the melon grows, and the photo shows a drip irrigation system that allows you to maximize the use of moisture:
- Usually, while there are no ovaries on a melon, plants restrict watering, not allowing them to form many side shoots.
- When the ovaries are already formed and need to develop, watering becomes more intense.
- A month before the approximate ripening of melons, they gradually stop watering so that the fruits gain sweetness and aroma.
Often beginning melon growers have a question: “Why does a melon on a bed crack and begin to rot? Obviously, the error lies in the schedule of irrigation and its intensity.
Most often, the fruits crack when, after a dry period, already formed ovaries receive an excessive amount of moisture at one time.
Fruit damage is also observed if ripening melon lies on moist soil. Therefore, melon growers are advised to substitute a shard or a small plank under each ovary. Damage can be avoided if trellis is used when growing melons in an open field and the heavy fruits are fixed with a mesh or cloth.
For the first time, the plant of a melon is pinched after the third or fourth leaf to cause branching and get side lashes. When 5–6 ovaries are formed on the plant, the free tops of the lashes are cut, leaving 2–3 leaves to the last fruit. Further, as they grow from the plant, unnecessary flowers and empty shoots are cut off so that all the forces of the melon can go on filling and ripening of already formed fruits.
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This should be helped by regular feeding, the first of which is carried out even when the first true leaf appears. This time, nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers containing minerals and mineral fertilizers and organic matter are alternated under the melons. Schedule dressings can be adjusted. Most often, the frequency of irrigation with fertilizer solutions is 10-14 days.
During mass flowering, plants are better to give potash-phosphorus mixtures. And complete top dressing at the first signs of the beginning of ripening melons.
Do not forget that melons easily accumulate excess chemicals and, especially with a lack of light, can be a source of dangerous nitrates. Therefore, with the nitrogen fertilizer melon grower should be careful.
How to grow a melon at home
If you put a little effort and be patient, you can cut a sweet melon from a plant that grew on your own windowsill or balcony. First of all, for the melon you will need to choose a pot or a container of sufficient capacity, with a diameter of at least 20 cm. Drainage is mandatory at the bottom of the pot, and the soil can be used the same as used for planting seedlings.
If growing lashes on spacious beds can lie quietly on the soil, then you can grow melon at home only by using a trellis. As it grows, the lashes are fastened to it, but since the plant is in a limited amount of soil, it will be reasonable to grow melons in one stem.
We must not forget that melons are extremely demanding of lighting, so the main reason for the failure of growing this crop on balconies, window sills or terraces is the lack of light. It can be compensated by organizing an additional LED backlight, which provides for the needs of plants for 14–16 hours per day.
To save moisture, prevent weeds from sprouting and ensure that the melon has a soil temperature of about 20–25 ° C and the surface of the soil is lined with a special film or material. Moisture supply can be charged to the drip irrigation system by adding or reducing the amount of water supplied, depending on how the melon grows.
When home-grown melons become fist-sized, the excess shoots, flowers and pinch the top of the main whip. At home, one plant is better to leave no more than three ovaries, which are tied to a trellis using a mesh or soft fabric.
Video about melon shaping in open ground