Vegetable

Growing melons in the open field

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Not every gardener can grow a good melon. This is not surprising, because culture definitely belongs to the capricious and quickly grows only in the hottest countries. But in Ukraine, central Russia and even more so in the Ural, Siberian regions, the cultivation of melons in the open ground usually does not give the desired results. Most often it turns out to grow very small fruits, up to 500 g, not sweet, and only with a melon flavor, no more. The following article provides tips on growing melons in the open field, as well as on the selection of varieties.

Choosing a site for planting melons

In the southern regions, gardeners often grow melons even in semi-shadowed places, because there it is very hot - there is more than enough heat to ripen a sweet, not watery, melon. But in most of Ukraine, as well as in the middle and more northern regions of Russia, the cultivation of melons in the open ground is possible only in sunny areas, where even a penumbra will not be. Over time, when the melons grow up, the fruits are formed, it is better to build a shelter on your own.

Important! The choice of location must be approached with responsibility. Melon is very demanding in this regard. It is suitable only for the area unshadowed by anything, protected from cold winds!

Only non-shaded terrain fits

If we talk about the soil, then melon needs light, fertilized land with a low level of groundwater (so that the roots do not rot). Acidity should be neutral. You can grow a melon by sowing seeds directly or through seedlings. In the middle and northern regions of Russia and Ukraine, it is recommended to choose a seedling method. But before you do seedlings, you need to choose the right variety!

Selection of varieties and melon seeds

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The variety is begged, first of all, according to the personal preferences of the gardener and by the time of ripening. If there is any doubt as to whether the melon will have time to ripen, then it is better to give preference to those species that need very little time to ripen: very early, ultra-early or just early ones. These include "Krinichanka", "Titovka", "Lipneva", etc.

Important! Central Asian melons in conditions of Ukraine and the middle, northern part of Russia usually do not have time to fully ripen, so you should give preference to proven Russian, Ukrainian and European species.

It is worth buying melon seeds in specialized stores, because there are more guarantees that the purchased variety will grow, and not some other. It is advisable to take the seeds of known or proven manufacturers.

Growing melons in the open field in the suburbs

The Moscow region belongs to central Russia, its climate is temperate, sometimes it rains frequently, changeable weather, but not very often. To grow a melon in central Russia or Ukraine, you need to select only early varieties.

Among the best varieties suitable for this zone are: "Alushta", "Collective Farm Woman", "Yuzhanka", "Golden", "Dessert 5". The term of their maturation ranges from 70-90 days. This is not much for a melon. They will grow rapidly and, if grown through seedlings, will give a good harvest.

Varieties of melons for the Moscow region

Growing melons in the open ground of Siberia

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Growing melons in Siberia is very difficult, and sometimes impossible at all. First you need to choose ultraearly variety suitable for this region. These include:

  • "Summer Dream", it is the "Sybarite Dream", ripening in just 50-55 days;
  • "White Muscat" - 60 days of ripening;
  • "Delano F1" matures in 55 days under good conditions or in 65 days, with average;
  • Caramel - 60-65 days.

You can also pay attention to the varieties: "Early 133", "Titovka", "Cinderella", "Star on the bed", "Amal". Such varieties are grown only through seedlings and only in the most sunny areas. However, most experts still recommend growing melon gardeners Siberia exclusively in the greenhouse.

Seedling preparation

Sowing melon seeds only in the southern regions, and then, it is not always effective. Good results can be achieved when grown in greenhouses. And yet, most gardeners recommend growing seedlings to get a 100% yield. So growing melons in the open field begins with the preparation of seedlings.

Important! Melon does not like picking and transplanting, so you need to make seedlings in containers, bulk cassettes or large cups so that you can get out of it sprouts with a large piece of earthen clod. This will avoid damaging the root system.

Melon does not like picking and transplanting, so you need to make seedlings in containers

Seeds are planted in prepared cups with soil for vegetable crops. If you make the mixture yourself, you need to mix part of the sand, 9 parts of peat and a glass of wood ash for every 10 liters of soil. 2-3 seeds are planted in a pot to a depth of 5 cm. In order to get the first shoots in a week, the seedlings are placed in a room with a temperature of + 18 ... +20 degrees.

When the shoots have appeared, it is necessary to thin them so that there will be one piece per pot. When 3-4 leaves appear, you can pin down seedlings to develop lateral shoots. But this is not a mandatory procedure. Often gardeners pinch the main lash already, when the plants grow in the open ground, after 5 leaves. Approximately 25 days from the date of emergence, you can begin transplanting seedlings in open ground.

How to plant melon in open ground

The land for planting melons is being prepared in the autumn. First bring rotten manure (5-10 kg / square), and then shovels are dug on a full bayonet. In the spring, such a bed will need to be leveled twice with a rake, and you can dig it again if you have time. When the earth is already flooded, leveled, holes are made in it at a distance of 70-80 cm from each other. To plant easier and better in a staggered manner - this saves space.

Interesting! To get an early harvest, you can plant melons on warm beds.

Before putting the sprout in the hole, you should throw a spoonful of superphosphate or a little bit of humus. At an early stage, they will accelerate development and in the future they will increase the sugar content of fruits. Each sprout is very carefully released from the previous pot (so as not to damage the roots) and put into the hole along with the ground in which it grew. In this case, it is peat cups that are convenient, because you do not need to get sprouts from there - the plants are put in the hole with them.

The lump of soil in which the sprout sits should be located just above the ground level on the plot. After planting, the plants are watered.

Planting care

If the seedlings were planted early, it should be covered with agrofiber (white)

Growing melons in the open field involves a painstaking, regular care, otherwise you will not wait for a big harvest.

  • If the seedlings were planted early, when there is still no consistently warm weather, it should be covered with agrofiber (white). It concentrates light, heat, and this accelerates the development of culture.
  • Watering is carried out not very often, so that the earth does not dry out, but was not swamped. Usually enough 1-2 watering per week. But you should take into account the features of the weather.
Important! If the heat is not enough, the maturation of lashes, leaves and, of course, the melons themselves will be stretched. Such fruits usually just do not have time to ripen, and they have very few sugars.
  • Weeds are removed as they appear. They are uprooted, preventing flowering, so as not to spread the seeds in the area.
  • Pinching lashes are carried out to control growth. The main whip needs to be clamped after 4 leaves, the lateral ones - when the ovaries appear on them, so that the forces go to the ripening of the fruits, and not the growth of the culture.
  • While the culture is still small, the soil is loosened very often, so that there is good aeration of the soil. But when the whips grow, you can stop loosening, replacing the procedure with simple mulching.
  • At the beginning of flowering fertilizing is carried out with complex fertilizer. Subsequent feeding is advisable to do only as needed, if growth has slowed down or there are signs of deficiencies in the elements. Use is purely organic. Minerals in the second half of growth are rarely used, and ammonium nitrate and any fertilizers with nitrogen should be excluded.

Protection against diseases and pests

Diseases and pests of melons

Young sprouts of melon and even germinated seeds are very sensitive to such a disease as root rot, so prevention begins from it even before sowing. Seeds are first heated in the sun or in a warm place for 1-2 weeks, then treated with a solution of potassium permanganate (light pink) at a temperature of + 20 ... +22 degrees for 20 minutes. After these manipulations, it remains only to wash and dry the seeds.

At the beginning and the middle of the season, when the melons are already growing in the open field, they are often attacked by Fusarium wilt. The disease is very dangerous, unpleasant for the plant, therefore prevention is also carried out from it. Approximately 2 weeks after planting in a permanent place, when the sprouts have already taken root, it is possible to carry out the first prophylactic treatment with a drug such as “Trichodermin” in a weak concentration. If the disease is already there, then carry out watering with this solution under the root, but already in the concentration indicated in the instructions for the preparation.

Also, this culture can have powdery mildew, anthracnose, peronospora and other diseases. They are carried out either by prophylactic spraying 2-3 times a year, or curative, in the event of illness. It is desirable to use for this biopreparations like: "Fitosporin", "Planriz", "Gamar", "Baktofit" and others.

Often, melons attack and pests. The main enemy is aphid, but it can also be spider mites, wireworms, shovels. Bioinsecticides are used from them: "Actofit", "Basamil", "Avertin". And against rodents and sucking pests you can take "Verticillin", "Mycoafidin".

Harvesting melons

Harvesting

The yield of melons depends largely on the variety, but on average, the cultivation of melons in the open field gives 1-1.5 kg of yield per square. When grown in open ground, without chemicals, small fruits usually grow, about 1 kg, but they are fragrant, sweet and juicy, and also do not contain harmful components, as is the case with the purchased product.

The average melon shelf life is 15 days after harvest. Keep them better in a cool place with low humidity. Transportation must be neat, because even melons with a thick skin can get crumpled on the road, and any damage dramatically reduces the shelf life of the product.

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