Guide to the cultivation of watermelon, from choosing the right soil for spring sowing to harvesting of the fruit, after about four months from sowing.

The watermelon or watermelon, the Cucurbitaceae family, is native to Africa. It was grown on the banks of the Nile since ancient Egypt, as seen in several hieroglyphs and was introduced in Europe during the Christian era. The fruit of watermelon is red, crunchy, rich in sugar and water, and is therefore often used in low calorie diets. It may have spherical or oval and the size can vary depending on the species.

Climatic conditions

The ideal climate for the cultivation of watermelon is temperate – warm, not too rainy, because during the ripening of the fruit water can ruin the growth.

Ground

Use a medium-textured ground, soft and permeable, well drained, fertilized with manure or slow release fertilizer rich in potassium and phosphorus. The soil should be light to allow the roots of watermelon, sensitive enough, to take root without any problems. Before sowing in late summer should be worked deep, dug by hand or with a cultivator to a depth of 35 cm. During the digging is burying manure fertilizer shall mature at a rate of about 2.5 kg per square meter. Before sowing in late winter you can start to prepare the ground sharpening with a ROLLS.

Sowing

The best time for planting is late winter-early spring, although in very mild areas you can delay planting until early May. With a punch holes in the ground must be created from 4 to 5 cm deep in each of which shall be to bury 4-5 seeds. The holes in the row should be spaced about 1 meter, and between the rows should leave an average distance of 2 m, the space needed for crop care. The seeds can be found directly from the fruit, taking care to dry them and store in a cool, dark place inside a canvas bag, or you can buy from the nursery or directly to large supermarkets in bags.

Sprinklers

The watermelon need copious amounts of water, but fears the water retention that can lead to the proliferation of insects or cryptogamic dangerous, so you have to adjust depending on humidity of the climate. To avoid damaging the fruit you can lift it off the ground with straw, dried grass, crop residues, or with plastic.

Collection

The fruit ripening occurs 3-4 months after planting, from late May to September, depending on climate zone and the variety. To recognize a ripe fruit you should pay attention to the sound made when you hit with your fingers: if it is deaf, the result can be grasped. Other signs to recognize the aging are the loss of bloom and the drying of the tendril stalk. Diseases and Parasites

The watermelon plant fears insects (aphids, beetle, mole cricket, mildew), cryptogams, gray mold, the blackness. To prevent these problems you should pay attention to standing water.

Peculiarities of watermelon cultivation in pots

For cultivation in pots is very important to choose vessels capacious and high, because the roots grow horizontally and superficially in a space that can exceed half a meter. Also, if you are in a very hot, you have to protect the fruit from sunburn, not letting them grow directly on the ground and insulated with plastic, dry grass or straw. The best varieties to grow in pots is the one with round fruit, smaller and easier to treat.

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