Water melon as a crop is one of the commonly consumed commodity worldwide. One of the good attributes that have boosted this industry is the fact that the crop is excellent in quenching thirst due to its high-water content. The nutritional value of this crop is another important aspect to consider.
Asali F1, Crimson Sweet, Sugar Baby, Cresso F1, Andaman 636 F1 ,Charleston grey, Cresso f1, Fairfax, tiffany hybrid, cantaloupe-honey dew,
Altitude -1000-1500m above sea level
Sites and soils –well drained sandy, sandy loam or alluvial soils with ph 6-6.7
Establish ridges or mounds for planting seeds later. Apply 10 tonnes of organic manure per hectare in poor soil.
Seedrate should be 3kgs per hectare. Plant 2-3 seeds on ridges at a spacing of 1.5m-2m by 80cm and thin to one after crop establishment. On mounds, plant 5-6 seeds at 2m by 2m and thin 2-3 plants at 25-30cm high and earth up around the plant bases.
Apply 10g TSP per hole before planting. Top dress with CAN 10g per plant after thinning and similar amount before flowering.
Mulch using straw or black polythene materials to conserve water around the root zone
Red pumpkin beetle- use appropriate insecticide
Melon lady beetle- use appropriate insecticide
Aphids-use appropriate insecticide
Melon fly- pinch off affected fruits and bury deep in the soil
Red spider mites- use appropriate miticide
Powdery mildew- use appropriate fungicides eg nimrod
Anthracnose-spray at 5-7 days interval copper based fungicides eg copper cobot
Fusarium wilt- use fungicides such as karathane
Downy mildew- use fungicides such as ridomil
Harvesting usually begins 75-100days after planting depending on cultivar. Watermelons are harvested as close to full-ripeness as possible; this is when the fruit surface touching the soil is light yellow or when the vine closest to the fruit is starting to wilt . The peduncle is cut off to prevent the peduncle from ripping into the skin of the fruit, which can
result in secondary diseases. Watermelons are very prone to cracking or bursting during and after harvest due to rough
handling. Watermelons should not be thrown during handling, stepped on or stacked too high. Yield range from 20-30 tonnes depending on variety and crop management practices.