watermelon planting procedures and production techniques

The botanical name of Watermelon is Citrullus lanatus (Thumb) Matsum and Nakai; it is a member of the family Cucurbitaceae

Varieties: PKM 1, Sugar Baby, Arka Manik, Arka Jyoti (F1 hybrid) and Pusa Bedana (F1 hybrid).

Soil: Sandy loam rich in organic matter with good drainage and pH range for 6.5-7.5. The crop requires a moderate warm temperature.

Season of sowing: Sow the seeds during november-December at 3.5 kg/ha after treating with Trichoderma viride 4 g or Pseudomonas fluorescens 10 g or carbendazim 2g/kg of seed on one side of the channel with a spacing of 0.9 m between hills. Thin the seedlings 2 per hill 15 days after sowing.

Preparation of field: Plough the field to a fine tilth and form long channel 2.5 m apart.
Irrigation: Irrigate the field before dibbling the seeds and thereafter once in a week.

Application of fertilizers: Apply FYM 20 t/ha, P 55 kg and K 55 kg as basal and N 55 kg/ha 30 days after sowing.

After cultivation: Spray ethrel 250 ppm (2.5 ml/10 lit of water) 4 times at weekly intervals commencing from 15 days after sowing. Hoe and weed thrice.

Plant protection against Pests
Beetles: Spray malathion 50 EC 1 ml/lit at weekly intervals.
Fruit fly
1. Collect the affected fruits and destroy.
2. The fly population is low in hot day conditions and it is peak in rainy season. Hence adjust the sowing time accordingly.
3. Expose the pupae by ploughing.
4. Use polythene bags, fish meal trap with 5 g of wet fish meal and 1 g of dichlorvos in cotton, 50 traps are required per hectare. Fish meal and dichlorvos impregnated cotton are to be renewed once in 20 and 7 days respectively.
Do not use DDT, lindane 1.3% dust, copper and sulphur dust, as these are phytotoxic

Yield: 25 – 30 t/ha in 120 days.

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