Watermelon is one of the most common fruits in Nigeria. It is now the third most cultivated crop in the world, the top two are tomatoes and potatoes. Over the years, watermelon has not only served as a fruit but also a medicine for obvious reasons. This juicy watery fruit is rich in magnesium, potassium, folic acid, iron, and vitamins A, B, C.
There are different types of watermelon seeds to choose from. The quality of each seed can be verified by dipping them into a solution of 3 to 5% of salt. Hence, the seeds that should be planted should sink into the bowl. The different types of seeds include black diamond, Congo, Crimson Sweet, and Moon and stars. Lastly, some seeds need to be softened before they can be planted e.g leathery seed.
The best soil for planting watermelon seed is both a sandy or loamy soil and the area must have enough sunlight. Also, this can be done either on a flat land or ridges. It is better to plant on a ridge or a bed if the soil is clay. Similarly, it is advisable to plant on a flat land if the soil is loamy. The planting hole should be about 30cm deep. In addition, the soil should be well-drained because the watermelon seed is not a fan of the waterlogged area.
The land should be well plowed. You can also decide to plant the seed on the same day of plowing. The plants need to be watered once a week until they are matured. Mulching is also very important because watermelon requires adequate moisture for effective growth. Addition of organic manure and inorganic fertilizer is essential to the growth of the plant. Also, the plants need a high level of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium supply. In addition, the trellis can be used to support growth and increase exposure to sunlight.
Furthermore, you should avoid disease like the mildew fungus that affects the plant. This can be done by not allowing the leaves of the watermelon from staying weight.
It takes up to three months for watermelon to get matured for harvesting. So, that means that you can plant four times a year. The watermelon is ripe if the tendrils are dry, and when there is a dull sound when you shake the fruit.
Also, you can confirm the time for harvest by checking the lower part of the melon. This part, which is closest to the ground, should have a deep yellow color. The stems should be neatly cut off with a sharp object. Watermelon can last only up to four days when the stem is cut off.
Base on your market research before starting the farm, you should who your customers. This is highly important so that your fruits would not have to stay long on the farmland.
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