Melon - sweet, favorite treat. But not everyone can grow it. Planting melons in the greenhouse and in the open field has its own characteristics; in addition, it can be sown immediately by seeds at a permanent place or used for planting seedlings. About the features of planting culture and the subtleties of subsequent care can be found in this article.
Planting melons in the open ground
Melon grows very well in the open field, this is how it has long been grown in Asia and throughout Europe. However, in order for the plant to develop comfortably, you need to find a good place. It should be:
- with a low groundwater level;
- sunny, practically without shadow (shadow, if necessary, is made artificially);
- heated (cold land for seedlings or seeds is not suitable);
- protected from the wind from at least 1-2 sides.
Soil preparation before planting a melon
Garlic, onions, winter cereals, cabbage, spicy herbs, and beans are good forerunners of melons. But after the tomatoes, pumpkins or carrots plant this plant is not recommended. On the neighboring sites can be planted turnip, basil, radish, radish. At the same time, potatoes and cucumbers for melons are undesirable neighbors. At one site it can be planted every 4 years!
Land for planting is dug up and fertilized with humus or manure since autumn. In the spring, it can be re-dug, add a little nitrogen, potash and phosphate fertilizers and even then use for planting melons. In the open ground, they are usually grown on the land without a trellis (by creeping). You can sow seeds or plant seedlings from the middle or end of May.
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You can sow melon seeds in a greenhouse or plant seedlings approximately from May or from April, if there are heating appliances. But before that you need to prepare the ground. In greenhouses, it is usually quite simple to make a soil suitable for culture. In the case of a melon, it should be light, loamy, rich in organic matter. Acidity is maintained neutral.
In the fall, the ground in the greenhouse is being dug up on a spade bayonet, and humus is introduced into it (4-5 kg / sq. M.). If the earth is clay, heavy - sand is added. In early spring, the surface is sprinkled with ashes, dry peat, so that the snow comes off faster, then it is covered with a film to start warming up. When the temperature of the earth rises to +13 degrees, superphosphate (40 g / m2), potash salt (20 g / m2) is introduced and good loosening is carried out so that there are no large, stuck lumps.
Photo planting melon in the greenhouse
Now it only remains to wait for the time of sowing seeds or planting seedlings. Right before the procedure itself, the earth is again dug up and refilled with nitrogenous fertilizers. If there is no time to dig up, you can simply add nitrogen to the wells for planting (seeding).
The optimum temperature for melon growth in a greenhouse is +30 degrees during the day and +18 at night. Humidity should be maintained at 60%. For growing it is best to make a trellis - this will save space and facilitate the care of adult plants.Important! Melon in the greenhouse can endure a long absence of watering, but not high humidity!
Seeds, and seedling sprouts too, can be planted at a distance of 40-70 cm from each other in a polycarbonate greenhouse, depending on the variety. In this case, it is desirable to young shoots (if planted seedlings), 2 weeks after it takes root for the first time. This will allow the plant to decide on its route of growth - it will curl up and not climb along the ground.
How to plant melon seeds?
In the southern regions, melon can be sown in open ground with seeds, it quickly germinates in a warm climate. Seeds are usually sown closer to May, when it is already warm enough outside. Although if you plant under the film, then you can hold an earlier sowing - at the end of April.Interesting! To the earth was warm, you can pour boiling water on it and cover with agrofiber for some time. In such a ground, seeds are sown directly on the agrofiber, making cross-shaped slits in it.
Photo planting melon seeds
Seeds for sowing take only 3-4 years old. If you take fresh grain, then they will give a lot of greenery, and the bushes will be healthy, but the ovary will not appear. Before sowing seeds need to prepare.
- Seeds are put in a solution of potassium permanganate (weak), incubated for 20 minutes, and then washed. All seeds that surfaced need to be removed immediately - they are empty.
- Boric acid with zinc sulfate can also be used instead of potassium permanganate. Such a soak should last about 12 hours, and then they are washed with water.
- Seeds can be hardened and simple heating. To do this, they are poured with hot water (+ 50 ... +65 degrees) for 2 hours and then kept at a temperature of +20 degrees for another 24 hours. Now you need to put them in the fridge for 16-18 hours, and then take them out and just put them on the table at room temperature for 6 hours so that they can regain their usual temperature.
Hardened or processed seeds should be sown immediately to a permanent place. Sow seeds at a distance of 70 cm, but more often 50-60 cm. This is more than enough for the development of the plant, especially if it is formed correctly. Depth of seeding is 1.5-3 cm, not more. After sowing, the seeds are always covered with foil to create comfortable conditions for germination, and then, when it is already very warm outside, the film is removed.
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In the middle and northern regions is to choose seedlings for planting, because it reduces the maturity of the plant. Seedlings are harvested from mid-April. Within 4-5 weeks, it grows and develops in small containers, then it is prepared for transfer to a permanent place (hardened). Only when, when the weather is warm outside without sudden cold snaps, can you plant sprouts.
Before sowing, the seeds should also be heated or processed so as not to hurt, and then sow in separate pots with a diameter of 10 cm. 2-3 seeds are planted in each pot to a depth of 1.5-2 cm. The land for cultivation is made from 9 parts of peat and 1 part sand. For 10 liters of this mixture, you need to take 1 cup of ash, mix everything well and then sow the seeds.
Growth phases of melon seedlings
After sowing the seeds, you need to cover the pots with a film and keep at a temperature of + 20 ... +25 degrees during the day, and at night at a temperature of about +18 degrees. When seedlings appear, it is necessary to remove the film and leave 1 seedling in each pot, and cut the rest at ground level so as not to damage the root system of the main seedling.Important! In the extreme case, with regular feedings, the melon can grow on dry, saline land, but it never develops properly on heavy, marshy land.
When the seedlings will have 3 developed leaflets, the shoots are pinched, so that the side shoots begin to develop. The grown seedlings should stand on some well-lit window, for example, a south window, so that the light falls on the plants every day for 10-12 hours. If natural light is not enough, you can make an artificial highlight.
As for the care of seedlings before planting in a permanent place, then everything is simple.
- Regularly moisten the soil with warm water so that it does not fall on the stems and leaves.
- Top of the earth can sprinkle dry sand to avoid the development of black legs.
- It also does not hurt to feed cultures 2 times with mineral complex fertilizers (when 2 leaves appear and in another 1-1.5 weeks).
- Before planting in a permanent place, the seedlings are hardened, carried out on the street for 1 week. During the day, the temperature should drop to + 15 ... +17 degrees, and at night to + 12 ... +15 degrees.
Planted seedlings in open ground after the appearance of 5-6 leaves. An earlier planting can be carried out in a greenhouse, if the gardener is not afraid to damage fragile seedlings. Holes for landing do at a distance of 60-70 cm from each other. Aisle 70-100 cm. Seedlings before planting abundantly watered, so that it is easily removed from the pots.
The seedlings are placed in the wells and positioned so that the root neck is above the surface level so that decay does not begin. The sprouts are covered with soil so that everyone is on a small tubercle and presses the soil well. Then the ground at the root system is sprinkled with dry river sand, and the seedlings themselves need to be covered for 2 days with simple wet paper to increase humidity and better adaptation.
Top dressing of seedlings of melon in the open ground
Proper care of melons is simply necessary to develop well. If care is insufficient, yields will be low or the plant will slowly grow.
- Loosening is carried out regularly, so that the earth is not taken crust. The fact is that the root system of a melon is fragile. The roots are thin and simply can not make their way in a heavy, dry land.
- Watering is carried out regularly (about 2 times a week), but when the fruits begin to pour juice, you need to reduce them, otherwise the taste will be watery.
- Weeds on the site should not grow, so they are removed while still small.
- As it develops, the fruit must be turned over so that it ripens on all sides. And in order to avoid a place of contact with the ground from rotting, especially after heavy rains, you need to place wooden boards or cardboard under the melons.
- Feeding is usually carried out with regularity every 2 weeks. Bring minerals or organic matter under the root so that the leaves do not get burns. Calcium and potassium are very important for plant minerals (fertilizers are taken, where there are a lot of them). From organic experts recommend humus. Fertilizers are applied after watering or rain, and then loosen the ground.
- Pinching is carried out to control growth and to ensure that the plant's strength is spent on the development of the crop, and not on growing greens. So do it regularly. The main lash is always pinned after 5 leaves, and additional lashes after 3 leaves located above the ovary.
Harvesting is not recommended to postpone. Melons can quickly rot, so after ripening, they are collected and stored or taken away for sale.