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Water Melon Farming in Kenya

WATER-MELON FARMING

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.

Varieties

Asali F1, Crimson Sweet, Sugar Baby, Cresso F1, Andaman 636 F1 ,Charleston grey, Cresso f1, Fairfax, tiffany hybrid, cantaloupe-honey dew,  

Ecological requirements.

Altitude -1000-1500m above sea level

Sites and soils –well drained sandy, sandy loam or alluvial soils with ph 6-6.7

Temperatures–22-280C

Rainfall–400-600mm

Land preparation

Establish ridges or mounds for planting seeds later. Apply 10 tonnes of organic manure per hectare in poor soil.

Planting

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.

Crop Nutrition

Apply 10g TSP per hole before planting. Top dress with CAN 10g per plant after thinning and similar amount before flowering.

Water conservation

Mulch using straw or black polythene materials to conserve water around the root zone

Pest control

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

Disease control

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

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.

Are you interested in watermelon farming?

Call: 0706824450

Or

Click here to apply for watermelon farming services

What do you think?

Written by Kenya Farmers

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