Watermelon is a summer, sweet berry that is enjoyed by both children and adults. Today, it is cultivated not only in open ground, but also in greenhouse conditions. The success of the event directly depends on such factors as the right choice and preparation of soil and seed, as well as the timely planting of plants in the ground.
Selection and preparation of a greenhouse for watermelons
Before starting to grow watermelons in closed ground, it is necessary to build a protective structure, namely a greenhouse or greenhouse. The size of the plot and the future structure will depend only on the personal preferences and capabilities of the gardener. Since watermelon requires large areas during cultivation, the size of the greenhouse must be appropriate, at least 2 m in width and 5 m in length.
For watermelons, as well as for cucumbers, trellis is needed. With the help of this design produce tying plants. For this, the greenhouse should be about 2 m in height, which will create optimal conditions for the growth and development of the culture. In this case, the plants will not experience any growth restrictions. To choose a design for planting and growing watermelon, first you need to consider the characteristics of such structures:
- A greenhouse under the film is the easiest and cheapest option. Its disadvantage is that it is not designed to install additional heating, as a result of which it will not be possible to control the temperature inside. The greenhouse can be used for planting watermelons, but only in warm weather, that is, at least in May.
- Glass greenhouse. Such a construction will be quite heavy, therefore, for its construction, the construction of a foundation will be required. At the same time, if you still build a structure of this type, it will be characterized by reliability and a long service life. In addition, it will be possible to install a heating system.
- A polycarbonate greenhouse is considered the most preferred option. The only drawback is the cost of the material. This design is easy to build, quite durable, allows you to install additional heating. You can plant watermelon seedlings in April.
However, the choice of the greenhouse design and its subsequent construction is not the only thing to take care of. The construction must also be prepared for planting, equipped with everything necessary:
- The room is equipped with a heating source. As such equipment, a gas, solid fuel or electric boiler can be used. A furnace construction option is possible, but such a design introduces certain inconveniences, since it is necessary to constantly control the temperature. In the case of the boiler, it will be necessary to lay underground pipes for water that will heat the ground.
- To provide watermelons with daylight hours of the required duration (about 10 hours), additional lighting sources in the form of fluorescent lamps will be required.
- Watermelons and other melons are susceptible to fungal diseases. This suggests the need to treat the frame and material of the greenhouse with a solution of copper sulfate (100 g per 10 l of water).
If the greenhouse design is not new, then before planting a watermelon it is checked for damage, and if they are found, repairs are carried out. The fact is that gourds are quite sensitive to low temperatures and when cold air enters the greenhouse, young plants can simply die.
Selection and preparation of soil for watermelon
One of the important conditions for the successful cultivation of watermelons both in open ground and in greenhouse conditions is properly prepared soil. An ideal option would be to start preparing from the fall. The soil is fertilized by applying rotted manure for digging (20 kg per 1 m²), grass is also used, for example, green manure.
Sideral crops or siderates are plants that are grown for the purpose of subsequent incorporation into the soil, which allows to improve the structure of the soil, enrich it with trace elements and nitrogen.
In addition to organic fertilizers, you will need to add river sand (1 bucket per 1 m²), as well as mineral components such as nitrophoska and superphosphate 10 g each, based on the same area. In general, watermelons need light, sandy soils in which stagnation of water is excluded.
Video: preparing the soil for the new season
When preparing the soil for melon, do not forget about such an important indicator as acidity. For watermelon, it should be in the range of pH 6-7. You can determine these values using a special device or probe strips. If the indicator deviates significantly from the norm, then for deoxidation it is necessary to add, for example, lime at the rate of 0.7 kg per 1 m². If the soil, on the contrary, is alkaline, then to increase the acidity by 1 ph, add 3 kg of manure or 9 kg of compost per 1 m².
Selection and preparation of planting material
When choosing a watermelon variety for greenhouse cultivation, preference should be given to those varieties for which small fruits are characteristic. An important role in the selection of planting material is played by the region in which the seed was produced. You need to purchase those seeds that are adapted to your climatic conditions.
Paying attention to the ripening dates of watermelon, it is worth noting that for closed ground it is better to choose precocious varieties that will guarantee a normal ripening of the crop. Long-ripening varieties can leave you with nothing. Such watermelons can be cultivated without concern only in the southern regions. Among early-ripening varieties, the following can be recommended: Spark, Sibiryak, Cinderella, Gift to the North F1, Krimstar F1, Siberian Lights, Pink Champagne F1.
In addition to choosing seeds, they still need to be properly prepared for planting. First of all, seeds need to be rejected. For this, they are poured into a container of water and those seeds that have surfaced are considered unsuitable for planting. Then the planting material is treated in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for 10 minutes, which is required for disinfection.
It should be taken into account that watermelon seeds are characterized by poor germination. This suggests the need to take measures to accelerate germination. To improve germination, the grains are preheated at a temperature of + 55 ° C for three hours or placed in a sunny place for a week. As preparatory measures, watermelon seeds are also soaked in water at room temperature for a day. You can judge that the seeds are ready for germination by their appearance - if swelling and an increase in size are noticeable, it is time to start germinating.
Germinating seeds can be done either simply in a wet tissue bag or with pre-treatment with growth stimulants and fertilizers (Zircon, Epin, Humic preparations). Then the grains are washed in water, wrapped in a moistened gauze and placed in a warm place, periodically checking and moistening the tissue if necessary, as well as checking the seeds for pitting. In addition to all the actions, the seeds can be covered with a film, which will create favorable conditions for germination.
Features of planting watermelon in closed ground
Growing a watermelon in greenhouse conditions will not be a troublesome task if you plant properly and provide proper care.
What can and cannot be planted with watermelons nearby
With the small size of the plot and the inability to install several greenhouses, a logical question arises - what can be planted with watermelons? First of all, you can plant another melon crop - melon. It is quite possible to grow watermelons with tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant.
Do not grow moisture-loving crops with watermelons. Due to high humidity and drafts, melons are exposed to various fungal diseases.
If we take as an example the same cucumbers, then these plants love moisture and require regular ventilation of the greenhouse. This does not mean that they cannot be planted with watermelons. It is possible, but for a sweet berry it is necessary to allocate a drier and windless place, and cucumbers to provide the necessary watering and ventilation. Until the time comes when planting a watermelon in a greenhouse, you can grow a crop of greenery or radish. These plants will not bring any harm.
Video: planting watermelons in a greenhouse with tomatoes
When to plant
Watermelon is a heat-loving crop and the cold is unacceptable when grown. Therefore, it is not worth rushing to plant it in the greenhouse, at least until there is no danger of frost. If the design is equipped with a heating source, then you can not be afraid of cold. As for the deadlines, in the central regions landing can be started from the second week of May, in the southern regions - towards the end of the month. In the south, the landing of culture can be done in late April.
The dates shown are approximate, as weather conditions may vary from year to year. If the spring turned out to be protracted, the planting dates are increased by a week, while in the early spring, on the contrary, they are reduced. It should be noted that before planting watermelons, the soil should warm up to a minimum of + 14 ° C. Otherwise, the seeds may not sprout or their germination will slow down.
You can plant watermelons in several ways, but the best option is single-line. To do this, a comb is poured on the beds 90 cm wide and 20 cm high (50 cm wide and 20 cm high). When planting plants in a row between the wells, a distance of 40-50 cm is left. This planting scheme is best suited for a small greenhouse.
With a two-line planting, the plants are planted in a checkerboard pattern, for which two rows are arranged at a distance of 50 cm from each other and 70 cm between the plants themselves.
In closed ground, watermelons are most often planted according to a two-line pattern.
How to plant seedlings of watermelons in a greenhouse
Planting seedlings begin after the establishment of warm weather, which directly depends on the region. In the daytime, the temperature indicator should not fall below + 25 ° C, at night - below + 5 ° C. To ensure rapid heating of the soil, beds can be shed with hot water and covered with a black film. The next day you can proceed with the landing. Under the seedlings make small holes, which are shed with warm water, heated in the sun.
2 plants are placed in one hole, with a seedling lump 1 cm above the ground level, which will prevent the plants from decaying. Seedlings are carefully removed from the planting tank, avoiding damage to the roots and stems. Planting is convenient if the watermelons were grown in peat pots. As the bushes develop, the lashes are directed in different directions.
Video: planting seedlings of watermelons in closed ground
Greenhouse Watermelon Care
Watermelon belongs to weaving plants, so it must be tied up in a greenhouse. The stem of a watermelon, unlike a cucumber, cannot independently cling to a rope that goes up. In this case, you will need to inspect the beds every day and entwine the shoots of plants as they develop around the trellis. It is also worth considering that in a closed ground watermelon is formed, as a rule, in one stem, i.e. the fruits are tied on the main shoot, and the lateral processes are subject to removal. No more than four fruits are left on the main lash, which depends on the growing region and the watermelon variety. Pinch the main stem, for which 5 leaves retreat from the upper fruit.
Watermelons bloom about 60 days after planting in the ground. First, male flowers appear, and then female flowers. One of the important points during this period is the pollination procedure, which is recommended to be carried out manually. To do this, they tear off the male flower and lean it against the female. The latter initially has a small fruit. With successful pollination, the ovary will begin to develop rapidly, otherwise the flower will stretch.
When the fruits reach the size with a plum, 7 leaves retreat from each of them and break off the crown of the stems. With the increase in watermelons to the size of a small apple, they are placed in mesh bags and tied to a trellis. If the fruits are not tied up in a timely manner, they simply rip off the lashes under their own weight. Since the appearance of new lateral shoots delays the ripening of the crop, these processes constantly pluck. In addition, weeds must be removed in a timely manner, which indicates the need to maintain cleanliness in the greenhouse.
Despite the prevailing opinion among gardeners that watermelon loves watering, this culture is quite resistant to drought. This suggests that you need to irrigate the soil very carefully. Most of all, the plant needs moisture before the flowering period, during the formation and at the beginning of the development of the ovaries. For water use warm water, spending up to 7 liters per 1 bush.
Watering is stopped when the fruits reach the size characteristic of a competitive variety.
In addition to irrigation, attention is paid to top dressing. To prepare a nutrient solution, mix 1 tbsp. l azofoski and superphosphate, as well as 1 tsp. potassium sulfate and diluted in 10 water, after which fertilizer is applied to the root zone of plants, after moistening the soil. Throughout the growing period, 4 top dressings are carried out. In addition, they constantly pay attention to the appearance and condition of plants, so that in case of detection of pests or the development of diseases, it is possible to respond in a timely manner.
Video: care and formation of watermelons in a greenhouse
Since watermelon is a southern culture, not every gardener in the middle lane or northern regions decides to plant it on his site. However, if there is a greenhouse, it is not so difficult to do this. The main thing is to properly prepare the covering structure and seed, to land in a timely manner and to ensure appropriate care.