How to grow sweet melons: tricks of experienced gardeners
Growing melons in the garden is not that difficult. Experienced gardeners say that compliance with certain fairly simple conditions can give an excellent harvest of fragrant fruits by the end of summer, even in the northern regions.
OBOZREVATEL asked the main nuances of melon cultivation. They can be divided into five steps.
Place a bed with melons on the southern side of the plot - in the sun and in a place protected from the wind. This crop grows best in light sandy slightly alkaline or neutral soil. Acidic reaction of the soil is the most unfavorable condition for the plant to grow.
Before planting, the melon bed should be recultivated and humus or compost with superphosphate should be added. In the first half of May it is time to plant seeds. In one hole is placed 2-3 seeds. The depth of immersion in the ground should be 3-4 cm, and the distance between the holes - 1-1,2 meters.
To prevent the shoots from freezing, each hole is covered with a liter plastic bottle with the bottom cut off. The bottle should be high dipped in sand, and through the neck pour water of 40-50 degrees into the hole. After that, a 5-liter jar is placed on top, in which the bottom is also cut off. Such a greenhouse will best retain heat and will not let the melon freeze even in a cold night.
When the seeds will sprout and the plants will develop their first real leaf, they will need to be thinned. In each hole, one seedling is left - the strongest and most viable. Next, the plants are watered and covered with a five-liter bottle, which should protect the seedlings for most of June.
Melons should grow in an unshaded area to get enough sunlight to be juicy and sweet. However, when the fruits begin to ripen, they should be protected in the afternoon heat by covering them with large leaves or newspapers. That way, the melons won't ripen.
A very common disease among gourds is fungus. It affects both fruits and shoots, causing them to rot and die. Infection gets on melons from the soil, so under each fruit you need to put a board, a piece of slate or other obstacle that will protect it from contact with the microflora of the ground. Also cover the root neck of the plant with a small amount of sand.
In warmer climates, gourds put their roots deep into the ground to extract their life-giving moisture. In colder regions, water is shallow, so the melon will need a more shallow and branched root system. This can be achieved by watering the plant not under the root, but in specially made ditches between the rows. Watering occurs only during periods of intense and prolonged heat. The next day the soil is loosened and mulched, so that it remains loose and breathable.
Shaping the bush
With a short summer, it is unlikely that all the ovaries the melon will produce will be able to grow into full-fledged fruit. Experienced gardeners recommend leaving no more than six fruits on one bush - the rest can be cut off so as not to deplete the plant. The main stem should be cut above 5-6 leaves.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL told you how to water tomatoes immediately after planting to avoid their death.