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Growing Melons In A Greenhouse: Varieties And Hybrids, Pumpkin Grafting
Growing Melons In A Greenhouse: Varieties And Hybrids, Pumpkin Grafting

Video: Growing Melons In A Greenhouse: Varieties And Hybrids, Pumpkin Grafting

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Video: How to Graft Watermelon 2023, January
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Read part 1. ← Cultivation of melons in a greenhouse: sowing, shaping, watering and feeding

Features of growing melons in the North-West region of Russia

melon cultivation
melon cultivation

We prepare seedlings, as for greenhouses, sow seeds at the end of April in a small air heater for a heated greenhouse, if it's cold, then keep it on a sunny windowsill or in a seedling box, and bring it indoors at night.

We plant the plants in a greenhouse after 40 cm for a single-stem culture and after 60 cm for a two-stem culture.

When forming a melon with one stem, all the lower lateral shoots of the first order are removed to the fifth knot, the rest are pinched over the 2-3rd leaf after the ovary, without normalizing their number. We also pinch the shoots of the second order over the 2-3rd leaf after the formation of the ovary.

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melon cultivation
melon cultivation

We direct the stems up the slats parallel to the glass and tie them at regular intervals. We remove the growth point at a height of 1.5 m in order to stimulate the development of side shoots. As soon as they grow, we tie them horizontally, remove the growth point on the lateral shoots after the formation of five leaves in order to stimulate the appearance of second-order lateral shoots with flower buds, and on the second-order lateral shoots, through two leaves after the flower. (On each lash we leave one fruit, pinching the growth points above the 3-4th leaf after the fruit). Remove all flowers on the main stem. (Female flowers formed on the main shoot are often sterile, so fruits are rarely set there).

If we form a plant of 2-3 stems, then we do not pinch the lower 2-3 shoots, but tie them with twine to the trellis. Remove the rest of the shoots. We pinch the shoots of the second order on each stem, as in a culture with one stem. We leave one fruit on each lash, pinching the growth points above the 3-4th leaf after the fruit. In the greenhouse, if there is no access to insects, it is better to carry out artificial pollination.

We do manual pollination when at least four female flowers have opened on different side shoots. Then we pluck a flower with stamens, cut off the petals and touch the stigmas of the pistil on the female flowers with the stamens. We carry out pollination in the first half of the day, but we must make sure that there is no moisture on the stigma. To pollinate four female flowers, one male is sufficient. Once the melons have reached the size of a tennis ball, place each fruit in a net tied to a wire. When the fruits begin to ripen, fully open the vents to keep the air dry, but keep the soil moderately moist. With the appearance of the ovaries, we feed the plants every two weeks. Top dressing and watering are the same as for greenhouse crops.

To improve the quality of melon fruits, Japanese experts recommend not fertilizing in the phase of the end of fruit growth - the beginning of the formation of a net (10 days before ripening). With a reduced level of mineral nutrition, there is an increase in dry matter content and an improvement in the appearance of the fruit. It is necessary to collect them 2-3 times a week, given that the ripe fruits of many varieties are easily separated from the stalk and fall.

Melon is sometimes damaged by melon aphids, spider mites. When they appear, they are treated with Sumi-alpha, Zolon, Karate, Fastak or other insecticides. The most harmful diseases are peronosporosis, anthracnose, bacteriosis, powdery mildew. Fungicides Bayleton, Topsin-M, sulfur preparations are used against powdery mildew. Against peronosporosis, bacteriosis and anthracnose, use Cuproxat, copper oxychloride, Oxyhom, Sandofan M8, Acrobat MC and other similar drugs. Modern hybrids are quite resistant to many diseases and do not require active protective measures, in addition, some chemicals can damage the leaves.

melon cultivation
melon cultivation

So, let me remind you again: the melon is demanding for heat and light. At temperatures below + 15 ° C, the seeds do not germinate. The optimum temperature for the growth and development of plants is + 28 … + 30 ° С. This culture makes especially high demands on heat during the period of fruiting and ripening. Cloudy and cool weather adversely affects the growth and formation of crops. Melon tolerates soil and air drought well. However, it is especially water-demanding at the beginning of the growing season.

The requirements of the melon to the structure and fertility of the soil are high. The best for her are well-warmed, permeable, light loamy soils with a high content of nutrients, but not fatty.

In a melon, the first female flowers appear on the lateral shoots, therefore, pinch the main whip over 3-4 leaves. On the side shoots, two well-developed lashes are left, which are then pinched over 4-6 leaves. The next pruning is carried out after the formation of the ovary, removing the growth point above the 3-4th leaf above the ovary. One shoot should have no more than two fruits, the whole plant should have 6-8 fruits.

About melon varieties

The early maturity of melon varieties depends mainly on the duration of the growth and ripening phases of the fruit, and not on the beginning of the flowering of female flowers. Greenhouse melon varieties should combine early maturity, yield, good palatability and resistance to unfavorable greenhouse conditions. The most widespread are three varieties of melon: Charente, Gaul, Ozhen, Canari. I will not characterize each variety type, for amateurs it does not matter much, it is more important to characterize individual varieties, or rather hybrids, which give a more reliable harvest in our climatic conditions in closed ground.

Melon grafting on pumpkin

melon cultivation
melon cultivation

Southern, Central Asian melons succeed only when they are grafted onto a pumpkin, which increases their cold resistance. We vaccinate according to the Lebedeva method. In this case, we sow melon and pumpkin seeds on April 15-20. We take a large-fruited pumpkin as a stock, sow pumpkin and melon seeds in one pot: first, melon seeds, and after 2-3 days - pumpkin seeds. We graft when the first true leaf begins to appear at the stock (pumpkin) and scion (melon). Water the plants half an hour before vaccination. Then, on the pumpkin, we make an incision from top to bottom, 1.5-2 cm long, through the cotyledon knee knot to the hollow space. We cut the knot only in half, i.e. to the point of growth, and then cut along the dark strip (along the tissue between the vessels).

Cut the melon from the root. At the end of the stem, cut off the thinnest layer of the skin on two opposite sides. The length of the cut of the skin should correspond to the length of the cut on the rootstock and exactly match it. When combining the scion with the stock, it is necessary to ensure that the tip of the scion is not in the hollow space of the pumpkin stalk. We put a bandage from a washcloth or a strip of plastic film on the vaccination site. The bandage should not be made continuous, so as not to deprive the stem of lighting, as this leads to the destruction of chlorophyll. We place the grafted plants in a humid chamber, which we make from wire or wooden slats and film. Place wet sand or sawdust on the bottom of the chamber. In the early days we shade the camera.

When properly grafted, the plants in the chamber should not wither. We begin to ventilate the chamber on the second day after planting, increasing the ventilation time daily. After 6-8 days we put the plant in the greenhouse. When the seedlings begin to grow normally, care must be taken that the bandage does not cut the stem. Planting and caring for grafted plants is carried out in the same way as when planting un-grafted seedlings. Melon grafting on pumpkin is widespread in Japan and China, where special types of pumpkin have been developed for grafting melons and watermelons. Low-growing pumpkin species, in particular C. moschata, are most suitable as a stock. But such an operation requires some experience, and it makes sense to plant, say, valuable varieties of Japanese melons.

We grow on our farm, both in a greenhouse and in a greenhouse, usually several heterotic Dutch hybrids. In general, amateurs now have a very large selection of different seeds. But the advantages of heterotic hybrids are obvious: guaranteed high quality seeds, good taste, increased yield, resistance to many diseases, very early ripening period: 45-60 days. Moreover, it is quite difficult to find now a variety without signs of degeneration. Even Augustin Sageray (1925), the first researcher, noted heterosis in pumpkin crops, in particular in melon. The term heterosis, or "hybrid vigor", in the broadest sense of the word, is understood to mean all the positive effects leading to the superiority of first-generation (F1) hybrids over parental forms.

Melon hybrids that we tested on our farm

melon cultivation
melon cultivation

Woller F1.A very early high yielding hybrid of the Gallium type for open field and plastic greenhouses. It begins to ripen already on the 60-65th day after germination. Fruits are uniform, round, brownish-yellow in color with a strong aroma, covered with a uniform dense net. This hybrid forms fruits that are quite large for this type - from 1.7 to 3 kg. The pulp is delicate, juicy with a high sugar content, white with a slight greenish crust typical of this type of melon. The palatability of the fruit is 7-8 points (according to a 9-point system). The fetus has a small seed chamber. The fruits withstand long distance transportation well. The plant is of medium vigor, resistant to diseases such as peronosporosis, anthracnose and others, as well as stressful conditions. High level of resistance to fusarium and powdery mildew.Shows excellent results when grown in film greenhouses.

Delano F1. An early ripe hybrid (the beginning of ripening on the 53-55th day after transplanting) of pineapple melon with very high productivity. Fruits are oval-elongated, yellow, with a slight orange tint, weighing from 2 to 6 kg, have a dense, uniform mesh over the entire surface. They have a small seed chamber. In terms of presentation, Delano F1 fruits are unmatched. The pulp is white, juicy, tender, without greening. Has high taste and harmonious aroma. Vigorous plant, usually sets 2-4 fruits on a bush. Fairly good field disease resistance. Shows excellent results when grown in film greenhouses.

Roxolana F1. An early ripe hybrid of a melon with the revived taste of "Kolkhoznitsa". Fruits are round in shape with a pronounced mesh, weighing 1.5-2.5 kg. The skin is thin, yellow-orange. The pulp is white, very juicy, with a delicate structure. The fruits are transported fairly well over long distances. In terms of taste, it always receives 8.5-9 points (out of 9 possible). Fruits begin to ripen 62-68 days after germination. The Roksolana F1 hybrid has a powerful bush with a well-developed leaf apparatus, which protects the fruits from sunburn, which is very important in amateur greenhouses. The hybrid is quite resistant to diseases such as peronosporosis, anthracnose, root rot. It has proven itself well in growing both in greenhouses and greenhouses.

Polydor ll F1. Galia type hybrid. Differs in early ripening, very high yield and excellent fruit quality. Ripens early - 55 days under normal growing conditions, and super early when grown under plastic or in greenhouses. Fruits weighing 1-1.5 kg, oval-round. The peel is yellow-orange, reticulate. The pulp is whitish-light green, very sweet and aromatic, of excellent quality. Sugar content is high. Recommended for super early cultivation in greenhouses, under a film in the Non-Chernozem zone and in open ground (it bears fruit well in the middle lane).

Among the varieties acceptable for our zone, we can name the representative of Middle Eastern melons - Sweet Pineapple. (Middle eastern melons). Ripening is medium early. Average weight of fruits is 1.5-2 kg. The pulp is orange. The variety is resistant to powdery mildew.

The variety is always good to plant with hybrids as a pollinator, it is from him to take male flowers for artificial pollination.

Remember: when choosing a melon variety or hybrid, choose early and very early for our northern gardens.

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