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Video: Growing Melons In A Greenhouse Near St. Petersburg
Read the previous part. ← Cultivation of melons near St. Petersburg in the open field
Melons ripened on the northern melons …
As with watermelons, no work was done to trim the tops of the melons. Its development was given complete freedom. Now I understand: since there was not enough time to deal with the formation of tops, then on this area of the ridge it was necessary to plant not 6 plants, but only 4, then the fruits of the melons would be larger, and the yield from this area would be higher. It was felt that in the process of growth the melon bushes interfered with each other's development.
We took the main melon harvest from 15 to 25 August. At this time, large melons of the Lada variety ripened in the open field, some fruits reached a weight of 2.5 kg. All melons were different in size and weight. 9 pieces were less than 0.5 kg.
We called them "babies", but these "babies" were not inferior in taste to the larger ones, they also had time to mature. We treated our friends with these "babies". About 30 pieces were weighing from 0.5 kg to 1 kg, all other melons were standard in weight, from 1.5 kg and more. The total weight of the melons harvested outdoors was approximately 80 kg.
It should be noted that the two varieties of melons planted side by side have become dusty. Some fruits had the taste of both varieties and in appearance did not resemble either Lada or Kolkhoznitsa; several of the fruits had an interesting speck of gold. But both of these varieties, when ripe, possessed an extraordinary melon aroma. The bulk of the fruits ripened before the start of the rains, therefore, the melons remaining on the melons after taking off the bulk of the crop, we did not cover with a film cover.
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We were lucky: there were no early frosts this year, and the rains that started did not do much harm when ripening the remaining fruits on the melon. But nevertheless, when growing melons and watermelons in the open field in our climate, one mandatory rule must be followed: after August 15, build a film cover over the ridge, which would not allow the autumn rains to host the melons. Even one cold rain followed by a cold night can instantly cool the entire ridge. The roots will immediately begin to rot and die off. the root system of this southern plant develops and works only in a warm ridge.
As a result, the remaining fruits will not ripen to the end, the tops will start to get sick and die, the fruits will be left without nutrition and their quality will drop sharply. This year we did not cover the melon with a film, since there is a very small amount of fruit left on it. Melons may not pick up the desired quality if cold nights are observed during their ripening. We observed the same thing on open field plantings of cucumbers, which we have been growing in this way for 10 years.
Growing melons indoors
This year we took hybrids Zlato Scythians, Joker, Gerda for growing in a greenhouse.
- Hybrid Zlato Scythians - mid-early (75-80 days), fruits 1.1-1.3 kg.
- Hybrid Gerda - early ripening (80-85 days), fruits 1.5-2 kg.
- Joker hybrid - mid-season (80-100 days), weighing 2.5-3.5 kg.
I want to note that the Joker and Gerda hybrids can be grown only if the ridges with manure are prepared early, they are well heated before planting, since they have a long growing season, and you may not have time to get ripe fruits from these plants. This year, we have succeeded in these hybrids due to the favorable weather conditions of the summer.
The harvest from them turned out to be even higher than we expected. The best of the named hybrids in the greenhouse is to grow the mid-early hybrid Zlato Scythians. We got the first melons from this hybrid on August 5th. And then the ripening fruits filled our large greenhouse with a unique melon aroma.
Preparation of the land for planting melons in the greenhouse began early in the spring, but it is always better if the ridge is at least 50% ready in the fall. In April, soil was selected for the melons on the ridges. We have a box for planting melons 50 cm high from the clay. At the bottom, we laid a layer of sawdust about 20 cm (chips or other wood waste can be used). Fresh manure up to 10 cm high was placed on the sawdust. On manure - a thick layer of hay. And already for hay - a fertile layer of earth.
The manure can be replaced with a thicker layer of hay. We spilled the entire area prepared for planting melons with hot water with potassium permanganate and covered with foil. If on the street we do not put manure on melons over the entire area of the ridge, since it burns the roots of plants in the first half of the summer, then in the greenhouse the reaction of manure burning is more intense, and at the beginning of July the roots are already calmly located in the layer of rotted manure.
By the time the seedlings were planted, the ridges were warmed up. On May 20, 7 plants were planted in the greenhouse. Our greenhouse has two glass partitions inside. The distance between them is three meters. Ridges with melons were located along them. The width of the ridge is 40 cm.The partition is located from north to south, its height is 1 m 80 cm.
The distance between the plants in the greenhouse is 1-1.2 m.As the main whip of the plant grows, we first lay it along the ground in the direction from north to south, first we pin it with metal pins through 0.5 m, and then we tie the whip and let it crawl up on partitions. As the plant develops, side lashes appear below.
In addition to the main whip, 4 lateral shoots were left on each plant, the rest were all removed throughout the growing season constantly. Having on one plant one main lash and four side ones, we distribute them evenly over the partition.
As the plants grew, a solid green wall of lashes was obtained, which went to the top of the partition, overcoming it, hanging from the other side to the very ground, and at the very ground we pinch it. In this way, a good illumination surface for all lashes was created.
In the greenhouse, the plants began to grow right away, since the ground was very warm, the tops were growing right before our eyes, quickly gaining strength, and we had to constantly remove excess lateral shoots. Melons bloomed in the greenhouse in mid-June, but the fruits were not set until the first days of July: there were no pollinators (bumblebees, bees). We did not do manual pollination. In early July, a massive fruit set began.
We barely had time to make shelves and stands for fruits and fasten them to a glass partition. At the beginning of July, one plant of the Scythian Zlato hybrid had 5 fruits, the other set 4. On three plants of the Gerd hybrid, two fruits were set. The Joker hybrid formed 3 fruits on one plant, and 1 on the other, i.e. on this hybrid, not all whips were with melons. But we did not remove those lashes on which the fruits did not set, they continued to grow.
And finally, at the end of July, a second layer of melons was tied on them. On the Joker hybrid, where there was one ovary, 5 melons were still set, but on the plant, where 3 melons were initially set, there were no more ovaries. On the Gerda hybrid, where each plant had 2 melons, in the second layer 4 more melons were tied again, and on the third - 5 melons. All the fruits of these hybrids were large, but they began to ripen only at the end of August.
We were the first to taste the melons of the Zlato Scythian hybrid, the fruits weighed 2.5 and 3.2 kg. On 22 August, the last fruit was removed from this hybrid. The melons were very aromatic and of high taste. We really liked this hybrid, and we want to try growing it in the open field.
Then the melons of the Gerda hybrid began to ripen, the first ovary produced a very large fruit weighing more than 3 kg. We removed the melon from this hybrid on 25 August. The taste of this plant is high: sweet, tender, melting flesh in the mouth. The second layer from this hybrid and the first layer from the Joker hybrid coincided in time of ripening, they were ready for harvesting by the beginning of September.
The melon of the Joker hybrid was less sweet than the fruits of the other named hybrids, but its unique pineapple aroma and melting flesh in the mouth covered the lack of sweetness that was present in competitors. When tasting it, an extraordinary aroma fills any room. The largest fruit turned out to be the fruit from this hybrid, we removed it on September 15, weighing 4.5 kg. We removed the last fruits from the Gerd hybrid on September 20.
It was very difficult to determine the time when it is necessary to remove ripe fruits from plants. This is a great skill. We have not yet mastered it. Either we overexposed the melons on the bushes, or removed them ahead of schedule. And only a third of the fruit was picked on time. They could be stored well without losing taste. For early ripening varieties of melons, timely harvesting is of particular importance. Storing unripe early ripening varieties of melons results in a loss of sweetness.
Melon ridges are high, we watered the plants abundantly with warm water. As soon as the first fruit on the plant ripened, watering was sharply reduced and was carried out only in the morning. Watered, as well as on the street, with a light ash solution and a solution with superphosphate.
Our neighbors planted one melon bush Kolkhoz woman in their greenhouse, left five lashes on it, got 3 melons from the plant. After August 15, it is advisable to gradually remove the whips without fruit both in the greenhouse and in the garden. You can carry out the formation of tops by removing all excess. This will cause the remaining fruits to ripen quickly. Due to the workload, we did not have time to do this at home, which is why we had a delay in the ripening of the remaining fruits.
This also leads to a loss in the quality of the last ovaries. The roots at this time already do not work well, and the fruits are fed from the tops, and by this time they are also not of the best quality. I want to clarify that on the melon melon and in the greenhouse, we carried out two foliar dressings with Uniflor micronutrient fertilizers - we sprayed the plantings with melons on the tops.
And here it is, the result of growing melons in a greenhouse: we collected 37 fruits with a total weight of about 70 kg.