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Tested Varieties And Hybrids Of Watermelons And Melons
Tested Varieties And Hybrids Of Watermelons And Melons

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Tested varieties and hybrids of watermelons and melons

watermelons and melons
watermelons and melons

I agreed to return once again to the topic of growing watermelons and melons, because during the days of the exhibition, many gardeners asked to share their secrets. Indeed, besides watermelons and melons, we also presented to the visitors pumpkin, leeks, corn, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and cucumbers.

From the editorial board: At the AgroRus-2006 exhibition, which ended in early September, the stand of the Romanov gardeners, which our magazine has already talked about on its pages, aroused great interest. This interest was explained by the fact that, in addition to pumpkins, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, etc., which are already familiar for our region, excellent watermelons and melons grown on a horticultural melon near Kolpino were displayed and updated every day at this stand.

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These wonders were seen and tried by many guests of the exhibition, including the governor of the city and deputies of the Legislative Assembly. And everyone was surprised that, it turns out, melons and gourds are ripening near St. Petersburg. Therefore, our editors asked the Romanov gardeners, Boris Petrovich and Galina Prokopyevna, to share their experience of melon growing again.

Our watermelons and melons were tasted every day. I constantly had to replenish their stocks from my melons. And not a single cut watermelon, not a single melon let us down, everyone noted their high taste. As a result of the exhibition, we received a diploma for the skillful application of agrotechnical knowledge in the cultivation of organic vegetables.

Moles on melons

For two years now, watermelons and melons have been growing on our site. At the end of the 2006 season, I want to take stock of the successes and failures of our family in growing melons and gourds and compare these results with the season of last year. I would like to point out right away that we did not manage to break the 2005 record in terms of the number and total weight of grown watermelons, although this summer was more favorable in temperature than last year.

Much damage to watermelon plantings was caused by moles. Many watermelons, having reached a weight of 2-3 kg, suddenly began to dry out and wrinkle, and then rotted and dried out along with the lashes due to a violation of the root system. Throughout the area with plantings of watermelons, there was a hilly surface with mole heaps and burrows.

But we did not give up, we continued to look after the remaining landings. They did not fight the moles, because the entire surface of our site and the entire array of truck farming was affected by mole settlements. This year, vegetable and strawberry beds, and decorative and flower plantings have suffered from them. And here I immediately want to note one interesting circumstance: although we cannot explain ourselves what was the matter, the plantings with melons in open and protected ground did not suffer, and after all, there were also worm tunnels, but the root system of melons was never damaged. This could be seen from the tops of the melons, maybe the smell of the roots of melon plants frightened the moles?

The weight of individual watermelons and melons this year is higher than the results of last year, and the taste of this year's harvest is better - the grown fruits are sweeter. At the time of this writing, we have not yet removed all the watermelons and melons, and therefore we cannot present the final result.

This season we planted both crops both in open and protected ground to see the results and draw conclusions. In the open ground, in a garden bed under watermelons measuring 1.5x6 m, 8 cups of seedlings were planted, the end result is 34 watermelons, on September 6, 13 watermelons remained on the melon. The maximum weight of the removed watermelon is 9.5 kg, the minimum is 3 kg. The three largest watermelons have not yet been removed from the melon.

In the open field, all the removed watermelons ripened, and everyone who tried them noted their high taste: the pulp was surprisingly sweet and tender - apparently, the favorable weather conditions this summer played a role.

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Proven varieties and hybrids of watermelons

watermelons and melons
watermelons and melons

4 cups of seedlings were planted in the greenhouse - 10 watermelons were set. We removed three watermelons of the Early Ripe Sugar variety, the rest are still growing, since we planted varieties with good keeping quality in the greenhouse.

Last year, growing watermelons only in the open field, we tested three varieties: Ogonyok, Shuga Baby (Poisk agrofirm) and Marmeladny variety of Novosibirsk selection.

This year we kept the Suga Baby variety, as it was the largest last year, 8 kg, and very sweet. In addition to it, we took three more varieties of watermelon and two hybrids. Two varieties were specially taken with good keeping quality, for example, one of them, as promised in the annotation, is stored for 3-3.5 months after taking off the fruit.

We believe that the choice of the variety is very important. It is no coincidence that gardeners were primarily interested in this. For our climate it is necessary to select early varieties and hybrids. Here is a small overview of those varieties and hybrids that we have planted this year: watermelons for the northern regions - varieties Lezheboka, Crimson Wonder, Early Ripe Sugar, hybrids Kai F1 and Susi F1.

The first watermelon this year, as well as last year, gave us the Suga Baby variety - on August 12 - 3.5 kg. It turned out to be sweet, the flesh is red, tender, juicy, with seeds not yet black, but dark brown.

Before the exhibition, we tried the Crimson Wonder variety - the 6 kg watermelon was removed on August 25, it was very sweet with a strongly pronounced watermelon aroma. At the exhibition, the tasting of the Suga Baby variety, the Kai F1 hybrid, was held, and none of them turned out to be immature by the end of August, everyone noted their high consumer qualities.

This year, the final stage in growing watermelons in the open field was the easiest for us. On August 13, there was the last abundant watering, and later the watermelons were left to their own devices. This year we did not cover the watermelon plantings with plastic wrap. Last season, on August 20, a film shelter was made over the melon. Today the weather has allowed us to do without this laborious operation. Almost all watermelons are ripe.

And now about growing melons. Here, the results exceeded all our expectations. In the open field on an area of ​​1.5x3 m, 6 cups of seedlings were planted. There were no failures after planting seedlings in open ground. We were amazed and at the same time delighted by the friendly ovary of flowering plants. At the end of July, we counted 70 fruit set on this melon. The first melons were shot in early August. The melons were tender, juicy, sweet, and most importantly, with an indescribable melon aroma. There was no comparison with imported melons in taste and aroma. The varieties Lada and Kolkhoznitsa were planted in open ground.

Melons ripen in the greenhouse …

watermelons and melons
watermelons and melons

In the greenhouse, three cups of seedlings of the Gerd hybrid and two cups of the Zlato Scythian hybrid, as well as two cups of the Joker hybrid are planted. Indoors, we got the earliest melons from the Zlato Scythian hybrid - on August 5. One plant produced 6 melons, the other - 5. The approximate weight of fruits is from 1.5 to 2 kg. One melon weighed 3 kg.

On the Gerda hybrid, the ovary was formed twice: the first - in early July, the second - in early August. The total number of melons from three plants is 17 pieces, the first ovary has already been removed - 6 pieces, individual specimens reached 3 and 3.5 kg, the rest of the melons are still on the whips, they are ripening.

On the Joker hybrid, with the longest growing season of all melons, 80-100 days, 9 fruits set. The maximum melon weight of this hybrid is 4 kg, but it turned out to be not only the largest in weight, but also the most fragrant and sweetest. The final result of work on melon beds can be summed up after the entire crop has been removed.

To everyone who is interested in our method of growing melons, I want to immediately declare: it is not enough to want to grow a watermelon or melon, you need to know the biological characteristics of these crops, carefully prepare the place where they will grow, and also have a lot of patience to care for these crops throughout the season …

During conversations with gardeners at the exhibition, we were struck by a one-sided approach to growing crops, and this applies not only to melons. Some gardeners were interested only in the variety, others were worried about the preparation of the land, others - the timing of planting, and no one was interested in the general picture of growing a particular crop.

About the same questions we are asked by the neighbors of the dacha. As if it is enough to pay attention to any one of these elements - and you can grow a good harvest. But success will come only to those who adopt an integrated approach: the correct choice of seeds, preparation of a site for planting a crop, properly grown strong seedlings, further care of the plants after planting in the ground. For successful cultivation, no element from this chain can be excluded.

If you want to grow some kind of culture, you need to read a lot about it, ask people who have already been involved in its cultivation, generalize the experience of others, try, make mistakes, start again. A negative result teaches something too. We are writing this for those gardeners who have already tried to grow watermelons according to our method, but they have not succeeded yet.

For example, we see that our neighbors in our array are already able to grow melons, with watermelons it is more difficult, we ourselves warn that this is a very capricious culture. We ourselves went to the cultivation of this culture for a very long time and only having experience of 18 years, we decided to take up watermelons. And even now, every year, depending on weather conditions and the past winter, we make adjustments to agricultural technology.

Having told about the results of the season, in the next issue I will describe in detail our experience in growing melons on the site.

Read the next part. Agrotechnics of growing watermelons near St. Petersburg →

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