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Melons Near St. Petersburg
Melons Near St. Petersburg

And near Petersburg you can grow melons


From the Editor: in the last issue we published an article about the amazing experience of growing watermelons near St. Petersburg. It turned out that the gardeners Boris Petrovich and Galina Prokopyevna Romanov, who so successfully started the practice of melon growing, in the current season risked mastering another outlandish culture for our places - melon. Read about what came of this in the next article by our new authors.

How it all began

Our knowledge of melon cultivation was almost nil. They just decided to try to grow it, although they only knew that the melon belongs to the pumpkin family and that it was grown in ancient Egypt.

On three bags that we purchased in an ordinary seed store, there was also no detailed information about agricultural technology - only the characteristics of the fruits were given, the ripening dates were indicated. Somewhere we read that the stems of the melon are 2.5-3 meters long, the leaves are large, the flowers are also large, yellow, pollinated by insects.

Melon is thermophilic, as well as light- and moisture-loving. Its fruits, it turns out, increase vitality, are good for anemia, and have a beneficial effect on the exhausted and senile organism. We chose, of course, the earliest varieties, because our summer is short, cannot be compared with the Central Asian, where melons are usually grown. They chose three varieties: Kolkhoz Woman, Altai and Jumbo.

The seeds were planted on seedlings according to the lunar calendar - April 14. They took half-liter cups of sour cream, the soil was ordinary for seedlings - flower, mixed half with coconut substrate. Two seeds were planted in each glass. No seed pretreatment was done.

The cups were covered with foil and placed in boxes near the heating battery. Melons rose more amicably and faster than watermelons. The first seedlings appeared on the fifth day. The fastest growing melons of the Altai variety. Looking ahead, we note that they were the first to bear fruit. A week later, seedlings hatched in all the cups.

Since each of them had two shoots, on April 29, we carefully cut them down. It turned out ten cups with seedlings. But it is still better to plant one seed at a time, since picking for pumpkin crops is always stress for young plants, and there is a slight delay in the growing season.

Seedlings were fertilized twice with Kemir Lux fertilizer. The seedlings developed normally and were more robust in appearance than those of the watermelons.

Growing melons in a greenhouse with tomatoes


Melons were planted on May 28, on this day there was a good sunny weather.

We decided that we will plant four melons in a greenhouse with tomatoes: 3 plants of the Altai variety and 1 plant of the Jumbo variety. Planted in a greenhouse from the northwest side, so that the melon whips would not shade the tomatoes, planted quite freely. Our greenhouse is high - 3.5 meters in the center.

Melon Jumbo did not grow for a long time, no matter how it stopped in development, we think this is due to the fact that it had a bad place, near the film itself. But the melons of the Altai variety immediately took root and quickly began to grow.

The main shoot of the Altai melon was laid on the ground and forced to take root in two places (for this, the shoot was pressed to the ground with a wire and sprinkled on top). From the lying part of the main shoot, we got 5-6 lateral and 1 main, it turned out 7 stems, tied them up, all the other weak lateral shoots were removed.

Our greenhouse has an internal partition 2 meters high. All the lashes were thrown over this partition. The shoots began to grow rapidly, and then began to bloom actively. We did not do manual pollination, because at that time many bumblebees and other insects were flying in the greenhouse.

On one bush, 15 melons were tied, on the other 6 melons, on the third 7 melons. The bush with Altai melon, where 15 pieces were set, was facing south-west, and the melon weighed from 0.5 to 1 kg.

On the bush, the whip of which was turned to the east, 6 melons from 1.5 to 2 kg were tied.

The third lash was shaded with tomatoes, looked north, and there were 7 pieces on it: 2 pieces of 1 kg and 5 pieces of 0.5 kg. Small melons were placed in nets and hung from a partition.

As the fruit ripened, the greenhouse smelled like a melon scent. All melons are ripe by mid-August. Some overripe fruits even cracked (it was necessary to stop watering earlier).

The melons are thin-skinned, fragrant, the flesh is tender. But the Altai variety had a pumpkin flavor, although we did not grow pumpkins next to us, but the flesh was very tender. Jumbo variety - 1 bush in the greenhouse started a little later, since it was very close to the edge of the greenhouse, it had 5 melons weighing from 800 g to 1 kg. We took them off in mid-September, the pulp was tender and sweet, a very interesting variety, but it has a longer period from germination to ripening than Altayskaya and Kolkhoznitsa varieties.

Melons grow in the garden


At the same time, we conducted an experiment with melons in the garden bed. Melons were also planted in open ground on a warm bed on May 28. A bed measuring 1.9 x 2 m, warm (2 layers of hay, no manure). After planting the seedlings, the bed was covered with a film-house. We planted 6 plants on the garden bed: 1 seedlings of the Altai variety, 1 seedlings of the Jumbo variety and 4 pieces of the Kolkhoznitsa variety.

The film was on the garden bed until mid-June, then it was removed. At the end of June and throughout July, we intensively watered the garden: at this time, the tops of the melons grew very quickly, and the fruits quickly began to set. They looked after melons in the same way as for watermelons, watered with infusion of ash. The fruits of the Altai variety were interestingly tied. They lay like wood on top of each other. The Kolkhoznitsa variety also had fruits scattered in heaps, as if huddled together. Only the Jumbo variety did not set fruit.

The first melons began to ripen in the Altayskaya variety: already at the beginning of August they began to turn yellow, ripening. We did not see for two fruits, and they rotted on the bush. Then we urgently began to shoot the rest and try. The melons were already ripe, fragrant, and the skin was thin, but with a pumpkin flavor, just like in a greenhouse.

In mid-August, the first fruits of the Kolkhoznitsa variety began to ripen, and then the fruits began to grow on the Jumbo variety.

Melon varieties Altayskiy in the open field collected 25 pieces from 0.5 to 1 kg. Until August 20, all melons of this variety matured and were removed.

By this time, the first layer of the Kolkhoznitsa variety had also matured, but the tops were still growing intensively, and new fruits were being set. The second layer of this variety has matured by mid-September already under the film. About 40 fruits of this variety were taken, weighing from 0.4 to 1 kg. This variety turned out to be the most wonderful in taste, juicy, tender and delicious.

The Jumbo variety began to ripen from mid-August, but it did not have enough sun, we realized that it has a longer growing season.

It should be noted that since August 20, we covered melons with melons for the night with a film.

Season lessons

General note: from the varieties that we grew, I really liked the Kolkhoznitsa variety, all the melons were sweet, fragrant and thin-skinned.

Another conclusion was made for themselves: when growing in open ground, you cannot plant different varieties of melons in the same garden. For the Altayskaya variety, it was necessary to stop watering at some point, while other varieties still needed them. Melon care is basically like caring for cucumbers and, in our opinion, even a novice gardener can grow them. Watermelons are much more difficult to grow. And our family got enough melons this year.

In general, melons are extremely decorative, they have very bright green carved foliage, which, with proper care, does not turn yellow for a long time and retains its grace. These plants should be planted in a prominent, lighted area.

It is better to make the eastern and western parts of the ridge in the form of a fence and direct the ends of the lashes to it, and it is convenient to hang the fruits on this fence in nets. And on the western and southern sides, the lashes should go down from a high ridge. It turns out a broken form of tops, of delightful beauty, with their own microclimate. It is also necessary for better lighting of the lashes and for better fruit setting. But in mid-August, taking into account the weather, all melon melon should be covered with a film.

We believe that every gardener should try to grow melons at least once in order to breathe in the unique aroma of their flowers and fruits and admire the beauty of melons. But, apparently, it is necessary to start with a small number of plants, so that there is no disappointment if something does not work out.