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Many gardeners living in the Moscow region are engaged in the cultivation of watermelons. In this region, melons and gourds are planted both in greenhouses and outdoors. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself in advance with how to properly grow a watermelon in the Moscow region in order to get a lot of high-quality harvest.
What varieties grow best in the Moscow region
Before you start planting and growing melons and gourds, you need to familiarize yourself with the most suitable varieties for the Moscow region. Breeders have developed several varieties of watermelon that are adapted to the climate of this particular region.
Often, gardeners plant Sugar watermelon on their plots, which copes well with temperature extremes. The variety has an average ripening period of 60-70 days. Ripe watermelon berries are covered with a dense greenish skin that protects the flesh from damage. A peculiarity of the variety can be considered its taste, which is distinguished by a pleasant sweetness.
This variety is popular with gardeners who prefer to plant early ripening varieties. Maristo fruits fully ripen within 45-50 days. The advantage of the plant is considered its resistance to anthracnose and other common diseases, which often lead to the death of watermelon seedlings. When growing Maristo, at least 25 kilograms of juicy fruits are harvested from one bush.
Among the high-yielding varieties with fast ripening of berries, Barak's watermelons are distinguished. They grow well in the Moscow region and in other nearby areas. Baraka is distinguished by large fruits weighing more than ten kilograms. They are covered with a dense dark skin, under which there is a sweet and watery flesh. Baraka independently copes with pathogens of fusarium and aphids.
The earliest varieties of watermelons include Erken, whose berries ripen within three weeks after planting seedlings in the garden. The advantages of the variety include its unpretentiousness, thanks to which even inexperienced gardeners can start growing Erken.
Ripe fruits of a watermelon weigh at least 12 kilograms. They are dark green in color and have a sweetish flavor.
Before planting melons and gourds, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the methods of growing them. There are two main ways in which you can grow watermelon bushes.
People who are addicted to watermelons often grow them using the seedling method. Its main advantage is considered to be faster ripening of fruits in comparison with seed growing in the garden.
Also, to the pluses, you can add the fact that plants grown in seedlings are better protected from diseases and pests.
To get strong watermelon seedlings, the seed is sown in pots or plastic cassettes filled with soil and fertilizers. Within a month, seedlings will grow up to 5-7 centimeters, and they can be transplanted into a vegetable garden or greenhouse.
Gardeners who do not want to waste time transplanting seedlings immediately plant watermelons in the garden. When using the seedless method, all the seeds are soaked in advance in a solution of manganese and water so that they germinate better and are not subject to disease. Then the treated seed is dried and planted in the ground. So that the planted seeds do not suffer from frost, they are buried to a depth of 15-17 centimeters. For additional protection, all seed beds can be covered with plastic wrap.
How to properly plant and care for seeds
Gardeners who prefer to grow melons using the seed method should familiarize themselves with how to do this correctly.
Some residents of the Moscow region prefer to plant watermelons in the garden. To do this, choose an area with good lighting and protection from strong gusts of wind. The most suitable place will be the place where cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes or radishes were previously grown. Also, when choosing a site in the country, pay attention to the soil, which should be sandy loam.
After choosing a site, they begin pre-sowing soil preparation. 10-15 kilograms of humus and wood ash are added to it. Then the vegetable garden is treated with a mixture made of superphosphate and sulfate.
When the preparation of the site is completed, they begin planting. For this, rows are marked, along which holes 15-20 centimeters deep are made with a hoe. Two seeds are thrown into each hole, after which they are sprinkled with earth and watered. To grow strong bushes, at night all rows are covered with foil or sprinkled with straw.
In greenhouse conditions
Growing in a greenhouse is popular among gardeners who want to protect their seedlings as much as possible from night frosts. For planting plants use greenhouses with a height of more than two meters. A low greenhouse for watermelons is not suitable, since whips are grown indoors in an upright position.
Before planting a watermelon, soil preparation is carried out. To do this, beds are marked along the greenhouse, into which fertilizing in the form of manure is added in advance. Then holes are made on the beds and they are poured with superphosphate liquid. After that, 1-2 seeds are placed in the holes and covered with soil.
Planting and seedling care rules
Planting and growing watermelons by the seedling method causes difficulties for some gardeners. Therefore, it is necessary to familiarize yourself in advance with the peculiarities of growing melons and gourds in this way.
For open ground
Planting watermelons in open ground is carried out 35 days after sowing seeds. Most often, planting dates coincide with the end of May or the beginning of summer. To transplant seedlings, pits 30-40 centimeters deep are dug on the site, into which the seedlings are carefully placed.
The planted seedlings must be constantly looked after so that they grow better. The formation of a bush is necessarily carried out, in which all additional shoots are removed, and the main stem is pinched over the sixth leaf. Also, the seedlings are regularly watered so that the soil does not dry out. In the summer, watering is done 2-3 times a week.
Planting seedlings in a greenhouse is no different from planting in an open field. Caring for watermelon bushes in a greenhouse is to regularly fertilize the plants. The bushes are fed with a solution prepared from ammonium nitrate. Organic dressings are also used, which increase the yield of watermelons. To do this, the bushes are watered with liquid from bird droppings or manure.
To effectively care for watermelon seedlings, you need to monitor the temperature in the greenhouse. Temperature readings at night should not fall below 20 degrees, and during the day - below 30.
Diseases and pests of watermelons
Among the most dangerous diseases and pests are:
- Anthracnose. This disease appears as a result of exposure to the seedlings of a dangerous fungus. Signs of anthracnose begin to show when watermelons are grown in high humidity. At first, the upper part of the bushes turns yellow and becomes larger. Then ulcerative wounds appear on the stems, and the fruits are deformed. To get rid of the symptoms of anthracnose, you need to use Bordeaux liquid.
- Rot. Pathology is activated due to temperature changes and waterlogging of the soil. The development of rot leads to the compaction of the root system and its gradual cracking. For prevention, it is recommended to regularly fill the bushes with warm water and chalk solution.
- Wireworm. These bugs damage the roots of the seedlings, which leads to their partial or complete drying out. Getting rid of a wireworm is quite difficult. The only effective way to fight is the use of traps made from jars of chopped carrots and beets.
- Aphid. Such an insect is considered a dangerous pest that is able to quickly suck juice from seedlings and destroy them. Aphid colonies often appear in the summer or late spring. To fight the insect, it is necessary to periodically clean the area of weeds and remove the infected plants.
Determine the ripeness of a watermelon
Before harvesting, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the definition of the degree of its maturity.
To make sure that the fruits are ripe, you need to pay attention to their size. Ripe watermelons cannot be too small. Their weight should be about 5-10 kilograms. Also, the ripeness of a plant is determined by color.
Ripe watermelons are dark green. If the fruits are too light, it is better not to pick them, as they are not yet fully ripe. Ripe watermelon berries have a hard surface. A soft crust indicates that the crop is already overripe and must be plucked immediately before it starts to rot.
Collection and storage rules for watermelon
If agricultural technology was fully followed when growing watermelons, ripe fruits will be well stored for six months. For longer storage, it is recommended to plant only late varieties that are resistant to temperature extremes and transportation.
For storing watermelons, they choose rooms in which the air temperature does not exceed ten degrees Celsius. Also, be sure to take care of good air circulation and low lighting.
Many gardeners of the Moscow region are engaged in the cultivation of watermelons. Before you start planting, you should familiarize yourself with the best varieties for this region and the peculiarities of growing melons and gourds.