Everything you need to know about watermelon farming
Are you interested in watermelon farming? From the size of the fruit to its colour, there are plenty of factors to consider before you get started. You’ll need to know what the best planting practices are as well as how to avoid the risks that are associated with this type of farming. Find robust equipment for sale on AgriMag and get your watermelon farm off to a great start.
Characteristics of watermelons
The majority of watermelons have a spherical shape. If you’re growing large watermelons, oblong varieties are advantageous because they’re easier to transport and work with. An oval or round shape is seen with smaller fruit. However, the round varieties are at a higher risk of sunburn.
● Rind Colour
The colour of the rind determines its suitability for cultivation in regions where there is strong sunlight. Watermelons with a black or dark green rind are at a higher risk for sunburn. There are many varieties of watermelon that cannot be grown in South Africa for this reason. The colour of the rind is also important because it provides the farmer with information about the fruit’s yield and resistance to disease. It also indicates if the watermelon will stay in good condition when it’s being transported from the farm to the retail outlet. The quality of the fruit is revealed by the colour of the rind.
Bigger watermelons are in demand on the South African market. However, there is a growing number of people who prefer smaller variations, which weigh around 5kg. These smaller watermelons mature earlier and come with a lower price tag. Another advantage of this sized fruit is that it’s easier to store the leftovers in your fridge once you’ve cut it open.
● Fruit colour
The colour of watermelons includes red, pink, yellow, and orange. However, unusual colours are less in demand than the more common pink variations.
When it comes to watermelons, one of the main distinctions is between seed and seedless variations. If you plant a seedless variety, you’ll need to include regular watermelons to make sure that there is sufficient pollen. Choose a variety of watermelon that is a good pollinator to ensure that you get a successful crop. You can distinguish between the different types of watermelons by looking at the colour of their rind and their shape. The size of the fruit also needs to be taken into account. A popular variety of watermelon is Charstone Gray. You can also choose to plant All Sweet types.
Watermelons thrive during the warmer months. However, in regions with moderate temperatures during winter, they can be planted earlier on in the season. Planting your crop earlier enables you to fetch higher prices for your produce at the beginning of summer.
When it comes to watermelon farming, the best planting practices differ between each cultivar and according to the equipment you use. They should be planted in rows with 2m between the rows. The distance between the seedings should be between 50cm to 80cm. It’s advisable to invest in pre-germinated seeds if you begin planting early. The seeds should be positioned 2cm beneath the soil.
Risks of growing watermelons
Watermelons are at risk of getting destroyed by cutworm. Using pyrethroid is a cost-effective option that protects your crop. You’ll also need to make sure that your crop gets pollinated. Watermelon nectar is not a favourite amongst bees so you may find that they head to another source of nectar if it’s accessible. Placing beehives on your farm is advantageous if you make sure that there is enough nectar to feed your population of bees.
Now that you know more about watermelon farming, you can start your own business in the agricultural sector. Looking for affordable equipment? Find a diverse range of quality equipment for sale on AgriMag.