Watermelon Production Guide


Posted by Manny on February 9th, 2008

square watermelonHave you seen a square watermelon? look at the picture on the left side. I’m not kidding. This watermelon is being sold in Japan for around 10,000 yen ($83) while regular oval watermelon costs $15-$20. Quite expensive eh? here in the Philippines it won’t cost that much if you will grow it locally. There are abundant sources in the provinces but because of our poor transportation condition all of those supplies can’t reach metro manila in perfect condition and most of the time it cost higher than it suppose to be.

Then how about the square watermelon, are we able to make those like what they are doing now in Japan? looks like its not harder that we thought. I saw website that sell polycarbonate casing (Fig. 1 below) to mold the watermelon during the growing stage . Obviously you can’t shape it when it is already fully grown because the peel is already hard. You just have to put the fruit still attached to the vine inside the polycarbonate casing and let it grow until is occupies all the space inside and forms a cube or a square.

Fig 1. Polycarbonate Casing (courtesy of square-watermelons.com)

Also it is more convenient if the watermelon have a square or cubic shape for it will not roll and you won’t have to chase it. Stacking it only requires a smaller space unlike the round or oval shape. But before you can do that, you have to know how to plant and produce ordinary watermelons as per below Watermelon production guide I got from the Bureau of Plant Industry Website.

Watermelon Production Guide

(Citrullus lanatus (Thumberg) Matsum and Nakai)

Watermelon is now widespread in all tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Mostly grown for fresh consumption of the juicy and sweet flesh of mature fruits. Locally known in the country as “pakwan” it is one of the most popularly grown fruit vegetable in the country today during summer

Its is planted 5000 hectare, the bulk of which is planted during the regular season (October to January) however there are few commercial off-season grower in Marinduque, Sorsogon and Pampanga.

VARIETIES

Variety

Shape

Flesh color

Rind Color

Types

Sugar Baby

round

red

Dark green

OP

Goody Ball

round

red

Dark green

F1 hybrid

Charleston gray

oblong

red

Light green

OP

Maharlika

round

red

Dark green

F1 hybrids

ADAPTATION

Climate – watermelon grows best when the monthly average temperature is about 21oC to 29oC. Planting is on the month of October to January. And for off- season is early August.

Soil – A well drained, fairly fertile and sandy loam soil is ideal for watermelon production, however with proper it can be successfully grown in clay soil.

CULTURE AND MANAGEMENT

Land preparation – Field should be prepared thoroughly by plowing and harrowing and removing the different plant debris. It should also be pulverized and leveled, furrows are made 2 meters apart.

Sowing – Pre-germinate the seeds before sowing; soaking it in water for overnight period. Drill 2-3 seeds per hill at a distance of 1.5x 2,0 meter apart. Ten to fifteen days after emergence thin to one plant per hill, a hectare of land will need 3-4 kilograms of seeds.

Fertilization – soil analysis is recommended but in general for organic fertilizer a hectare should need about 10-15 tons. Side dress with 10-20 grams per hill of 14-14-14 two weeks until onset of female flower. At fruit setting apply 10 grams of urea (46-0-0) and muriate of potash (0-0-60) at 1:1 ratio 2-3 times every two weeks.

Irrigation – Field should be irrigate whenever necessary by either using furrow irrigation or by manual watering. Frequent high irrigation 10-15 times is recommended at planting time, vegetative, flowering and fruiting development stage. Do not allow the fruits to get wet while irrigating. Two weeks prior to maturity irrigation should be stop.

Weeding and Cultivation – Shallow cultivation by off baring, 15 days after planting followed by hilling up at 30 days after planting and hand weeding thereafter until the crop have attained sufficient size to cover the soil which in turn will suppress the growth of weeds.

Training of vines – Rearrange or train the vines along the rows 25 days after planting to facilitate watering and weeding but main vines should not be touch anymore

Fruit thinning – removal of misshapen fruits, thinning of two fruits per vines of varieties which produced large size fruits and 4-6 in the case of small fruited varieties are suggested and done when the largest fruit is 10 cm long and 10 cm in diameter.

PEST AND DISEASE

Insect

Thrips, aphids, cucurbit beetle, melon fruit fly, spider mites, cutworm. Spray insecticide at manufacturer recommendation.

Disease

Downy mildew, powdery mildew, mosaic, anthracnose, use appropriate chemicals in controlling these diseases by following the manufacturer recommendation.

HARVESTING

Watermelon fruits do not ripen further after picking, hence the fruits should be mature enough when harvested. It takes a watermelon to mature from 35 to 45 days after pollination.

Harvest indexes could be used:

  • Tapping – a dull or hallow sound is an indication to maturity
  • Color – fruit part resting in the ground becomes a distinct yellow patch as in sugar baby
  • Tendril right behind each fruit dried down up to the base.

Cost and Return Analysis Per Hectare.

Activity

Quantity

Unit

Amount / Unit (Peso)

Total Amount

Land preparation

A. Labor cost (200/MD)

Plowing

10

MD

200

2,000.00

Harrowing (2x

8

MD

200

1,600.00

Manure application

10

MD

200

2,000.00

Planting

8

MD

200

1600.00

Mulching

10

MD

200

2000.00

Fertilizer application

Basal

3

MD

200

600.00

Side-dress

10

MD

200

2,000.00

Irrigation

40

MD

200

8,000.00

Trellising

50

MD

200

10,000.00

Pruning and thinning

40

MD

200

8,000.00

Weeding

40

MD

200

8,000.00

Spraying

35

MD

200

7,000.00

Harvesting

20

MD

200

12,000.00

Miscellaneous

20

MD

200

4,000.00

Sub-total

68,800.00

B. Materials

Seeds

4.0

Kilograms

700

4,900.00

Animal manure

10

Tons

1,200

12,000.00

Fertilizers

14-14-14

7

Bags

700

2,800.00

46-0-0

7

Bags

800

5,600.00

0-0-60

3

Bags

700

2,100.00

Plastic mulch

4

rolls

2000

8,000.00

Pesticides

5,000.00

5,000.00

Fuel and oil

6,000.00

6,000.00

Miscellaneous

5,000.00

5,000.00

Sub-total

56,400.00

II Fixed cost

Land rentals

7,500.00

Depreciation

Scythe 2yrs

5

Pcs

12

63.00

Hoe 3yrs

3

Pcs

125

375.00

Knapsack sprayer 5yrs

2

Pcs

800

1,600.00

Sub-total

9,538.00

Total Cost

134,738.00

Marketable yield of 10 to 15 tons hectare at P15 per kilograms

Gross Income at 15 tons/hectare

225,000.00

Total Cost of Production

134,738.00

Net Income

90,262.00

REFERENCES:

Water Melon Production Guide, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forest and Natural Resources. Department of Science and Technology. Information Bulletin No.156/2000

Estimated Cost and Return of Production of Fresh Vegetable for 2001. Bureau of Plant Industry. Crop Production Division.

Paje M.M and Vossen van der H.A.M. PROSEA Vegetables. Plant Resources of South-East Asia. Siemonsma J.S. and Kasem Piluek (Editors Bogor Indonesia.1994.pp 144-148

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Posted by Manny

Manny Montala was an online entrepreneur who enjoys blogging about entrepreneurship and gathering information for his blog to help budding entrepreneurs. Like this post? Why not share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, LinkedIn and Pinterest? Scroll up and see social icons above then click and share!


26 Responses to “Watermelon Production Guide”

  1. seksingbutiki says:

    Sir Manuel, can we plant more than one variety of watermelon in one area, eg.,sweet 18, sweet 16 and musk melon? does it affects one another?

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