Growing melons in a greenhouse: varieties and hybrids, grafting on a pumpkin

Growing melons in a greenhouse: varieties and hybrids, grafting on a pumpkin

Read part 1. ← Growing melons in a greenhouse: sowing, shaping, watering and feeding

Features of growing melons in the North-West region of Russia

We prepare seedlings, as for greenhouses, sow seeds at the end of April in a small heater for a heated greenhouse, if it's cold, then keep it on a sunny windowsill or in a seedling box, and bring it indoors at night.

We plant the plants in the greenhouse after 40 cm for a single-stem culture and after 60 cm for a two-stem culture.

When forming a melon with one stem, all the lower lateral shoots of the first order are removed to the fifth node, the rest are pinched over the 2-3rd leaf after the ovary, without normalizing their number. We also pinch the shoots of the second order over the 2-3rd leaf after the formation of the ovary.

We direct the stems up the slats parallel to the glass and tie them at regular intervals. We remove the growth point at a height of 1.5 m to stimulate the development of lateral shoots. As soon as they grow, we tie them horizontally, remove the growth point on the lateral shoots after the formation of five leaves in order to stimulate the appearance of lateral shoots of the second order with flower buds, and on the lateral shoots of the second order, through two leaves after the flower. (On each lash we leave one fruit, pinching the growth points above the 3-4th leaf after the fruit). Remove all flowers on the main stem. (Female flowers formed on the main shoot are often sterile, so fruits are rarely set there).

If we form a plant of 2-3 stems, then we do not pinch the lower 2-3 shoots, but tie them with twine to the trellis. Remove the rest of the shoots. We pinch the shoots of the second order on each stem, as in a culture with one stem. On each lash we leave one fruit, pinching the growth points above the 3-4th leaf after the fruit. In the greenhouseif there is no access to insects, it is better to carry out artificial pollination.

We carry out manual pollination when at least four female flowers open on different side shoots. Then we pluck the flower with stamens, cut off the petals and touch the stigmas of the pistil on the female flowers with the stamens. Pollination is carried out in the first half of the day, but care must be taken that there is no moisture on the stigma. For pollination of four female flowers, one male is sufficient. Once the melons have reached the size of a tennis ball, place each fruit in a net tied to a wire. When the fruits begin to ripen, fully open the vents to keep the air dry, but keep the soil moderately moist. With the appearance of the ovaries, we feed the plants every two weeks. Top dressing and watering are the same as for greenhouse crops.

Japanese specialists to improve the quality of fruits melons it is recommended not to fertilize in the phase of the end of fruit growth - the beginning of mesh formation (10 days before fruit ripening). With a reduced level of mineral nutrition, there is an increase in dry matter content and an improvement in the appearance of the fruit. It is necessary to collect them 2-3 times a week, given that the ripe fruits of many varieties are easily separated from the stalk and fall.

Melon is sometimes damaged melon aphid, spider mite... When they appear, they are treated with Sumi-alpha, Zolon, Karate, Fastak or other insecticides... The most harmful diseases are peronosporosis, anthracnose, bacteriosis, powdery mildew. Fungicides Bayleton, Topsin-M, sulfur preparations are used against powdery mildew. Against peronosporosis, bacteriosis and anthracnose, Kuproxat, copper oxychloride, Oxyhom, Sandofan M8, Acrobat MC and other similar drugs are used. Modern hybrids are quite resistant to many diseases and do not require active protective measures, in addition, some chemicals can damage the leaves.

So, let me remind you again: melon is demanding for heat and light. At temperatures below + 15 ° C, the seeds do not germinate. The optimum temperature for plant growth and development is + 28 ... + 30 ° С. This culture makes especially high demands on heat during the period of fruiting and ripening of fruits. Cloudy and cool weather negatively affects the growth and formation of the crop. Melon tolerates soil and air drought well. However, it is especially demanding on water at the beginning of the growing season.

Melon requirements are high soil structure and fertility... The best for her are well-warmed, permeable, light loamy soils with a high content of nutrients, but not oily.

In a melon, the first female flowers appear on the lateral shoots, therefore, pinch the main whip over 3-4 leaves. On the side shoots, two well-developed lashes are left, which are then pinched over 4-6 leaves. The next pruning is carried out after the formation of the ovary, removing the growth point above the 3-4th leaf above the ovary. On one shoot there should be no more than two fruits, on the whole plant - 6-8 fruits.

About melon varieties

The early maturity of melon varieties depends mainly on the duration of the growth and ripening phases of the fruit, and not on the beginning of flowering of female flowers. Melon varieties for greenhouses must combine early maturity, yield, good palatability and resistance to unfavorable greenhouse environmental conditions. The most widespread are three varieties of melon: Charente, Gallia, Ozhen, Canari. I will not characterize each variety type, for amateurs it does not matter much, it is more important to characterize individual varieties, or rather hybrids, which give a more reliable harvest in our climatic conditions indoors.

Melon grafting on pumpkin

Southern, Central Asian melons succeed only when they are grafted onto a pumpkin, which increases their cold resistance. We vaccinate according to the Lebedeva method. In this case, we sow melon and pumpkin seeds on April 15-20. As a stock we take large-fruited pumpkin, sow pumpkin and melon seeds in one pot: first - melon seeds, and after 2-3 days - pumpkin seeds. We graft when the first true leaf begins to appear at the stock (pumpkin) and scion (melon). Water the plants half an hour before grafting. Then on the pumpkin we make an incision from top to bottom, 1.5-2 cm long, through the cotyledonous knee knot to the hollow space. We cut the knot only in half, i.e. to the point of growth, and then cut along the dark strip (along the tissue between the vessels).

Cut the melon from the root. At the end of the stem, cut off the thinnest layer of the skin from two opposite sides. The length of the cut of the skin should correspond to the length of the cut on the rootstock and exactly match it. When combining the scion with the stock, it is necessary to ensure that the tip of the scion is not in the hollow space of the pumpkin stalk. We put a bandage from a washcloth or a strip of plastic film on the vaccination site. The bandage should not be made continuous, so as not to deprive the stalk of illumination, as this leads to the destruction of chlorophyll. We install the grafted plants in a humid chamber, which we make from wire or wooden slats and film. Place wet sand or sawdust on the bottom of the chamber. In the early days, we shade the camera.

When properly grafted, the plants in the chamber should not wither. We begin to ventilate the chamber on the second day after installing the plants, increasing the ventilation time daily. After 6-8 days, we put the plant in a greenhouse. When the seedlings begin to grow normally, care must be taken that the bandage does not cut the stem. Planting and caring for grafted plants is carried out in the same way as when planting un-grafted seedlings. Melon grafting on pumpkin is widespread in Japan and China, where special types of pumpkin have been developed for grafting melons and watermelons. Low-growing pumpkin species, in particular C. moschata, are most suitable as a stock. But such an operation requires some experience, and it makes sense to plant, say, valuable varieties of Japanese melons.

We grow on our farm, both in a greenhouse and in a greenhouse, usually several heterotic Dutch hybrids. In general, amateurs now have a very large selection of different seeds. But the advantages of heterotic hybrids are obvious: guaranteed high quality seeds, good taste, increased yield, resistance to many diseases, very early ripening period: 45-60 days. Moreover, it is quite difficult to find now a variety without signs of degeneration. Even Augustin Sageray (1925), the first researcher, noted heterosis in pumpkin crops, in particular in melon. The term heterosis, or "hybrid vigor", in the broadest sense of the word, is understood to mean all the positive effects leading to the superiority of the first generation (F1) hybrids over the parental forms.

Melon hybrids that we tested on our farm

Woller F1. A very early high-yielding hybrid of the Gallium type for open field and film greenhouses. It begins to ripen already on the 60-65th day after germination. Fruits are uniform, round, brownish-yellow in color with a strong aroma, covered with a uniform dense net. This hybrid forms fruits that are quite large for this type - from 1.7 to 3 kg. The pulp is delicate, juicy with a high sugar content, white with a slight greenish crust typical of this type of melon. The palatability of the fruit is 7-8 points (according to a 9-point system). The fetus has a small seed chamber. The fruits withstand long distance transportation well. The plant is of medium vigor, it resists well against diseases such as peronosporosis, anthracnose and others, as well as stressful conditions. High level of resistance to fusarium and powdery mildew. Shows excellent results when grown in film greenhouses.

Delano F1. An early ripe hybrid (beginning of ripening on the 53-55th day after transplanting) of pineapple melon with very high productivity. Fruits are oval-elongated, yellow, with a slight orange tinge, weighing from 2 to 6 kg, have a dense, uniform mesh over the entire surface. They have a small seed chamber. In terms of marketability, Delano F1 fruits are unmatched. The pulp is white, juicy, tender, without greening. Has high taste and harmonious aroma. The plant is powerful, usually sets 2-4 fruits on a bush. Fairly good field disease resistance. Shows excellent results when grown in film greenhouses.

Roxolana F1. An early ripe hybrid of a melon with the revived taste of "Kolkhoznitsa". Fruits are round in shape with a distinct mesh, weighing 1.5-2.5 kg. The skin is thin, yellow-orange. The pulp is white, very juicy, with a delicate structure. The fruits are transported fairly well over long distances. In terms of taste, it always gets 8.5-9 points (out of 9 possible). Fruits begin to ripen 62-68 days from germination. The Roksolana F1 hybrid has a powerful bush with a well-developed leaf apparatus, which protects the fruits from sunburn, which is very important in amateur greenhouses. The hybrid is quite resistant to diseases such as peronosporosis, anthracnose, root rot. It has proven itself well both in greenhouses and greenhouses.

Polydor ll F1... Galia type hybrid. Differs in early ripening, very high yield and excellent fruit quality. Ripens early - 55 days under normal growing conditions, and super early when grown under film or in greenhouses. Fruits weighing 1-1.5 kg, oval-round. The peel is yellow-orange, reticulate. The pulp is whitish-light green, very sweet and aromatic, of excellent quality. The sugar content is high. Recommended for super-early cultivation in greenhouses, under a film in the Non-Chernozem zone and in the open field (it bears fruit well in the middle lane).

Of the varieties acceptable for our zone, one can name a representative Middle Eastern melons - Sweet pineapple... (Middle eastern melons). Ripening is medium early. Average weight of fruits is 1.5-2 kg. The pulp is orange. The variety is resistant to powdery mildew.

The variety is always good to plant with hybrids as a pollinator, it is from him to take male flowers for artificial pollination.

Remember: when choosing a melon variety or hybrid, you must choose early and very early for our northern gardens.

Vladimir Stepanov, doctor of biological sciences, head of the farm "Elita", Pskov region.

Neighborhood of watermelons with other cultures

Other plants can be planted with watermelons. This is, first of all, a melon, which also belongs to the pumpkin family. Melons grow well next to tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers and other drought-resistant plants.

Important! It is better not to grow moisture-loving crops nearby. Melons do not like high humidity and drafts. They start to rot when the humidity is over 60%.

Cucumbers, for example, are very fond of water and need regular ventilation. This does not mean that they cannot be planted at all in the same greenhouse with watermelons. It is possible, but only on condition that a windless dry corner is allocated to the watermelons, and the cucumbers at the other end are provided with the necessary watering and airing. Before planting watermelon seedlings in the beds, you can have time to get a harvest of greens and radishes. They won't harm watermelons.

Watering and feeding

Melons and watermelons are enough to water once a week... On the eve of fruit ripening, you need to gradually reduce the frequency or completely stop watering - this will increase the sugar content of the fruit. By the way, these representatives of pumpkin seeds do not like high humidity - because of it, they are often affected by rot. To protect the "pets", pour water under the root, being careful not to get on the stem and leaves. It is advisable to shelter the plants in the garden from the rain, and to ventilate the greenhouse.

Feed watermelons and melons are needed 2 times during the period of growing seedlings, then 2 weeks after planting in a greenhouse or under a temporary film cover and again during budding.

The best melon varieties

In total I tried to grow about too varieties of melons. The earliest ones delight with fruits already in mid-July, and the later ones we eat until December. The best melon from the early varieties I consider Tamanskaya with fruits weighing up to 2 kg and snow-white honey pulp.

It is resistant to diseases and is fruitful. Also good are Aikido, Ko-Renovskaya, Gigant Kuban, Banana, Gua-Gua, Candy, Koreyanka, Honey Fairy Tale.

Of the late varieties of melons, like Muscat White, Polydor, Zabavka and Green Sweet with white fruits and sweet fragrant white-green pulp, which are stored for a long time. The season ends with Stefanovskaya and Lulu, which ripen in any weather.

In an unfavorable summer, small-fruited melons Vietnamese, Anson, Dream of a lazy person help out.

And Vietnamese pineapple, Dudami, Apple and Chinese can be eaten even with the peel - it is so thin. True, these fresh melons seemed sugary to my taste, but the jam from them was incomparable!

How to plant a watermelon on a pumpkin?

I did not plant a watermelon. But she planted a cucumber. The technology is the same.
The pumpkin should have cotyledon leaves and the first real one should grow. Watermelon can be any - at an older age, they take either the top, or the stepson.
Tool: a wooden barbecue stick, shaved off like a flat screwdriver, slightly thinner than the diameter of a pumpkin plant. And a razor.

Carefully tear off a real pumpkin leaf. Stick the stick from above so that the direction is from leaf to leaf and does not tear the peel of the stalk. About half a centimeter. Watermelon stalk - cotyledons under the leaves, stepson, tip - sharpen with a razor "like a screwdriver", and pulling out a stick, insert a watermelon in the same place. Then water the result, cover with a bag and put in the shade.
After a few days, you check - it should grow together.
I experimented with cucumbers: 2 seed plants, a top and a stepson. All 4 were accepted.
Look on YouTube "how the Chinese plant watermelons" - a very short film: I did the same, only with a wooden stick and cut not into one oblique cut, but into 2.
The photo, unfortunately, is on the camera, and the camera is in the country.

Watch the video: How To Prune Watermelon Plants