Watermelons are a member of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae and have been cultivated for thousands of years, with the evidence proves that the Ancient Egyptians were expert farmers. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), China is the top producer, with 8, 576, 791 produced in 2016. Watermelon is actually a nutrient dense food. It provides high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and just a small number of calories. Watermelons have significant profit within a short period of time than other crops; and so this season we are looking forward to disseminate a complete guide and few tips about watermelon cultivation and how profitable it is.
Production and Planting
Generally production costs of watermelons are low. Normally one acre takes two thousands and five hundred (2500) seedlings of watermelon and each seedling costs 1000 Tsh. If 1 acre has 4000 square meters; then plant seedlings with one meter space from one pit to another and two meters space from one line to another. One pit usually takes two seedlings and they can produce a minimum of three watermelons. It is advisable to use hybrid seeds because their fruits are more expensive than those fruits from normal seeds; one fruit may be sold at the farm with a price of 2000 Tsh while normal ones are sold with a price of 1500 Tsh.
When thinking about how to grow watermelons, you want to be sure that you keep the area free from weeds. A good, shallow hoeing is best. You do not want to disturb the roots, and you certainly don’t want to cut any shoots off the main plant. If you live in warmer climes, you can sow seeds directly outdoors, but wait until the soil temperature warms to at least 70°F to avoid poor germination. Watermelon vines are very tender and should not be transplanted until all danger of frost has passed. (To be safe, wait at least two weeks past your last frost date if you appear to dwell in colder areas with frost.) If you are in a cooler zone, start seeds indoors about a month before transplanting. Amend soil with aged manure, seaweed, and/or compost before planting. Watermelons are heavy feeders. Watermelons prefer a soil pH between 6 and 6.8. Growing the vines in raised rows, known as hills, ensures good drainage and will hold the sun’s heat longer. Watermelons like loamy, well-drained soil. Handle them gently when you transplant. After you transplant, cover the plants with row covers to keep pests at bay. You’ll remove the row covers when you see both male and female flowers on the vine.
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