Sustainable Ewe favourites:
|Optimum Soil Temperature|
|Days to Germination|
|Days to Harvest|
|Direct Sow or Transplant|
all are Cucumis melo
watermelon – Citrullus lanatus also from africa
like plenty of heat
long warm growing seaon
plant in november
love aged manure and fertiliser
mulching with black plastic will ensure the heat is concentrated
layer of manure not too thick then black plastic.
you can peg runners down if it is too windy to stop the plants being tossed around
when runners at 2m long pinch off the laterals to concentrate gropwth into developing fruit
watering is important in melons until the fruit is fully developed
Avoid wetting leaves as they are susceptible to mildew
spray with baking soda (2 teaspoons per two litres of water) for mildrew – early morning and late evening. Repeat weekly
Harvest when stems withered – tapping fruit should sound hollow. Test one before harvesting the rest
|Storing harvested [name]:Seed Saving:|
|Botrytis, grey mould – fLowers and fruit rot. Usually strikes in humid conditions
Downy mildew – leaves become blotched and yellow, sometimes mould will appear on undersides. Can be worse in cool, moist conditions.
Wilting of leaves – large leaves loose moisture in warm weather. Mulch and water frequently.
Excessive leaf growth – excess Nitrogen
Fruit yellow and bitter – over-maturity
Anthracnose – Brow-black spots on leaves. Crop rotation (four years)Leaf spot – water soaked spots on leaves, leaves crack. Immature fruit may fall. Crop rotation. Destroy diseased leaves and parts of plant.
Shortage of fruit – Poor pollination. Lack of bees or weather too cold. Hand pollination may be possible
Predominance of male flowers. – stress conditions, poor nutrition, low light, low temperature, low water. Ensure plants have food and water.
Damaged skin with pale discoloured patches – Fruit exposed to wet, damp soil. Place a tile or hay under the fruit.
Lack of flavour – not ripe enough. Rock melon is ripe when the stalk comes away from the fruit.
|Whitefly – undersides of leaves covered with white insects that fly when disturbed. Control may be difficult once a population has build up so best dealt with early on.
Mites – leaves yellow (stippled or mottled), dehydration, fine webbing on underside of leaves. More severe in warm weather.