If you are my regular reader, you would have observed that my recommendation has been to plant watermelon not more than 2 seasons a year.
A number of readers have asked:
Since there are 12 months in a year, and watermelon matures in less than 3 months, why can’t I make more money by planting all year round, or 4 times a year?
To make matter worse, some “internet farmers” tell people they can plant all year round.
By internet farmers, I mean those people who are out to make money from you but may never have been to any watermelon farm, not to talk of farming watermelon.
In this post, I will endeavour to answer this question and clarify issues. Are you ready?
First of all, let us answer this question:
Is it Impossible to plant all year round?
The answer is No. You can actually plant watermelon all year round, but you must be able to be in total control of the essential factors such as moisture, and sunlight.
This is possible with a green house.
Yes, in a standard green house, you can control the amount of water on your plant with irrigation system.
But this is very expensive and may not be in the reach of small-scale farmers.
And since I have not operated one before, I will not be able to provide so much information on green house at the moment.
What is the effect of too much rain on watermelon?
A watermelon plant (Citrullus lanatus) needs enough moisture to ensure proper growth and fruit development. But too much water can be detrimental when growing watermelon.
Excess water reduces the quality of the fruit or causes it to burst. This can be especially problematic if you’re having unusually heavy rains during the growing season because you have no control over how much rain falls.
1. Your Watermelon Fruits Will Burst
Let me explain this better: the watermelon plant, while making effort to absorb the the excess water will swell. This can eventually result in bursting.
2. Your watermelon Fruits Will Be Tasteless
Another danger is the quality of fruit. Have you observed that watermelon plants grown amid excess rainfall are never sweet? This is because the growth process of the fruit happens faster than the sugar production process.
This results in an overall reduction of sweetness. The hearts of watermelons that swell in this manner are often white and have little flavor because the melon’s flesh is over-saturated with water.
3. Your Watermelon Will be Attacked By Fungi
Crown rot and root rot are fungal infections that can affect watermelon plants. Click here to get the full information on controlling these attacks
These infections cause the plants to wilt, create a reddish-brown discoloration in the crown of the plant where it emerges from the soil, and break down the roots, which can in turn kill the plant.
The moist environment created by heavy rainfall provides the right conditions for fungal growth, and the excess water on the ground can spread the infection from a single infected plant to other plants in your garden.
What Should You Do?
In my Watermelon Production Manual, I recommend just 2 planting seasons. Early March and Early September. These seasons have been carefully selected because rainfall is not excessive at those times.
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Remember, watermelon does not need so much water after the initial period.
I hope this information helps.
As usual, drop your comments on the comment box below.
To your success.