Proper cultivation of watermelons in a greenhouse in the country
Watermelon is considered a heat-loving plant, so many believe that growing such a crop in the northern or central regions is impossible. In fact, this sweet and huge berry can be obtained in absolutely any region, if you build a greenhouse on the garden plot and adhere to all the rules regarding plant maintenance.
Can watermelons be grown in a greenhouse all year round?
Growing watermelons in a greenhouse is aimed at getting the harvest of this crop in the central and northern regions of the country. The year-round cultivation of watermelons is unlikely to end with success, because for this crop all the prescribed planting dates must be observed. By the way, square watermelons can also be grown in a greenhouse.
The greenhouse is needed in order to correct the weather conditions and make them more suitable for the growth of such plants. In the off-season, the cultivation of watermelons even in a greenhouse is unlikely to end with success, because the berry does not have enough sunlight to fully ripen. In the event that you still manage to harvest the crop, it will no longer be so tasty and sugary.
Benefits of using a greenhouse
Growing a watermelon in a greenhouse will help create the necessary climatic conditions and protect the plant from various natural disasters. In addition, the covering structure boasts the following advantages:
- Late return frosts, characteristic of the central and northern regions, negatively affect the development of culture. Using a greenhouse, you don't have to worry about this factor;
- Too much moisture in the soil and air can significantly affect the taste of the fruit, they will become less sweet and watery;
- The greenhouse will help to avoid various types of mechanical damage.
The construction of such a structure in the southern areas is not profitable, because there are favorable weather conditions and the harvest ripens without creating additional conditions there. As for other regions, the greenhouse will be an excellent way to grow such a melon crop.
How to choose and prepare a greenhouse or greenhouse?
In order to start growing watermelons in a greenhouse, you first need to build such a covering structure. The size of the land plot and the greenhouse itself will depend on the wishes of the gardener. It should be borne in mind that such plants are planted according to the scheme at a distance of 1 meter from each other, therefore, to grow 10 bushes, you need a structure with an area of 10 square meters, with a length equal to 5 meters and a width equal to 2 meters.
Watermelon, like cucumbers, is grown on trellises, so for the plant to feel comfortable and not be limited in growth, the height of the greenhouse should be at least 2 meters.
To determine which design is best suited to others, you should consider their characteristics:
- A greenhouse covered with film will be the cheapest and easiest option. The downside of the design will be that additional heating cannot be installed in it, and, accordingly, it will not be possible to control the temperature regime in the room. It is possible to plant seedlings in such a structure as early as May at home or in the country.
- The glass structure will be the most bulky it will have to establish a foundation. But if you build such a greenhouse, you can be sure of its durability and reliability. It is possible to build a heating system in it;
- A polycarbonate greenhouse will be the best option, the only drawback of which will be the price. The structure is easy to install, holds firmly in place and creates opportunities for organizing heating. Planting seedlings is possible in April. Growing fruits with your own hands is not difficult.
Before planting watermelons, the greenhouse is prepared for this process:
- Pipes are laid underground, through which hot water will flow and thereby create additional heating. A gas or electric boiler can be used as the main element;
- In order to be able to increase daylight hours, fluorescent lamps are installed on the roof of the structure;
- Melons and gourds do not tolerate the occurrence of fungal diseases, therefore, the frame, covering material and soil must be disinfected with Brodsky liquid or a solution of copper sulfate.
Selection of varieties and purchase of seeds
In order for the watermelon to ripen and give a good harvest, even in the northern region, it is necessary to choose the right variety, it must be zoned and refers to an early or medium ripening period. The following varieties of watermelon are popular:
- Charleston near Moscow;
- A gift to the north;
- Cinderella, etc.
Seeds suitable for growing crops must be large and heavy. Hollow planting material will not be able to adapt to environmental conditions.
You can check the quality of the seeds using a saline solution, into which the future planting material is released. For sowing, specimens that have settled to the bottom are suitable. Before planting, they are pre-washed and dried.
Planting and caring for a crop with your own hands
In order to grow a watermelon in a greenhouse, you need to take into account many factors that affect this process. In addition, they need to be looked after, watered and fed.
In order to get watermelons from seeds, you first need to grow seedlings.... It is necessary to plant seeds at the end of April. As a fertile soil, a mixture of pergnea, sod land, sand and mineral fertilizers is used.
Before sowing the seeds, they are soaked in warm water for several hours. With this procedure, you can improve their germination. To disinfect the planting material, it is immersed for several minutes in a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
Peat pots, plastic glasses or cut bottles filled with fertile soil are used as containers for growing seedlings. Seeds are sown one at a time, deepening them by 3-4 centimeters.
In order for the seedlings to appear as quickly as possible, the container must be kept in a room with a temperature of at least 25 degrees. With the further cultivation of seedlings, you should adhere to some rules:
- Daylight hours should be at least 14 hours a day;
- Watering the seedlings must be very careful so as not to get on the foliage of the plant;
- The pots should be spaced 20-30 centimeters apart;
- Watermelons respond well to mineral fertilizing.
Planting seedlings in a greenhouse
Before planting watermelon seedlings in greenhouses, it is necessary to prepare the soil. This culture prefers fertile soils with neutral acidity. To achieve the best result, the following components are added for digging:
- potassium salt;
- ammonium sulfate.
The next step will be the formation of bulk ridges, which are placed along the walls of the greenhouse. They should be 30 centimeters high and 50-80 centimeters wide. The optimal distance between the rows is 1 meter.
Seedlings are planted according to the following algorithm:
- To begin with, dig holes 10 centimeters deep;
- The seedlings are taken out of the container along with an earthen clod. This is necessary in order to avoid damage to the root system;
- Plants are staggered at a distance of 50-70 centimeters from each other;
- Deepening the root collar into the ground can cause decay, so it is left on the surface;
- After the seedling is in the ground, it must be watered and mulched with sawdust.
Correct temperature and lighting
In the best way, watermelon develops and forms its fruits at an air temperature of 30 degrees. To avoid condensation, the greenhouse is periodically ventilated, while avoiding the creation of a draft.
Optimal daylight hours should be 14 hours... With a lack of this indicator, it is necessary to use artificial lighting. Watermelon does not react well to open sunlight, therefore, on too hot and sultry days, the walls of the greenhouse are slightly shaded.
How often to water the berry?
Watermelons have a deep root system, thanks to which the plant can extract moisture from the deep layers of the soil. How often is watering done? You need to water the bushes only when the leaves begin to wilt slightly. In this case, the risk of waterlogging is minimized. During watering, you should avoid getting drops on the leaves and shoots of the plant.
The consequences of waterlogging are root rotting and the appearance of cracks in the fruits.
To obtain the richest harvest, once a month, the soil is watered with complex mineral fertilizers diluted in water. Also, before the start of fruit formation, the bushes were fed with ammonium nitrate every 2 weeks.
Getting a rich harvest directly depends on how the shrubs were formed:
- The growth point must be pinched above the fifth sheet;
- On the two lower shoots, flowers appear later than the others, so the fruits will not have time to ripen. Such lashes are removed immediately after they appear;
- Shoots without ovaries are also removed;
- In order for the berries to develop well, the shoots are tied to a trellis. Such work is performed under the second or third sheet. As the lashes grow, they are periodically twisted;
- Lateral shoots, on which ovaries have formed, are also subject to pruning. They are cropped above the third sheet above the female flowers and above the seventh sheet above the male flowers.
5-6 fruits are left on one plant, this amount is the most optimal.
Experienced gardeners believe that watermelons should not lie on the ground during fruit ripening, so they are placed in a separate net and hung from a trellis.
After the yellow flowers appear, they will need to be pollinated on their own. In the open ground, bees do this job, but in the greenhouse there are no such “workers”. The whole process follows the following rules:
- It is very important not to miss the indicated dates, because male flowers fall off after a few hours, and female flowers will retain the ability to pollinate for only 3 days;
- Male flowers (the largest and without ovary) carefully pick and remove the petals so as not to damage the pollen;
- The stamens are applied several times to the pistils.
Possibility of joint planting of watermelons with melons and tomatoes
Growing watermelons in a greenhouse is quite an interesting process, and with the proper skill, such a culture can be placed in the same room with other plants:
- In order not to wait for a favorable time for planting watermelons, early greens or radishes can be grown in the greenhouse, which will be useful predecessors;
- Watermelon is a drought-resistant crop, next to which tomatoes and eggplants are successfully grown. These plants have similar care needs and rules.
- Melons are also good neighbors for watermelons. By the way, they can be planted even in the same garden bed.
Harvesting usually begins in mid to late August. The full ripeness of the fruit can be judged by the following features:
- the junction of the berry and the whip partially dries up;
- a bright pattern appears on the surface of the watermelon;
- when tapping, you can hear a dull sound and feel vibration.
Gather the grown fruits very carefully to avoid mechanical damage. In the event that a scratch appears on the watermelon, the shelf life will be much shorter.
Growing watermelons in a greenhouse is a very painstaking process that requires constant monitoring of various indicators. With the help of such a design, melon crops can be grown not only in the south, but also in the north and in other regions.
How to grow a watermelon in a greenhouse: formation scheme, pinching, care
Warm and generous August brings an abundance of fruits and vegetables. There is a demand for imported watermelons in the markets. And some prudent dacha owners grow watermelons in their greenhouses. There are a lot of worries with this crop in the conditions of central Russia, but having picked up varieties and fulfilling the requirements of agricultural technology, they get delicious fruits at the end of summer.
How to grow watermelons in a polycarbonate greenhouse
Polycarbonate greenhouses are ideal for growing all melons. But still, there are conditions that the summer resident must comply with in order to create a favorable climate:
- It is necessary to observe certain parameters of temperature and humidity.
- The soil composition must be suitable for growing watermelons.
- Groundwater close to the surface can adversely affect the state of the powerful root system of a crop.
The plant is also demanding on weather conditions.
If these conditions are met, then it will be easy to grow a watermelon in the country in a greenhouse.
Preparation of selected seeds
Having decided on the choice of a watermelon variety, you should purchase its seeds from a licensed gardening store, preferably from a reputable manufacturer, and proceed with their correct preparation. The process of preparing watermelon seeds can be divided into several stages, which are detailed below:
Watermelon seeds remain viable for 5 years
- It is necessary to germinate seeds in a warm room. If seeds are planted directly into the ground, they will either die or lag behind in development. Watermelon seeds can only be planted outdoors in countries with warm and hot climates.
- Get plastic jars equal to watermelon seeds and fill them with 7 millimeters of sawdust, slightly moistening.
- Place a watermelon seed in a jar and sprinkle it with sawdust. Remember, you need to plant one seed per container, and the sawdust should be slightly moistened
- Cover the container with a plastic bag and place it in a warm place, preferably 30 degrees Celsius. If the temperature is +25 degrees, the germination of seeds will slow down, and if +20, the seeds may die altogether.
- When the first shoots appear, they must be sprinkled with humus. Remember, the humus layer should not be more than 5 millimeters. Cover the resulting greenhouse with cellophane wrap, and put it in a warm place, with abundant penetration of sunlight, the temperature should be +25, and preferably +30 degrees Celsius. If necessary, the soil can be slightly moistened, but do not overdo it.
- On days 14-17, transplant the seedlings into a flower pot with loose soil. This procedure is necessary for the formation of a powerful root system, which is the key to a healthy plant. If desired, the soil can be fertilized with special preparations for melons and gourds, however, the consistency of the soil should be loose, its compaction is prohibited. When transplanting seedlings into a pot, the temperature can be lowered to +25, and sometimes to +20 degrees Celsius
- Seedlings should be kept in pots for 20-30 days, and only after that they should be planted in open ground. If the weather is bad, or a cold snap is planned, the landing can be postponed for 10 days, but it is better not to delay with this.
Germination of seeds should be done from 10-20 days of April.
Planting a watermelon in a greenhouse
Before planting watermelon seeds in the greenhouse, you need to prepare the planting material. The procedure is reduced to soaking and processing the seeds with potassium permanganate, which allows them to be disinfected and germinated.The rest of the landing technology boils down to the following actions:
- The beds are pre-formed with a width of 1 m and a length in accordance with the dimensions of the greenhouse.
- A week before the planting of watermelon seeds, digging the soil onto the bayonet of a shovel is carried out, and 1 m² is added in a bucket of humus or compost, as well as half a bucket of sand and 1 liter in a can of ash. All components are lightly mixed with the surface layer of the soil (10 cm).
- The holes are marked with a distance of 40-50 cm from each other. The bed is well spilled with warm water (not lower than + 25˚С) and two seeds are planted in the hole at a distance of 5-6 cm.
- After sowing, the planting holes are covered with cut plastic bottles. Seedlings are expected to appear in 10 days.
Watermelons in greenhouses can be planted not only with seeds, but also with seedlings. For this, the seeds are pre-sown in plastic cups. After the appearance of 3-5 true leaves, the seedlings are considered ready for planting in the greenhouse.
Video: planting watermelons indoors
It is generally accepted that growing watermelons by seedling method allows you to get stronger plants than by directly sowing seeds in the ground.
When planting watermelon seedlings, the prepared holes are watered abundantly, the plants from the cups are transferred together with an earthen clod and embedded in the ground so that a small hill forms around the stem above the surface of the garden. If a greenhouse is used without additional heating, the seedlings are covered with a film until they are accepted.
Watermelons in a greenhouse can be planted in a permanent place only after warm weather is established. If the design of the greenhouse provides for the use of heating equipment, then the seedlings can be planted in mid-May. If we grow watermelons in an unheated greenhouse, then the seedlings are transplanted at daytime temperatures of at least twenty degrees.
Watermelons in the greenhouse can be planted in a permanent place only after warm weather is established.
Soil preparation consists in removing the top layer of soil and laying humus and hay in layers, which must be thoroughly shed with hot water. The layer spilled with boiling water is covered with nutritious soil and covered with a black film, which contributes to a faster and more uniform heating of the soil.
If the cultivation of greenhouse watermelon seedlings was carried out in peat pots, then the planting of plants in the ground is carried out directly in these pots. The standard landing pattern assumes a distance of 70 x 50 centimeters. It is allowed to plant two plants in one hole at once. The rise of the seedling coma should be two centimeters above the soil level.
It is possible to plant watermelons and melons in the greenhouse already from mid-May, after warm weather sets in and the night temperature does not drop below +5 degrees.
Before planting seedlings, you need to prepare the soil. In the greenhouse, they dig a trench 20 cm deep, at the bottom of which hay and humus are laid. Then nitrogen fertilizer is scattered and poured over with hot water. After that, the soil is covered and the prepared area is covered for several days with black film to quickly warm up the earth.
Landing is performed as follows:
- the distance between rows should be 70 cm, and between plants in a row - 50 cm
- in one hole, you can plant two plants at once, and then spread their shoots along the trellis in different directions
- the holes are filled with humus and watered with plenty of warm water
- seedlings have delicate roots, so the transfer from cups or pots to holes must be done very carefully so as not to damage them
- a lump of earth with seedlings should be slightly raised above the soil to avoid rotting of the hypocotal knee.
Further cultivation of watermelons and melons comes down to a few simple operations.
- Airing. If the temperature in the greenhouse exceeds 30 degrees, you need to open the vents or slightly raise the film for airing.
- Watering. If the leaves of the plants begin to fall, then this is a signal for watering. In this case, it is necessary to avoid the ingress of water on the foliage and excessive soil moisture, which can lead to the development of fungus.
- Fertilization. During the period of active growth of plants during irrigation, nitrogen and ammonia fertilizers and ash are applied. When the fruits begin to ripen, feeding is stopped.
- Pollination. How to grow watermelons in a closed greenhouse without bees? You just need to do pollination yourself. For this, large male flowers are plucked, the petals are cut off and the remaining anthers are carried along the stigmas of the female flowers.
- Pinching is performed after the appearance of 5 leaves. When the emerging ovaries reach a diameter of 4-5 cm, the strongest is chosen on each lash, and the rest are cut off.
- Plants can be tied up within 10 days after planting in the greenhouse. The grown fruits for tying are placed in nets and tied with twine directly to the trellis.
Adhering to the described rules, you can grow a sweet watermelon or melon even in Siberia, having received an excellent harvest.