In recent years, vegetable growers are increasingly turning their attention to unpretentious varieties of garden crops, which include the Ogonyok watermelon. To grow a watermelon of this variety requires a minimum of skills and labor. The variety belongs to the category of early ripe, but it ripens best in the Non-Chernozem region, where the crop can be obtained in less than three months. Growing watermelon "Spark" in the middle lane and more northern regions is recommended to be carried out in the seedling method.
To grow heat-loving melons and gourds in the conditions of home gardening in many regions of our country is a rather complicated task. Nevertheless, watermelon varieties "Spark" has established itself as a truly unpretentious, with the following varietal description:
- the taste and marketability of the collected fruit is above average;
- the crop is suitable for fresh consumption and very short storage;
- the variety is highly resistant to anthracnose and fusarium infection;
- fruits of a round or spherical, very attractive, salable form;
- the surface of the fruit is smooth, black-green staining;
- the pulp of a ripe fruit of carmine red color, delicate, granular type, very juicy and sweet;
- the average weight of the commercial fruit varies between 1.7-2.7 kg;
- the variety belongs to the high-yielding category, and the indicators of total productivity, subject to the cultivation technology, are about 150 - 370 kg / ha.
Watermelon Wisp: growing in a greenhouse
Variety "Spark" is early ripe, therefore, from the period of emergence of mass seedlings to the formation of the crop in the stage of technical maturity, approximately 71-87 days pass. This variety can be grown both in open ground and in greenhouse ridges.
Rules for growing and planting seedlings
For the cultivation of highly productive and high-quality seedlings of gourds it is necessary to strictly follow the following recommendations, due to the technology of cultivating watermelons in a home gardening environment:
- calibration of seeds by size and weight, as well as rejection of all non-equilibrium, deformed or incorrectly colored seeds;
- sand scarification of seeds to accelerate the emergence of seedlings;
- half-hour heating of the seed in hot water 50 ° C;
- disinfection of seed material in a 1% solution based on potassium permanganate;
- germination of seeds in warm water at room temperature;
- sowing in separate seedling containers filled with nutrient soil mixture to a depth of 3-4 cm;
- hardening of seedlings;
- planting watermelon seedlings in a permanent place at the age of a month with at least three or four true leaves.
The best predecessors for watermelon are potatoes, cabbage, as well as any legumes. The root system of the watermelon goes deep enough into the soil, due to which a significant above-ground mass is formed, therefore, under the pre-planting digging, it is necessary to introduce a sufficient amount of organic matter in the form of humus, compost, and non-acid peat.
A good result is the introduction of mineral fertilizers in the form of 35 g of urea or ammonium nitrate, 25-30 g of superphosphate and 15-20 g of potash fertilizers. However, it is very important not to overdo the application of fertilizers, as this may affect the accumulation of nitrates in the fruit pulp. The standard fit pattern is 140 x 100 cm. On greenhouse ridges, watermelon seedlings should be planted according to the scheme 70 x 70 cm.
How to plant a watermelon
Growing watermelon "Spark" in the conditions of home gardening is quite simple. The plant perfectly survives on ridges of open ground, and subject to the following technology, it abundantly bears fruit, forming not only a high, but also a very high-quality crop:
- comfortable indicators of soil moisture should be within 85%, therefore, on sandy soils that do not hold water well, ridges should be watered more often than plantings on chernozems and clay soils;
- for irrigation and dressing, exclusively warm water is used, warmed up in the sun;
- during the whole period of growth and development of melon, you should feed the watermelon three times, making about a couple of liters of liquid fertilizer for each plant;
- ten days after planting seedlings, watermelon should be fed with a solution based on 45 g of superphosphate, 30 g of ammonium sulfate and 15 g of potassium salts diluted in a bucket of warm water;
- at the stage of active growth and development of the aerial part and the formation of lashes, a second feeding is carried out, which involves the introduction of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers in the form of 20 g of ammonium sulfate, 10 g of superphosphate and 35 g of potassium salts diluted in a bucket of water;
- the third top dressing is carried out ten days after the second fertilizer application with a similar nutritional composition;
- it is very important to periodically carry out shallow loosening of the soil around the bushes, especially after rains and irrigation, which helps to remove the soil crust, and activates air access to the root system of the plant;
- it is advisable to supplement all loosening measures with weeding, preventing the mass growth of weed vegetation on ridges;
- preference should be given to the trellis method of cultivation, which involves the removal of all lashes, except for one, the most developed and productive;
- after the stage of mass flowering, no more than three or four ovaries should be left on the whip, and after a couple of weeks, the top of the bearing stem should be removed.
About a week after planting seedlings in open ground, preventive treatment of planting with fungicides is carried out. A visual inspection of melon should be carried out regularly, which will allow you to timely notice the first signs of damage to diseases or plant parasites.
Reviews of melon growers
The main advantages of the Ogonyok watermelon, according to numerous reviews of amateur melon growers, are excellent resistance to low temperatures in the spring. Nthe plant tolerates freezing freezes easily enough, but so that the plant does not slow down, after planting in open ground, it is recommended to install arcs and stretch the film or non-woven covering material.
In order to accelerate fruit ripening and increase yield indicators, experienced gardeners recommend mulching with peat crumb, humus or compost, which should be applied as a layer in a couple of centimeters. Such a mulching layer will serve as an excellent protection against damage to seedlings by spring frosts, as well as reduce the risk of soil crust formation and significantly improve water-air metabolic processes in the soil.
How to grow a watermelon in the middle lane
Observations of gardeners show that, despite the high level of drought tolerance of this variety, abundant irrigation measures should be carried out whenever possible at the phase of growth of stems and foliage, as well as at the stage of flowering and fruit formation. But during ripening or harvesting, watering the melon is extremely undesirable, since excess moisture often causes cracking of the fruit, and can greatly impair the quality of the pulp.