Growing melons in a greenhouse near St. Petersburg
Read the previous part. ← Cultivation of melons near St. Petersburg in the open field
Melons ripened on the northern melons ...
As in the case of watermelons, no work was done to trim the tops of the melons. Its development was given complete freedom. Now I understand: since there was not enough time to deal with the formation of tops, then on this area of the ridge it was necessary to plant not 6 plants, but only 4, then the fruits of the melons would be larger, and the yield from this area would be higher. It was felt that in the process of growing melon bushes prevented each other from developing.
Main melon harvest we filmed from 15 to 25 August. At this time, large melons of the Lada variety ripened in the open field, some fruits reached a weight of 2.5 kg. All melons were different in size and weight. 9 pieces were less than 0.5 kg.
We called them "babies", but these "babies" were not inferior in taste to the larger ones, they also had time to mature. We treated our friends with these "babies". About 30 pieces were weighing from 0.5 kg to 1 kg, all other melons were standard in weight, from 1.5 kg and more. The total weight of the melons harvested in the open field was approximately 80 kg.
It should be noted that the two varieties of melons planted side by side have become dusty. Some fruits had the taste of both varieties and in appearance did not resemble either Lada or Kolkhoznitsa; some of the fruits had an interesting speck of gold. But both of these varieties, when ripe, possessed an extraordinary melon aroma. The bulk of the fruits ripened before the start of the rains, therefore, the melons remaining on the melons after taking off the bulk of the crop, we did not cover with a film cover.
We were lucky: there were no early frosts this year, and the rains that began did not do much harm when ripening the remaining fruits on the melon. But still, when growing melons and watermelons in the open field in our climate, one mandatory rule must be followed: after August 15, build a film shelter over the ridge, which would not allow the autumn rains to host the melons. Even one cold rain followed by a cold night can instantly cool the entire ridge. The roots will immediately begin to rot and die off, because the root system of this southern plant develops and works only in a warm ridge.
As a result, the remaining fruits will not ripen to the end, the tops will begin to get sick and die, the fruits will be left without nutrition and their quality will drop sharply. This year we did not cover the melon with a film, since there is a very small amount of fruit left on it. Melons may not pick up the desired quality if cold nights are observed during their ripening. We observed the same in open field plantings of cucumbers, which we have been growing in this way for 10 years.
Growing melons indoors
This year, for growing in the greenhouse, we took hybrids Zlato Scythians, Joker, Gerda.
- Hybrid Gold of the Scythians - mid-early (75-80 days), fruits 1.1-1.3 kg.
- Hybrid Gerda - early ripening (80-85 days), fruits 1.5-2 kg.
- Joker hybrid - mid-season (80-100 days), weighing 2.5-3.5 kg.
I want to note that the Joker and Gerda hybrids can be grown only if the beds are prepared early with manure, it is good to warm them up before planting, since they have a long growing season, and you may not have time to get ripe fruits from these plants. This year, we have succeeded in these hybrids due to the favorable weather conditions of the summer.
The harvest from them turned out to be even higher than we expected. The best of the named hybrids in the greenhouse is to grow the mid-early hybrid Zlato Scythians. We got the first melons from this hybrid on August 5th. And then the ripening fruits filled our large greenhouse with a unique melon aroma.
The preparation of the land for planting melons in the greenhouse began early in the spring, but it is always better if the ridge is at least 50% ready in the fall. In April, soil was selected for the melons on the ridges. Boxes for planting melons we have a height of 50 cm from the clay. At the bottom we laid sawdust layer about 20 cm (chips or other wood waste can be used). Fresh manure up to 10 cm high was placed on the sawdust. On manure - a thick layer of hay. And already for hay - a fertile layer of earth.
The manure can be replaced with a thicker layer of hay. We spilled the entire area prepared for planting melons with hot water with potassium permanganate and covered with foil. If on the street we do not put manure on melons over the entire area of the ridge, since it burns the roots of plants in the first half of summer, then in the greenhouse the reaction of manure burning is more intense, and at the beginning of July the roots are already calmly located in a layer of rotted manure.
By the time the seedlings were planted, the ridges were warmed up. On May 20, 7 plants were planted in the greenhouse. Greenhouse we have two glass partitions inside. The distance between them is three meters. Ridges with melons were located along them. The width of the ridge is 40 cm.The partition is located from north to south, its height is 1 m 80 cm.
The distance between the plants in the greenhouse is 1-1.2 m.As the main lash of the plant grows, we first lay it along the ground in the direction from north to south, first we pin it with metal pins through 0.5 m, and then we tie the whip and let it crawl up on the partitions. As the plant develops, side lashes appear below.
In addition to the main whip, 4 lateral shoots were left on each plant, the rest were all removed throughout the growing season constantly. Having one main whip and four side ones on one plant, we distribute them evenly over the partition.
As the plants grew, a solid, un-thickened green wall of lashes was obtained, which went to the top of the partition, overcoming it, hanging from the other side to the very ground and at the very ground we pinch it. In this way, a good illumination surface for all lashes was created.
In the greenhouse, the plants began to grow immediately, since the ground was very warm, the tops were growing right before our eyes, quickly gaining strength, it was necessary to constantly remove excess lateral shoots. Melons bloomed in the greenhouse in mid-June, but the fruits were not set until the first days of July: there were no pollinators (bumblebees, bees). We did not do manual pollination. In early July, a massive fruit set began.
We barely had time to make shelves and stands for fruits and fasten them to a glass partition. At the beginning of July, one plant of the Zlato Scythian hybrid had 5 fruits, the other set 4. On three plants of the Gerda hybrid, two fruits were set. The Joker hybrid formed 3 fruits on one plant, 1 on the other, i.e. on this hybrid, not all whips were with melons. But we didn’t remove those lashes that didn’t set fruit, they continued to grow.
And finally, at the end of July, a second layer of melons was tied on them. On the Joker hybrid, where there was one ovary, 5 melons were still set, but on the plant, where 3 melons were initially set, there were no more ovaries. On the Gerda hybrid, where each plant had 2 melons, in the second layer 4 more melons were again tied, and on the third - 5 melons. All the fruits on these hybrids were large, but they began to ripen only In the end of August.
The first we tried melons of the Zlato Scythian hybrid, the fruits were 2.5 and 3.2 kg. The last fruit was removed from this hybrid on 22 August. The melons were very aromatic and of high taste. We really liked this hybrid, and we want to try to grow it in the open field.
Then the melons of the Gerda hybrid began to ripen, the first ovary produced a very large fruit weighing more than 3 kg. We removed the melon from this hybrid on 25 August. The taste of this plant is high: sweet, tender pulp that melts in the mouth. The second layer from this hybrid and the first layer from the Joker hybrid coincided in time of ripening, they were ready for harvesting by the beginning of September.
The melon of the Joker hybrid turned out to be less sweet than the fruits of the other named hybrids, but its unique pineapple aroma and melting flesh in the mouth covered the lack of sweetness that was present in competitors. When tasting it, an extraordinary aroma fills any room. The largest fruit turned out to be the fruit from this hybrid, we removed it on September 15, weighing 4.5 kg. We removed the last fruits from the Gerd hybrid on September 20.
It was very difficult to determine the time when it is necessary to remove ripe fruits from plants. This is great skill. We haven't mastered it yet. Either we overexposed the melons on the bushes, or removed them ahead of schedule. And only a third of the fruit was picked on time. They could be stored well without losing taste. For early ripening varieties of melons, timely harvesting is of particular importance. Storing unripe early ripening varieties of melons results in a loss of sweetness.
Melon ridges are high, we watered the plants abundantly, with warm water. As soon as the first fruit on the plant ripened, watering was sharply reduced and they were carried out only in the morning. Watered, as well as on the street, light ash solution and a solution with superphosphate.
Our neighbors planted one melon bush Kolkhoz woman in her greenhouse, left five lashes on it, got 3 melons from the plant. After August 15, it is advisable to gradually remove the whips without fruit both in the greenhouse and in the garden. You can carry out the formation of tops by removing all the excess. This will cause the remaining fruits to ripen quickly. Due to the workload, we did not have time to do this at home, which is why we had a delay in the ripening of the remaining fruits.
This also leads to a loss in the quality of the last ovaries. The roots at this time already do not work well, and the fruits receive nutrition from the tops, and by this time it is also not of the best quality. I would like to clarify that on the melon melon and in the greenhouse, we carried out two foliar feeding with Uniflor micronutrient fertilizers - we sprayed the plantings with melons on the tops.
And here it is, the result of growing melons in a greenhouse: we harvested 37 fruits with a total weight of about 70 kg.
B. Romanov, melon grower
Photo by N. Egorova
The best melon varieties for Siberia
Siberia has a vast territory with different climatic conditions. Therefore, it is impossible to give general recommendations for growing melon for all its regions, although in general these territories have some common climatic features: the prevalence of northerly winds, short summers and changeable, unpredictable weather. In this regard, in most of Siberia, it is possible to grow a melon in the open field, but not always. If the summer is cold and rainy, there will be no harvest. Growing melons in a greenhouse, subject to the rules of agricultural agricultural technology, will certainly delight you with the result. To a large extent, success depends on the correct variety.
Open ground varieties
In view of the short summer, varieties of early (60-75 days from the moment of emergence of full shoots to the onset of removable maturity), medium-early (65-85 days) and mid-season (75-95 days) ripening periods are chosen.
Traditionally, the well-known Kolkhoz Woman is grown in Siberia (the full name is Kolkhoz Woman 749/753). From germination to maturation, 77–95 days pass, depending on weather conditions. It is a long-leaved plant with a slender stem. Fruits are spherical, medium-sized, average weight - 0.7-1.3 kg. Usually the surface is smooth, yellow-orange, without a pattern, but sometimes a coarse mesh is found. The bark is hard, flexible, of medium thickness. The pulp is juicy, sweet, fibrous, semi-crunchy. The yield is 1.5-2.2 kg / m 2. The collective farmer is prone to severe damage by powdery mildew and anthracnose, relatively resistant to bacteriosis. It has good transportability and is therefore popular with farmers.
Melon Kolkhoz woman has been cultivated for a long time in Siberia
The variety was obtained in Barnaul in 1937 and entered into the State Register of Breeding Achievements in 1955. The berries are similar to the Kolkhoz Woman in size and appearance, only the shape is more elongated and the size is slightly larger - 0.8-1.6 kg. The taste is satisfactory, "for an amateur". Low storage and transportability. The variety is grown for personal use in areas with short summers. The period from the first shoots to ripening is only 65-75 days. Harvest from 1 m 2 - 2.5 kg.
Altai melon bred in Siberia
This melon was bred at the Federal Scientific Center for Vegetable Growing in 2004 especially for Siberia. Ripening period - 67-69 days from germination. It has small (0.8-1.1 kg) berries of light yellow color. The shape of the fruit is oval, segmented. The light green pulp has a delicate, juicy, fine-grained structure and excellent taste. Productivity 80-142 kg / ha.
Melon Tender has a light green juicy pulp
Many hybrids have been created for growing melons in a greenhouse, although there are varieties.
Early maturing hydride of domestic selection, bred specifically for growing in greenhouses. Produces almost one-dimensional berries with an average weight of 2.1-2.7 kg. The fruit is broadly elliptical with a smooth yellow bark. Pattern in the form of small and medium yellow dots. The pulp is crumbly, tender and juicy. The taste is excellent. From 1 m 2 in the greenhouse get 5.1-5.7 kg of fruit.
Melon Solnechnaya is an early ripe hydride of domestic selection, bred specifically for growing in greenhouses
Barnaul variety for growing in garden plots, farms in film greenhouses. Harvesting maturity occurs 74–80 days after germination. The fruit is small (1.1 kg), oval, smooth. Has a solid, knitted, delicate mesh. The color of the thin bending bark is yellow. The pulp is of medium thickness, granular, slightly juicy. The taste is good, slightly sweet. Harvest from 1 m 2 - 8.1 kg. The variety has good marketability and transportability. Has a comparative resistance to stem ascochitosis.
Melon Moon has a smooth yellow bark
Barnaul mid-season hybrid for film greenhouses. Fruits are harvested 80-90 days after full shoots appear. The berry is oval-round, segmented, yellow with creamy gray stripes. The bark is thin, bending. Light green pulp has medium thickness, tender, juicy, grainy texture and excellent sweet taste. Fruits are one-dimensional with an average weight of about 1 kg. Productivity - 6.6 kg / m 2. The commercial qualities are high. Resistance to stem ascochitosis is average.
Melon Assol has light green pulp
Choosing a melon variety for a greenhouse
The ideal option when choosing a variety for a greenhouse would be early crops, for example, Titovka or Dessertnaya. With early planting, fruit ripening occurs already in July. Early ripening hybrids are also a good option for a greenhouse, they are especially popular in the Urals and in the Moscow region. The fruits of these early species are sweet and grow the largest.
There is an opinion that the first fruits are not allowed to fully ripen, they are cut off and thrown away, thus the next ones will reach large sizes. Although, according to the rules of care, this is not necessary. After all, the melon still grows very sweet and large, as shown by numerous practice and reviews of agronomists.
Summer watermelon care
Caring for watermelon seedlings is not much different from caring for cucumbers. The main factors that need to be provided for this culture are:
Watermelons are very responsive to watering: if they do not have enough water, the plants begin to show this to the gardener in every possible way, for example, the leaves become lethargic and soft. The earth should not crack from desiccation. But overflow can also negatively affect the fruits - with an excess of moisture, the berries crack. In general, watering may not be daily, but plentiful. By the way, during the ripening of the fruit, it is recommended to reduce it.
The first should be carried out no earlier than a week after planting watermelons in a permanent place. Feeding with organic fertilizers is recommended every week. It is advisable to add to them the introduction of wood ash - this will have a beneficial effect on the taste of the pulp of the fruit.
Lateral shoots, on which there are no ovaries at all, are removed, and those on which the fruit is tied are pinched, while leaving 3 leaves above the ovary. When the fruits become a little less than a chicken egg, you need to leave only 2 ... 3 pieces on the bush, no more, cut off the rest. When the shoots reach the height of the trellis, they must be cut.
The garter is done about a week and a half after planting the seedlings. During this time, the seedlings have already sufficiently adapted to the new conditions and will root properly.
If there is no desire to launch bees into your greenhouse, then this operation can be carried out manually: you need to pick a male flower in the morning (it is much larger in size than a female one), you do not need to feel sorry for it, the fruit will not be tied there anyway, and, having cut off from him petals, apply anthers to the stigmas of flowers of the opposite sex.
The difficulty lies in the fact that male flowers live only a few hours, so it is important not to miss the moment.
Melon cultivation in a greenhouse in the north of the Leningrad region.
Growing melons in a greenhouse. Growing melon seedlings. Melon formation. Increased yield of grafted melons. Care for melons in a greenhouse in the Leningrad region.
Having received stable positive results when growing cucumbers and tomatoes in high beds, encountering, more and more often, articles on growing melons in our northern region,
decided to try to grow the sweetest berries - melons.
Starting this difficult path, I tried many varieties and hybrids of melons. I started with a group that is most often grown in Canada, these are varieties such as "Iroquois", "Ozhen", etc. I must say that I did not encounter any special problems when growing them, but the result was not very pleasing - the fruits were small - up to 1 kg, and tastes a little sweeter than pumpkin. And I wanted southern-style sweet and juicy fruits. After looking for information on the Internet, I tried the Roksolana and Gerda hybrids. I really liked them! Really sweet, tasty and juicy fruits, and most importantly, with proper care and good nutrition, their weight reached from 1.5 to 1.7 kg! The most important thing is to plant seedlings at the right time and form correctly, then you can count on delicious fruits up to 10 pieces per bush.
At first, I grew melons in an ungrafted crop, the harvest was decent, but I wanted more. And when I learned that melons can be grafted onto special rootstocks, moreover, I was able to buy them, I took a chance and did not regret it - the yield doubled. Not all gardeners are ready to vaccinate, so I will tell you how I plant melons,and how I grew them in a non-grafted culture. In addition, the only difference is in the presence or absence of vaccination, when moving to a greenhouse, plants are formed, and they are cared for in exactly the same way.
How to grow melons
Melon growing requires a lot of space.
We plant seedlings at a distance of 50-80 cm in rows. The rows must be at least 1 meter apart.
In order for the plant to flourish, it is necessary to remove the top of the shoot above the 4th leaf.
Melons grow from side shoots, not from a central stem.
Mulch the seedlings well to stop weeds and water evaporation.
Melon has lower nutritional requirements than other pumpkin plants such as cucumber, but requires fertilization due to the size and number of fruits.
About 2 weeks after planting, the melon should be fed with phosphorus and potassium fertilizers.
Mineral fertilizers should be used after soil analysis.
Pollination of melon
If you planted melons in a greenhouse, it is better to do pollination yourself, by hand.
He is a female flower with a fruit,
and the man's just on a stick.
Tear off the male flower, pick off the petals and poke into the female flower. It is necessary that the stamens are in contact with the pistil.
If the pumpkin starts to increase in size, then the pollination was done correctly.
The pollen on the flowers must be dry. Therefore, wait until they are ventilated and dry.
It is recommended to take 3 male flowers for better pollination.
For some reason, bees were reluctant to sit on women's flowers in the greenhouse.
Therefore, to make melons appear faster, do the pollination by hand.
Useful tips for growing
Watermelons and melons are susceptible to the same diseases and when their seedlings are planted in the "neighborhood", if one culture is infected, the other will also get sick. Therefore, you need to place them at some distance. Also, it should be taken into account that all melons and gourds react sharply to high air humidity and overflows. Because of this, when growing watermelon seedlings with melons together, the planting must be regularly ventilated. If this is not done, young plants can rot. When it is time to transfer the seedlings to open soil, melons and watermelons are planted in accordance with these recommendations:
- the holes are staggered, while the distance between them is 70 cm
- the distance between the rows should be approximately 1 m
- young plants are buried in the ground to the upper leaf plates
- the ground under them is slightly compacted and sprinkled on top with sand
- after deepening, the seedlings are watered with slightly warmed water (+ 22 ... + 25˚ C).
In order for each plant to have enough nutrition, only 2-3 lashes are left on the bush, which look more powerful than the rest, while others are cut off. The main shoot is pinched - this helps the plant to direct all its forces towards the formation of fruits. Straw, boards or foil are placed under the already appeared watermelons and melons. This is necessary so that ripening fruits do not begin to rot due to contact with moist soil. Watering is done often - 2 times a week, while water needs 10-12 liters for each m² of plantings.
For the fruits to be sweet, watering is stopped 10-15 days before harvesting. Top dressing is done during cultivation 2 times a month. Use mineral fertilizers, mullein solution or ammonium nitrate. Under each bush, approximately 2 liters of the feeding mixture, diluted in accordance with the instructions, is poured. You also need to loosen the ground to a depth of 10 cm.
Melons and watermelons can be grown not only in the climate of the southern regions, but even in Siberia, the Urals or in the Leningrad region. Nevertheless, it is necessary to correctly select the timing of germination of seed material and choose zoned varieties with a short growing season. Many gardeners, with plans to grow melons, determine the time for planting them, focusing not only on the climate or the characteristics of the selected variety, but also on the lunar calendar. This is due to the fact that when planted on favorable days, the seedlings will be stronger, and the yield of plants will be higher.