In these hot summer days, melons are one of the favorite fruits of the Turkish people, who produce 1.8 million tonnes of melons every year. This places Turkey at the second in the world melon production, right after China, who produces 6.6 million tonnes. All this information is leading to this: We know how to grow quality melons, and now we’ll share our secrets with you.
First thing you have to do is to decide which kind of melon to grow. There are many varieties with different flavors grown around the world and your choice should suit your purposes and climate.
Overall, melons like hot or warm climates. The long growth period requires hot and sunny weather, too much moisture might cause fungal diseases. Clayed or acidic soil isn’t good for melons and it should be able to hold water well.
Melon – Cotton – Grain Rotation
To prevent diseases, you shouldn’t produce melons repeatedly on the same field. In Turkey, usually melon – cotton – grain rotation is used.
Before planting melons, you should plow lines with 2 meters of distance between them. On one side of the plowed lines, plant 4-5 seeds in groups with 75 centimeters of distance to each other. Then cover them in 5-6 centimeters of soil. In Turkey, this is done between 20th of April and 5th of May. The seeds will take root and slowly grow and you should see them sprout in 5 to 15 days. You should pull out the weak plants in every group and leave the two strongest sprouts. Later on, you should pull one of those, leaving only one.
Melons like organic materials, so it’s best to use fertilizer made from animal manure. You should apply this fertilizer in autumn, while preparing the field.
Drip Irrigation is Preferred When Producing Melons
While growing, the melon plants won’t require too much water. Actually, very little amounts of water will suffice until the fruits appear. When the fruits start growing, watering every 12 – 15 days will be good but make sure the fruits or the plant itself doesn’t get wet. Because of this, drip irrigation is preferred when producing melons.
Melons don’t require much attention, other than pulling out the foreign plants. Harvesting melons should be done in the morning, and you should immediately take the harvested melons to the bazaar or the depot.
These are some of the tips I’ve learned from my grandfather, whose melons are growing nicely. I hope you find some use among these.