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Watermelon Harvesting and Handling: An Insight

Watermelons are summer crops that need effective handling for quality production. To produce the red, juicy, crispy variety of melons, special care and attention is obligatory. To determine the quality and ripeness of watermelons without tasting is not an easy task as external color or appearance does not actually reveal the quality of the flesh inside. This task of determining the quality of watermelons without tasting requires the aid of a skillful hand.

Watermelons are warm, long season crops and grow best on well-drained sandy loam soils with slight acid. Sandy soils with adequate fertilizers yield very fine quality watermelons. Watermelon is fairly tolerant to soil pH as low as 5.5. Watermelon grows best where soil pH is between 6.0 and 7.0. Application of lime to a low pH soil can yield better results. Before planting the seeds of watermelons, much labor is invested to prepare the soil. In addition to plowing and disking, sub soiling beneath the row promotes deeper rooting in soils having a compacted layer. In case of strong winds, windbreaks of fall-planted wheat or rye or spring-planted hybrid Sudan helps to provide some protection to young plants. The windbreak crop between the rows is cultivated or disked out as the watermelon vines begin to run. A narrow windbreak strip can be left standing between rows for wind protection later in the season, but it should be undercut or killed with chemicals to reduce competition with the watermelon crop.

Depending on variety and season, watermelons reach harvest maturity five to six weeks after pollination. Different varieties of watermelons carry different characteristics, thus indicating different levels of maturity. Experts on the field can easily identify a ripe melon just by glancing at its glossy rind surface. Other indications of ripeness include a change in the color of the ground spot from white to light yellow

Submitted by:

Suzanne Macguire

Suzanne Macguire is an Internet marketing professional with expertise in content development and technical writing in a variety of industries.

View their website at: http://www.sundiacorp.com/


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