Get seedless watermelons with yellow, red flesh from Agricultural University
Watermelon is the apple of the eye of Keralites in summer. However, we are a little confused about the source of the giant fruit bought from the market. Those brought from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other states are often contaminated with pesticide residue and we cannot guarantee the quality of the fruit.
We can grow watermelon in our gardens for reaping the fruits in summer. Only the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) produces watermelon seeds in the state. The KAU at Mannuthy has proved that watermelon can be cultivated in Kerala climate successfully. The cultivation is funded by State Horticulture Mission.
Majority of the people are fond of seedless watermelons. It is always a distraction to spit out the black seeds while enjoying the sweetness of the red flesh. The director of planning wing in KAU Dr. T. Pradeep Kumar has developed two seedless varieties of watermelon; ‘Swarna’ that has yellow flesh and ‘Shonima’ that has red flesh. Also seeded variety ‘Sugar Baby’ is available.
- The period between October and February is ideal for watermelon farming.
- Watermelon requires plenty of sunlight to flourish.
- Loam soil is the best for planting watermelon.
- Till the soil properly and make holes leaving a gap 2 metres between them.
- Make sure the holes have 60 cm diameter and 45 cm depth.
- Mix half a coconut shell full of lime with the topsoil in each flowerbed.
- Organic fertilizers like vermicompost, chicken manure or cattle dung can be applied after one week.
- Three seeds should be sowed in one flowerbed.
- The hybrid varieties take 5-6 days and Sugar Baby takes 3-4 days to sprout.
- Two weeks after the saplings emerge, only two healthy plants should be allowed to grow.
Irrigation & Fertilizers
- The fertilizers and maintenance afterwards will be provided from the university.
- During the primary phase of growth, irrigate once in two days.
- After it begins to bear fruits, irrigate on alternate days.
- In order to support the vine, spread dry twigs and hay on the ground.
- Make sure the growing watermelon fruits do not touch the ground directly.
- Saplings begin blooming after 35 days of planting.
- Fruits can be harvested after 45-50 days of blooming.
- Stop watering once the fruits are grown enough.
For getting watermelon seeds, contact the university authorities: 0487 2438482.