Farmer grows seedless watermelon on trial basis; reaps fruit weighing 4-5 kg
Kannur Dharmadom native P K Satheeshan cultivated a seedless variety of watermelon in Meloor on a trial basis by the end of last year. After two months, he could harvest ripe seedless watermelons weighing 4.7 kilograms and 5 kilograms each. Even agriculture officers were amazed to see the stunning yield. Cultivation started with the help of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK).
Satheeshan planted saplings of hybrid watermelon variety Sonima and normal variety Sugar Baby. The plants bloomed in February. The fruit was produced through artificial pollination as hybrid varieties cannot bear fruits through natural pollination.
Major challenge was pest menace. A type of fruit fly destroys the fruits within a few days. The fruit takes upto 60 days to fully ripen. Also intense heat in February affected the harvest. If watermelon is planted in November, fruits can be harvested in February.
The hybrid variety Sonima was developed by the Agriculture University. They supplied saplings to check whether it grows well in sandy soil. Loam soil and open spaces are the best for watermelon. Also the seedless variety requires more attention than seeded variety.