35 tonnes of seedless watermelon from 1 hectare land; stunning yield through precision farming
The Vegetable Science wing of Kerala Agricultural University planted watermelon in one hectare land and harvested 35 tonnes of fruits through precision farming method. As part of the experiment, watermelon seeds were planted at 1-metre distance. In normal farming method, seeds are planted at 6-metre distance and only upto 15 tonnes can be harvested from one hectare.
The harvested fruits taste sweeter and have longer shelf life. ‘Shonima’ variety that has red flesh and ‘Swarna’ that has yellow flesh were cultivated in equal amount. Both are seedless watermelons and they gave stunning yield. Production multiplied because the seeds are planted closer and the number of plants growing in the land increased.
While applying precision farming method, the plants seem to bloom and bear fruits faster than normal method. About 5 watermelons can be harvested from one seedless watermelon plant while only upto 4 fruits grow on seeded varieties. The seedless fruits are smaller than seeded ones. But as the number of fruits is more, production is equal for both.
The seeds of the seedless watermelons can be bought from selling points of Kerala Agricultural University for Rs 100 for 100 seeds. After planting 6 rows of seedless watermelon, one row of seeded watermelon should be planted. The male flower in seeded plant will pollinate the female flower in seedless variety, said Dr T Pradeep Kumar, the head of Vegetable Science Department of Kerala Agricultural University.
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