Have you ever been to a greenhouse where melons grow? Impressions unforgettable! It's just a magical forest or a fairy kingdom, or both. Of course, we are talking about the moment when melons have already started to ripen. Imagine: a lot of light, lace green lianas and hanging from the ceiling gold lanterns. And what is the flavor! No, it's very difficult to imagine. It only needs to be seen and ... And sniff! Because melons smell so, that even to eat them it is a pity. But, of course, you can create such a fabulous magnificence only with your own hands in your own garden. And then enjoy the fruits of your labor in a literal and figurative sense. So, growing a melon in a greenhouse is just a journey into a fairy tale. Shall we leave?
Let's start with the most prosaic: we learn a little about this garden culture. In general, melons are melons. Their closest relatives are cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and squash. The family of plants, which includes melon, is called Pumpkin, and the genus is called Cucumber, well, the official botanical name of the melon is Cucumis melo. And what is the melon fruit, you know? Its fruit is called tykvina and can be round or oblong in shape of yellow, green, orange, brown and even white. A melon has been known since very old times (even in the Bible it is mentioned), and it has been cultivated in Northern India. And although people grew and ate a melon for several centuries before our era, it settled on the Russian lands of the Lower Volga only in the fifteenth century. But the five hundred years of summer history is also something. By the way, with the hot southern Russian melons, melon very quickly moved to cooler regions, and in greenhouses it was grown already in the seventeenth century. The first greenhouses with melons appeared in the Moscow region near Izmailovo under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. So the Russian history of growing melons in the open field is not much older than its history of growing in greenhouses. And I must say, this is not such a difficult activity, as it may seem at first glance. Although, of course, to grow a good crop is possible only with good care.
Choose and prepare a greenhouse
For a melon any greenhouse in which it is possiblegrow cucumbers. And if you have such experience, then there should not be any questions with the choice of a greenhouse. If you are just starting to equip your greenhouse economy, then bear in mind that melons can be grown in both a heated and a cold greenhouse. The greenhouse should be necessarily ventilated, and film or glass - it's not the essence. The decisive factor in choosing a greenhouse is the height. Melon is a liana, and in the greenhouse it needs a vertical space. For the cultivation of melons in a greenhouse, steam beds (aboveground or in-depth) with a biofuel thickness of at least 25 centimeters are prepared. To equip such a ridge, a layer of biofuel (manure, weed-weed or mown grass) is poured onto the ground, and when it warms up well, a fifteen centimeter layer of soil is piled on top. By the way, although the cantaloupe and cucumber are the next of kin (it just does not happen any closer), you can not plant them in one greenhouse. With close neighbors, plants will re-dust and lose their natural taste, and melon and generally can become inedible.
For growing seedlings you need pots with a diametereight centimeters and a common soil for garden crops. For planting, select the largest seeds and soak them first in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for half an hour, and then in a one-percentage solution of baking soda for twelve hours. After that, the seeds are germinated and plant one seed in the pot. For successful growing of seedlings, it is necessary to keep the temperature at least sixteen degrees and ensure good lighting for the shoots. After the appearance of the third or fifth present leaf, the seedlings are plucked, inducing branching. Watering sprouts need a moderate, in which water does not fall on the stems and leaves. Mineral top dressing is needed twice (for the entire seedling period). If it becomes necessary, shoots are transplanted into more spacious pots as they grow, and under the pulling whips the support is substituted. The seed is planted in the beginning or in the middle of April.
In the greenhouses are transplanted enough grown up andstrengthened plants, planting them in the holes located at a distance of forty-five centimeters from each other. Plants are planted directly with a clod of earth, by no means deepening it, after which the hole is poured with warm water and poured on the sides of dry land. The first five to seven days after planting, the plants are not watered, not loosened and do not hill, but only the greenhouse is ventilated. A week later, watering with warm water and fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers is carried out. At the same time, the plants are tied to poles in the form of poles or tension nets. Tie up and leave for growth only the main stem and an ode or two side whips, the other side shoots pluck.
Since the appearance of the first flowers, the melon beginsto feed with universal liquid fertilizers. Feeding is carried out once a week, and after the appearance of the first ovaries - twice a week. As soon as the first fruits begin to form, feed the melon with fertilizers for tomatoes (also liquid and also twice a week). The top of the side shoots pinch through two leaves after the fruit and do not leave more than six fruits on one bush. Water the melon only if necessary. Remember, this is a drought-resistant plant that reacts very poorly to waterlogging. And getting moisture on the leaves and stems in general can cause fungal diseases. Therefore, water the plants in the furrows made near the holes. For a guaranteed yield of a melon crop, it is necessary to pollinate artificially. To do this, work with a bee and, armed with a brush, collect the pollen from several flowers and go through this brush for all other colors.
And here comes the most pleasant and most fabulousmoment. The ripening melons begin to smell breathlessly, spreading a specific melon flavor throughout the greenhouse. Usually melons are sung at the end of summer. But there are earlier varieties, and there are also late-ripening melons. It is the latter that is left for storage, taking off still immature. Store melons in wooden trellised boxes or in a suspended state at a temperature of about zero degrees. However, only undamaged fruits without dents and cracks are suitable for storage. The ripeness of melons is determined by the smell and by color. But the surest way to determine the degree of ripeness of the melon is palpation. If you gently press on the base of the fruit, the ripe melon will slightly inflate. Basically melons are eaten fresh, but they also prepare salads, cook jam and candied fruit. Store fresh fruits in the refrigerator (apart from other products). By the way, chilled melons are the most delicious. Pamper yourself and your loved ones with your own grown aromatic melons! Even if you live in unfavorable conditions for growing melons, a greenhouse and proper care will provide you with a fabulous crop of this southern plant. Good luck to you and a good harvest! We advise you to read: