Cracking of watermelon [solved]

Can anybody suggest what could be the reason for cracking of watermelon?
Is the shape normal?
What do I do for hollowing of the fruit?

I dont have first hand experience growing watermelons but i did call one of my relatives who used to grow them. He says it could be a water problem. Either too much of it or too less of it. How much do you water them? Whats the temperature around your area?  Are you using any mulch? If no you have to.

What is your soil ph? Is your soil heavy? WM dont like heavy soil.  Cracking can also happen due to deficiency in N and magnesium.

Use a good organic nutrient mix.

I hardly see any organic matter on the soil. It just looks red(at least in the photographs). Maybe not having any mulch is causing heat stress? Maybe you could get some Paddy straws and start mulching all over that red soil. This will not only help retain moisture but it will, over a period of time increase nutrient component of your soil.

I am watering 1 hr (inline drip) every 2 days or so. Temp is about 32-34 C.
Where do I put mulch? Under the fruit?

Soil is very porous. Soil ph is about normal…not very acidic or alkaline.

When the fruit is at the maturity stage  irrigation management would be critical. cracking takes place due to sudden rush of water i.e. to say not irrigating for a long period and suddenly irrigating. This would create internal pressure forcing the fruit to bulge at once say like baloon. This causes cracks on the peel/skin. As the fruit grows the cracks also becomes bigger leading to decay.

Nutrient potassium provides strength to the plant/fruit/nuts to withstand natural pressure to sustain the natural pressures such wind,rains, temparture, cold/frost. if it is defficient or not available to the plant at proper time and proper quantity,  damages like cracking, decaying, falling off/shrivelling happens. once such damage happens it is irreversible.

How much water is that in litres/per hour? The top soil should be dry before you water it the next time around. Water melon dont like too much water either.  In your case, they are already in the fruiting stage so every 2 days maybe a bit too much. When fruiting, its advisable to water them once or twice a week only. Couple of litres per plant should be good enough unless its extremely hot and dry. Looks for sign. If the leaves appear pale and droop, time to water. If they look healthy avoid the water.

Mulch all over your soil under the vines and the fruit. Idea is to cover most of your soil with Mulch. Use dry leaves, paddy straw.

What/How much Fertilizers have you used? Was any fertilizer incorporated in the soil bed at planting?
Ideally you would want to have all or most the P205 and atleast 30% N in the soil at the time of planting. This should have been a typical 1:4 N:P mix.  Remaining 70% N and 100% of the K20 throughout the growing period in split doses. If the fruits are not developing well it could be due to lack of Phosphorous.

Porous soils get easily leached of nutrients specially if you have instances of rain. Only option is to increase organic content of the soil by mulching as much. 

Thanks kskarnic.
Is it true that postash dose needs to be increased when close to harvest. (today is 48th day)?
Secondly, should I shift the positon of the melon to avoid scars at the bottom?


The drippers are 4lph but i do not know how much is the total water across 2 acres.
Mulching all over is probably too late now since the vines are a couple of metres in some places. But would putting hay under the fruit help?

Basal dose included DAP and Potash (50 kg each per acre)
I am fertigating via drip so I have an entire schedule which I follow…

Now that I am at 48 days, what should I fertigate?
Is it true that postash dose needs to be increased when close to harvest. (today is 48th day)?
Secondly, should I shift the positon of the melon to avoid scars at the bottom?

it is common that watermelon is grown on riverbeds where the soil is porus/sandy. your immidiate concern should be to save those fruits which are in different stages of maturity. As suggested by our friends take up immidiate mulching in the basin to prevent moisture loss and underneath the fruits to protect them from direct contact to the ground and obsorbing heat. any other indigenous methods can adopted for the saving the crop now. Later if you plan to take up water melon cultivation , please consult extension workers of deparment of horticulture/agriculture and act according to their suggestions.

Do you mind sharing your fertigation schedule??

Water them as and when you see top 1-2 inches of the soil is dry. Increase/decrease of potash and nitrogen depends on what you have given the plants already.

When you mulch the melons will shift around. Dont worry about it otherwise.

Hollows… Do you have them in a lot of fruits or just a one off case? Suggest you take one of the melons with the hollow and cut it open to check if the fruit is hollow inside as well.

Dear Mr.,

I don’t want speak anything because this is commercial farming, farmers need  recommendations

to  rescue the valuable crop


Calcium nitrate -500 gm + Urea -250 gm + SOP -500 gm + Planofix-100 ml + whisky -200 ml /200

lits water - spray (After 3 o’clock)

After 7 days spray

Microfood -200 gm + Planofix -50 ml + Magnesium sulphate -250 gm + 19:19: 19 -500 gm

+Jagtonic -1 lit/spray


Give 5 gm Magnesium sulphate + Calcium nitrate -5 gm + Boric acid - 2 gm /plant

After 3 rd day


SOP - 10 gm + Urea -5 gm + Micro food -5 gm/plant  – plse calculte  and  follow fertigation.

Any doubt do contact me.

This is sufficient to rectify your problem

Thank you
Good luck



I thought I had a soft copy but I do not…I will try to scan it in a day or two and put it up.
It was just one fruit but just want to be proactive here. However, the bloating or balloon type shape is strange…Is this normal in the first few weeks of fruiting?

Whisky?? Finally, a neighbourhood TASMAC shop should help.  :slight_smile:

Thanks for the advice. I will put Ca nitrate ASAP…

Hi Savera farms,

Dont be surprised by Whisky, Yes I have seen it being sprayed on the Yellakki banana bunches near my place. Unfortunately I had to sponsor a whiskey bottle, that too DSP from my defence canteen. I managed to give only one  >:( . These locals used to spray earlier arrack it seems, now since its banned, they have resorted to cheap whiskey, That too RAJA.  As per them, this a gives a uniform golden yellow colour and all the bananas in the bunch will be of uniform shape and size.  :astonished:  :astonished:

Please dont ask me any scientific reason. I dont have any may be biofarms can explain it. Since it costs me Rs 95, I dont mind doing it on my bananas also, if it helps.  ;D  ;D Had it been Jhony Walker or any other scotch I would have worried a lot. ;D  ;D

Even my friend who used to do flori culture used to sprayarrack for his flowers. It looks like they come out in very very bright colors. That too gladiolas and stay fresh for longer time.

No idea what for. Or it looks like one idiot starts some thing foolish like this and it becomes viral.

In any case since I have 4 banana plants at home I will try it out on 2 and sure will find out. Hope these banana plants are not brand conscious  :astonished:  :astonished:.



Dear Mr.,
Whisky to boost metabolism. Try the recommendations and see the results. Ref> Boosting metabolism in plants posted by Biofarms.

Then see why whisky?

thank you
good luck

Hi Biofarms,

Is it only whiskey or any alcholol will do. Can you explain in more detail scientifically what exactly happens when you spray this. I will sure try and see, but i need to quench my thirst, first here.  ;D

I am just curios, since when plants got a taste for whiskey  ;D  ;D



Thanks for the explanation.
I would rather use drip than spray since the vegetative growth makes it tough to walk in between.
Is Magnesium sulphate water soluble? I know SOP is not. I can 12:61:0 instead.

Urea and Ca Nitrate is water soluble so that should not be a problem.

Could lack of boron be another reason?

Dear Mr.,

Plse plse refer “Boosting Metabolism in Plants”.  After referring any doubts contact me.  This is the

system i developed while doing  Msc(Agri) Research work at Gujarat Agri University , Under

Late.Prof. Dr.R.R.Shah. And tested its results in Middle East Countries

(dates,olives,Oranges ,Vegetablesetc)

In India ,Tamilnadu --Floriculture Project -Coimbatore (gerbera), Banglore=Banana, Gujarat -sapota

Mango, vegetables, Kerala-- Cardamom, Vegetables

Any alcoholic material will give the boosting result,

Thank you
Good luck

1 Like

Dear Bio Farms,

Thanks for your inputs. I will sure try it out and let you know the results. But what exactly happens on plants can you explain it.

As savera farms has said, how about if given to roots instead of spraying. Same effect or only spraying gives the best effect.



Dear  Mr.,

Don’t waste your time,

Magnesium sulphate is water soluble.  Boron is also  cause  cracking.

Increase level of  Calcium, Boron, suphur,Potash  will rectify your problem.

I had  experience  of growing water melon at Kingdom of saudi arabia more than 500 acres.

Start quickly and follow the steps and  see the results.

Thank you
good luck