Water melon – a winter crop for summer market in india


Great Mr.Azhar…Your effort deserves appreciation . Waiting for your updates . Thank you


Dear Sir,

As advised by you, I started giving a bit of more nitrogen after my mistake of ethrel overdose. The result is the plants recovered their health though the ethrel effects resulted in profuse secondary branching which I could not manually control. Now the plants are 47 days old. Plants started flowering now. I guess flowering delayed by 10 days due to ethrel aftereffect because plant went back into vegetative mode to produce new secondary vines. The second ethrel spray was done with correct dosage. I did not continue with 3rd and fourth spray as I feared if plants would sustain or not.
From past 2 days I am noticing that more number of male flowers have started blooming (around 30% of field) and not even 1 % are female flowers. Please advise if I need to follow any procedure to improvise the situation for female flowers and fruit setting.
Currently I am applying 2 kgs/acre each of 19 all & 12:61:0 alternatively every 2 days.

Thanks & Regards


Now your watermelon is in the stage of flower initiation to maturation . At this stage watermelon needs balanced nutrients for initiation , development of flowers and fruits and also for its continued vegetative growth

So at this stage ( 30 days duration ) the total nutrient requirement is as follows

12-61-0  -  5.0 kgs
13-0-45  -  17.0 kgs
Urea        -  45 kgs

The above water soluble fertilizers may be delivered to watermelon either on alternate days or every three days once or daily depending on your soil condition

For example if your soil is sandy , then nutrients retention capacity is poor . In that case if you apply fertilizers once in three days, the excess amount of fertilizer nutrients after the absorption by plant roots  will percolate down beyond active root zone . So you need to plan to dispense nutrients daily in a small amounts

If your soil is clay or clay loam that retains more water and nutrients for long , it is advised to dispense nutrients once in three days .If it is loam , or sandy loam then you can dispense nutrients every other day

And also time of application of nutrients is most important  …If you apply WSF that carry plant nutrients in readily soluble ionic form and if  If you give fertigation on hot day hours , the nutrients in water soluble fertilizers more specifically nitrate nitrogen present either in Potassium nitrate , or all 19 will get accumulated in the conducting tissue . And this condition causes imbalance in internal hormone level and keep the plant continuing its vegetative stage …
Another thing you need to note is that first flowers in watermelon is always male flower and it drops or if it first flowers happens to be female flowers , it will simply go aborted . This is the peculiar physiology in watermelon …

Of course water melon produce more male flowers . An abundant production and supply of pollen grains only could ensure well developed and sweetest fruit .

Your duty is to look for female flowers that are 2-3 per plant . If you have more female flowers , then you need to remove excess fruits when it is lemon size …

So you can not assign any  single cause for any anomaly in watermelon …

So you need not worry unnecessarily about flowering  . Also note that etheral spray is completed well before 45 th days after planting , starting in 15 th days after sowing seeds . Subsequent etheral  sprays at weekly interval will conclude  before 45 th days …Thereafter no spray of etheral is advised …

Let you wait for one more week


Great sir! My anxiety is at its minimum now after reading the details. Thanks again.

I will update the developments next week with pictures.

Thanks & Regards


Thank you Mr.Guru

Find attached pixels of  watermelon field that is just 32 days old now . In a  well planned project of watermelon we can expect to reach our target yield .Here see how the vines are spreading and running over the field . Due to bad consequence of wardha cyclone in chennai and adjoining districts in Tamilnadu , happened to sow watermelon seeds a fortnight late .Unfortunately we again received intermittent rain during January that escalated the menace of cut worms that started feeding gregariously on the leaves and terminal buds .However timely plant protection measures and other cultural practices saved our watermelon and keep it growing hale and healthy …


Dear sir,

Thanks for sharing the pics. I must really appreciate the health of plants. They seem to be doing really very well.

I have couple of questions here:

  • Why wasn’t raised bed method followed?
  • I believe that in this season the menace of thrips and aphids will be more and also the harvest time co-incides with hot summer and plastic mulching would have saved water. Was there any technical reason for not adopting reflective plastic mulching? Is it due to weather conditions this month (Jan-Feb) as it comparatively more cold and prolonged water retention under plastic mulching would have resulted in fungal diseases?
  • The bed width seems to be more than 2 feet and earlier pics show that FYM was laid over the entire width of the bed. Was the manure covered with a layer soil later or is left as is? What is the advantage of this method of planting?

Please educate.

Thanks & Regards


Great .your question is logical .
Farmyardmanure – since fym was available in minimum say 2 MT in lieu of actual requirement of 10 MT per acre , the limited quantity of FYM was applied over the 2.5 feet wide beds
FYM was spread over 20 cm high beds and then covered with soil
Why and when and where bed system of planting is followed ?
When soil is clay type , and when sowing of seeds are done in the rainy season and where field is low lying , the bed system of planting is followed .Where as our soil is red sandy loam with good drainage . so no need for bed system however we made 20 cms high beds
Plastic mulch – on cost consideration , we avoided plastic mulching sheet and prevailing weather does not warrant use of plastic mulching sheet .
The plastic mulching sheet is laid over beds . But later when plant grows the vines keep running away from the bed into inter row spaces . The sucking pest like Aphids and Thrips are found feeding on under surface of leaves that are lying away from mulching sheet .
More over the watermelon covers the entire field in about 45-50 days when summer sets in . So the evaporation water loss will be minimum
However use of mulching sheet is advised when watermelon is planned for cultivation in June- July


Dear sir,

The explanation makes all the logical sense. Thanks. Will take note of the points next time.

I went for raised bed (1.5 ft hieght and 1.5 ft width). Before forming the beds, I poured the mixture of FYM+DAP+MOP+gypsum in straight line and raised the beds exactly over the bed using tractor cooper attachment. What I feel now is in this method, plants will not be able to reach the FYM+DAP+MOP lying 1.5 ft down atleast for 30 days. Also I feel that most of DAP and MOP would have leeched deeper due to initial irrigation. Can you please suggest any amendments in the above process to improve percentage fertilizer usage by plants?



Dear Guruprasad,
Most of pints finely cleared by Mr. RAMU. As you mentioned that you raised the bed 1.5 feet, you keep all the time in the mind that the best growing plant roots will not go deeper than 1 feet, I mean main root & the branches of roots spreed with in 1 feet depth only. you placed the FYM+DAP+MOP+gypsum in straight line, so just reduce the height by 6 inches to cop up the problem & your doubt which is disturbing your mind. Next suggestion is, you can do one more thing sowing of seed should be 6 inch below the bed top later on you can fill that 6 inch by the soil. If Mr.RAMU have better solution we have to accept & implement. Actually gypsum should be spreed all over the filled to improve the PH vale. Hope your plants will use all the fertilizers & will give you good yield.

Best Regards,



Etheral third round of spray was completed on 13 th February and fourth and final round of spray is due on 20th February .
Watermelons are growing fast and producing more branches with few male flowers noticed in the rows …

Watermelon is still going through vegetative growth stage that last till 42 - 45 days from sowing seeds . So we are expecting to notice profuse flowering in about next one week time by the time fourth round of Etherel spray is completed


Thank you Sir Ramu Garu !Your Contribution in our Forum is superb.
Shall we plant Water Melon in the 1st week of March in Semi-Shade
Near Hyderabad. If so what variety is suitable in Our Area.


Dear Shri.Manne garu ! I dont understand what do you mean by semi shade .Shall I call it cultivation in shadenet house ? If so you can try now … But I dont think sowing of watermelon in march will produce yield upto your expectation …However trying in different environment or season is not bad …Wishing you all the best …


Thank you Very Much Ramu Garu,

In 2 Acres I have Planted Melia Dubia (Malabar Neem) plantation
in 2 Acres .Present age of the Trees is 2 Years.
We have pruned the Trees Properly and are at 30 Feet Height.
The Shade if about 40 % . Sun lighting is available at 60% .

Shall we plant Water Melon in the above Shade in the Month of March 1st week,
If so what veriety you will suggest Sir.!


Dear Mr.Manne garu

Since March is passing through summer with raising heat waves , you can try any one of the short duration watermelon varieties like Sugarbaby, Madhupriya and sweet queen




Amazing inputs.

Detailed to the smallest tiny fraction.

thanks for sharing the valuable inputs.

r seshaadri, tumkur


Dear Mr. MANNE & ALL,

The maximum input we are receiving from MR.Ramu. I wants to tell you some thing that, i am also planting on 2.5 acres @ Sangaready but not on Semi shed condition. the verity is suitable in our area is Kalash Amruta F1 water melon ( Also called Ice Table ). which I am going for sowing tomorrow. today is spraying Pendimethalin spray to the field for weed treatment. The seeds are already treated for all pesticide & insecticide only direct sowing is enough. the price of the 50 gram packet is 1500 Rupees & it contain around 1100 to 1200 seeds. only one seed is enough for one pit, Seed germination rate is 85-95 % the spacing is 6 feet X (3 feet in a zig-zag manner). The weight of the fruit is 2.5 - 4.0 kgs, 3-4 fruit maximum in each plant as per soil condition and fertilizer supplied. Yesterday rate of fruit in Hyderabad was 15 Rupees per KG. the total crop duration is 75-80 days. Need good watering after flowering to harvesting. If need photo of seed packet i can attached in next post.

Best Regards,



On 38 th day today after sowing ,  watermelon shows lot of male flowers . The watermelon always produce male flowers first and subsequently produce female flowers that develop into melon after pollination


Hi all,

Few snaps of our plot. Kindly share your opinions/advices.

Thanks & Regards


Few more snaps:


zucchini yellow masaic and Alternaria leaf blight disease …Spray insecticide and fungicide to control Vector and disease