I have planted an acre of muskmelon/cantaloupe under plastic mulch and drip irrigation and will be planting some more. I am also going to plant some watermelon shortly. At the moment I have resorted to integrated nutrient management than pure organic/natural management - primarily due to the current nature of fairly denuded soil and that I do not have a proper source of in-house organic materials yet (more about that on a separate topic).
I have applied a considerable amount of poultry manure, got some panchagavya prepared and mixed in irrigation water while also planning to spray it over the plants, and drenched some Trichoderma viride, an antagonistic microbial culture. I have also collected some marigold seeds to spread over the bunds and borders to attract bees and be a trap crop for pests. I am also applying some chemical fertilizers to start with.
I just want to be prepared to apply all organic/natural solutions for the possible pests and diseases and would appreciate ideas from everyone who has the information/experience around this. While seed companies seem to be recommending daily routine sprays of insecticides and pesticides, I am quite keen to explore and exhaust all protective and curative natural methods for pest and disease management.
A list of some of the common pests and diseases I collected:
Diseases: Leaf spots, Powdery Mildew, Downy Mildew, Fusarium Wilt, Anthracnose, Stem Blight, Watermelon Mosaic Virus
Insects/Nematodes: Aphids, Thrips, White flies, Beetles, Worms, Leafminer, Nematodes
Solutions welcome, thanks.