Wednesday , November 22 2017

Watermelons

They prefer a well-drained, sandy loam soil with medium nitrogen levels and a pH of 5.5-7. Soil fertility is also important so you should incorporate well-rotted manure and a general-purpose fertilizer into the soil before planting.

  

Sow seeds in early spring under cover in trays or 6-9 cm pots at a temperature of at least 22-25 Celsius degrees (72-77 F). When seedlings reach 10-15 cm tall harden them off then plant them out after all risk of frost has passed. Plant young plants outdoors or under cover at least 1 m apart one from another. If planted outdoors protect them from wind and cold weather with plastic screens. Being extremely vigorous plants, watermelons are not normally grown in a greenhouse but under plastic covers. Remove covers at flowering time to reduce humidity and to encourage insect pollination.

Mulch the plants to retain moisture and apply a balanced fertilizer or a liquid feed every two weeks until the fruits begin to develop. Pinch out the growing points of the main shoots when they are 2 m long and reduce the sub-lateral growth from the sideshoots to two or three leaves after fruits start to develop. Train sideshoots between other plants in the row. To protect the fruits from soil-borne pests and diseases is best to place a pad of dried grass or a block of wood beneath each fruit.

Harvest the fruits after 11-14 weeks after sowing. Mature fruits give a hollow sound when tapped. They may be stored for 14-20 days at 10-12 Celsius degrees (50-54 F).

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Pomegranates

Pomegranates (Punica granatum) form small and ornamental trees or shrubs that will grow up to 2-3 m tall and 1-1.5 m wide. In warm climates they are evergreen but in cooler climates they are deciduous. For growing pomegranates as ornamental trees you will need an optimum temperature range of 18-25 Celsius degrees (64-77) but it might tolerate for short periods temperatures just below freezing. For having them fruiting they will need dry weather and high temperatures, ideally around 35 Celsius degrees (96 F). The globular fruits are up to 10 cm in diameter with leathery, yellow or red skins.

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