How to grow delicious melons in a greenhouse: tips for selecting varieties and agricultural technology
Melon is a culture from hot countries, but it is also grown in central Russia and even in the north. True, in the open ground, obtaining a normal crop of delicious fruits depends on the weather and maybe not every year, so melons are often planted in a greenhouse. The appearance of polycarbonate greenhouses has given a new impetus to this direction, and now there is nothing to surprise anyone with a good harvest of fragrant fruits in regions uncharacteristic of gourds.
Varieties of melons for the greenhouse
Of course, it will not be possible to grow “real” melons, large, with a scent that drives one crazy in the greenhouse: for this, the fruits must bask under the hot sun. Greenhouse melons are usually not large, but this does not prevent them from being tasty and fragrant. Most varieties intended for outdoor cultivation can be used for greenhouses, but there are specific examples that are designed specifically for greenhouses.
In any case, in the central regions, do not try to plant late-ripe melons. The choice should be limited to early varieties or, in extreme cases, medium ripening. Early ripe melons are ready for collection in polycarbonate greenhouses in the middle of summer.
It is desirable that the variety be regionalized for a specific region, but there are not many examples of melon varieties for non-hot climatic zones. For example, the State Register of Breeding Achievements of the Russian Federation recommends only the Princess Svetlana variety for protected ground in the central region. He has a growing season of about three months, the fruits of an uncharacteristic for melons are almost white in color, round, weighing about 1.5 kg. The pulp is orange, juicy, of excellent taste, with a characteristic and bright aroma. Melons are stored up to 20 days, well transported over long distances.
Princess Svetlana differs from most varieties in white color
In addition to this variety, summer residents are grown in greenhouses and other modern varieties and hybrids.
- Titovka is one of the most precocious varieties; the crop is ready 55–70 days after emergence. The fruits are slightly elongated, depending on the conditions, both small specimens and fruits weighing up to 3.5 kg can grow, the color of the bark is orange. The pulp is white, fleshy, of good taste. Resists diseases to a moderate degree.
Titovka - an early ripening variety with not the smallest fruits
- Krinichanka is also a super early variety: the first fruits are ready 70 days after emergence. They are slightly oval, weighing about 2 kg, yellow-orange. Pulp with a high sugar content, its color - from greenish to cream. One of the few representatives of melons, able to grow in partial shade.
Krinichanka matures one of the first
- Scythian gold F1 is an early ripe hybrid, the fruits ripen a little later than that of Krinichanka, they are round, beautiful, weighing about 1 kg, with yellow bark. The pulp is juicy, aromatic, pleasant, very sweet. The hybrid is characterized by high productivity and resistance to disease.
Scythian gold - early ripening high-yielding hybrid
- Nadezhda is a cold-resistant early ripening variety with a growing season of about 70 days. Fruits are oval, ribbed, lemon yellow in color, weighing about 1 kg. The pulp is tender, light orange, aromatic. Soreness is average.
Hope is not afraid of cooling, and her shape is uneven
- Muscovite is even more cold-resistant than Nadezhda, the timing of ripening is approximately the same. Melons are small, from 0.5 to 1.5 kg, slightly oval, with orange flesh. The taste is variable: the most matured specimens are very sweet, collected a little ahead of time and have an average sugar content, but the original aroma of lemon or orange. The disadvantage is that the crop must be harvested on time, otherwise the fruits lose much in quality.
- Collective farmer - a variety known to all. Grown since 1943 both in open ground and in greenhouses, in almost all regions where melons can only be cultivated. A variety of medium-term ripening (77–95 days), resistant to the vagaries of the weather. The fruits are smooth, round, small (0.7–1.3 kg), dark yellow or orange. The pulp is white, dense, semi-crisp, juicy. The taste is excellent, the aroma is not too strong. The fruits are well stored and transported.
Collective farmer is a well-known, well-deserved variety
In addition to the above varieties, melons Amber, Solar, Original, Canary, Gallia, Ozhen and others can be recommended for cultivation in polycarbonate greenhouses.
Our collective farmer matures, but she tastes better in the south .. She feels better in the open ground or on a high dung ridge under a temporary film shelter.Julia
"Princess Svetlana" - really early ripe.Algam
The best melon grade "Titovka" 5+ Very early, tasty, fragrant, sweet, juicy. Harvest.Amira
Our Krinichanka variety grows best, it is early, suitable for non-southern regions.Elena
From what he planted, the most precocious melon turned out to be the Scythian Gold, the sweetest - Iroquois, the largest - Alina.Fedor
Selection and preparation of the greenhouse
Melon requires a lot of heat and light, which must be considered when choosing a greenhouse. It is in this regard that the polycarbonate greenhouse is the best option for protected ground. Polycarbonate is a hard, colorless plastic with a very high light transmittance (above 90%). It is lightweight, retains heat perfectly, is easily processed, as a result of which polycarbonate greenhouses of various sizes and shapes are produced. Among the modern materials for greenhouses, he is rightfully considered the best. The disadvantage of such greenhouses is one - a high price. In the greenhouse industry, cellular polycarbonate is mainly used: walls are made of thin plates that are parallel to each other and connected by jumpers.
Melon looks like a small plant, but it requires a considerable area of nutrition. On ordinary melons, plants are located at a considerable distance from each other, which the gardener cannot allow in the greenhouse. It is necessary to carry out a compacted landing, and the lashes of plants should be arranged vertically, tied to trellises.
In this regard, the choice of greenhouses is limited to high options: it is desirable that the height of the greenhouse be at least two meters. Immediately after the preparation of the beds, it is necessary to equip strong supports to which the shoots will be tied, and then the growing fruits. It can be any strong vertical columns with rows of thick wire stretched between them every half meter in height. So that the trellis does not clutter the greenhouse, they are equipped along the side walls. Thus, the beds for melons are located no further than 50 cm from the walls.
To plant melons, you need to choose a high greenhouse
Despite the excellent light-transmitting and heat-holding properties of polycarbonate, it is advisable to purchase heating equipment and lamps to obtain a guaranteed crop in the middle lane or Siberia. Perhaps it is not necessary to heat the greenhouse, especially when growing early varieties of melons planted with pre-grown seedlings. But if you sow seeds, then the seedlings can still fall under cool weather, and even the greenhouse will have to be heated for a while. In case of cloudy weather, additional illumination with phytolamps will not hurt.
Naturally, in the fall, all garbage, including plant debris, should be removed from the greenhouse, and possibly a soil change should be made if it has been used for several years, and even more so if serious plant diseases were noted in the greenhouse.
In the vast majority of literary sources, tips are given to grow melon through seedlings, although, of course, almost no one does this in the south. It seems that the possibility of direct sowing of seeds in the greenhouse is not considered in vain either: early and mid-early melon varieties will have time to give a good harvest in a polycarbonate greenhouse and without growing seedlings.
Soil selection and preparation
The composition of the soil melon has high demands: it will not grow anywhere. Optimal - medium loam with neutral acidity, but in no case clay, it should be corrected by introducing a sufficient amount of sand (at least a bucket per 1 m2). Acidic soils are necessarily known for any alkaline materials (chalk, slaked lime, dolomite flour). It’s good if cucumbers grew in the greenhouse before melons, and tomatoes or any melons grew badly.
For autumn digging, it is recommended to add half a bucket of humus, 12-15 g of urea, 20-25 g of superphosphate and 10-12 g of potassium sulfate per 1 m2. Potash fertilizers can be replaced with a liter can of wood ash. If the gardener has enough peat at his disposal, you can prepare the soil for the melon bed by mixing it with sand in a ratio of 3: 1, and when forming the bed add about 250 g of chalk and 30–40 g of azofoska to each square meter.
Often in the greenhouse along the walls they build ridges 15–20 cm high, on which single-row sowing of melon seeds is performed. Another approach allows you to prepare a warm bed, but it requires physical labor. It consists of the following.
- Remove the top layer of soil with a height of 20–25 cm, stacking it side by side, and first drainage (crushed stone, expanded clay, small branches of trees) is laid in the resulting pit, then grass or hay.
In the lower part of the bed you can put even different rubbish
- Pour humus with a layer of 5-6 cm, on top of which - sawdust or fallen leaves. Then, the removed soil is returned to the place (if necessary, adding chalk and azofoska to it).
- The finished bed is poured with warm water and covered with a black film.
Covered with foil, the bed warms up quickly
After a few days, the garden warms up, and seeds can be sown in it earlier than usual.
Preparing planting material
Seeds for sowing can be bought at the store, or you can collect from your favorite melon, purchased for food. But the second way can lead to an unpredictable result: it can be a late-ripening melon or a hybrid at all, taking seeds from which does not make sense.
Melon seeds are stored for a very long time, they do not need to be purchased annually, moreover, fresh seeds give a large amount of barley, that is, male flowers. It is best to use seeds aged 3–6 years. However, if they have been lying for a very long time, it is worthwhile in the winter to check them for germination in a way known to the gardener by soaking a dozen and putting them in a wet rag by the battery. If after half a week more than half hatch, you can sow them.
Reliable seeds can be sown even without preparation, even dry: in moist, warm soil they will definitely sprout.
But if there is time, it is better to prepare them in advance for sowing. First they get rid of the empty, lightest specimens by pouring the seeds into a jar of salt water (3-5 grams of salt per 100 ml of water). Bad seeds will come up in a couple of minutes, good ones will drown. The number of female flowers can be increased by heating the seeds at a temperature of 50 ° C for 2-3 hours.
Melon seeds are quite large, similar to cucumber
For disinfection, the seeds are etched for 20-30 minutes in a pink solution of potassium permanganate, and then washed with clean water. You can treat them with growth stimulants or a solution of boric acid, but this is completely optional. But hardening will definitely not be superfluous: after two hours of soaking in warm (30–35 ° C) water, the seeds in a damp cloth keep the night in the refrigerator. It is better if the cycle “heat - cold” is repeated a couple of times.
If there is a need for a more rapid emergence of seedlings, the seeds can even be germinated before the appearance of microscopic roots and only then sow them in the garden. But all these are various options that you can not fulfill: it is extremely desirable only to disinfect the seeds, and then, if their producer does not inspire confidence.
With which it is possible and impossible to plant melons nearby
If the list of desirable and undesirable crops in the open field is substantial, then the choice for the greenhouse is small: it is unlikely that they will plant, for example, radish! Near the melon you can plant beans and any spicy herbs, it will feel good in the company of peppers with eggplant. It is good to sow any spicy herbs: although they don’t need a greenhouse, they will repel harmful insects that periodically fly into the greenhouse with their smells.
But the advice on the joint planting of melons and cucumbers raises some doubts. Firstly, these crops have completely different requirements for the humidity of both air and soil. Secondly, cucumbers are related to melon, and in some cases can even become pollinated, which spoils the quality of the fruit. Do not plant potatoes next to melons, causing them to wilt.
Melons are often planted mixed with watermelons. Both crops have the same growing conditions, they are remarkably adjacent to each other. True, both melon and watermelon require a lot of space, which must be taken into account when planting.
The distance between plants, planting pattern
In addition to the usual care (watering, top dressing, etc.), melons also require the constant formation of bushes, they need free access. This also needs to be considered when choosing a landing pattern, except that it just needs a lot of space. But in the greenhouse you need to save every centimeter, so the lowercase landing, popular in the open ground, with a minimum distance of 60 x 90 cm, is too wasteful here.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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It is most convenient to place melons along the side walls in the greenhouse, where at 40–50 cm from the wall, dig a narrow bed (preferably a comb) and sow seeds in it in a row with a distance between the holes of at least 40 cm.
Melons are planted on the edge so that they do not interfere with other vegetables
For sowing melon, it is necessary that the soil at a depth of 10-12 cm is warmed up to at least 15 ° C. The night temperature should have the same minimum value, and the day temperature should be at least 20 ° C. In colder conditions, the nibbling of seeds will be very delayed, and at temperatures below 10 ° C they can generally disappear.
Consequently, depending on the region, the current weather and the quality of the greenhouse, sowing dates begin on different dates in May. Under favorable conditions in the middle lane sowing seeds in a polycarbonate greenhouse is possible immediately after the May Day holidays.
Proper planting of melons in the greenhouse
The sowing technique in the greenhouse is no different from sowing in unprotected soil: it is common to most similar crops. It is done like this:
- In the designated places, they make small holes with a scoop where local fertilizers are applied (half a glass of ash and a pinch of urea), mix well and carefully pour with warm water.
Local fertilizer of the simplest components is very effective
- At a depth of about 3 cm, 2–3 prepared seeds (or 4–5 dry seeds) are placed in each hole at distances of 2–3 cm from each other, excess shoots after their growth are removed.
A few seeds are placed in the hole
- Fill the holes with soil and lightly tamp.
After tamping the soil, it remains to wait for seedlings
Unlike open ground, it is not necessary to cover sprouts in the greenhouse with a spanbond, unless, of course, cooling is expected. The emergence of seedlings can be expected in 7-10 days. Immediately after this, open the window and lower the temperature to 16-18 ° C for several days. Seedlings are especially frightened by the night heat, from which they quickly stretch.
Melon care consists of well-known events: watering, cultivating, and feeding. In addition, plants have to be formed so that they can feed as many fruits as possible and bring them to marketability.
Humidity and watering
Watering melons in the greenhouse is carried out infrequently: at first - once a week, but plentifully. It is important that the water is warm, warmed up in the sun. They try to carry out watering under the root, without soaking the stems and especially the root neck. The dropping of leaves indicates a lack of moisture, it must be added. But with excess water, the risk of diseases and plant death increases. While whips allow, after watering, shallow cultivation is carried out with the removal of weeds. With the advent of lateral shoots, the bushes slightly spud.
With the advent of fruits, watering is first increased, allowing them to grow to the size of an orange, then gradually reduced, and a month before harvesting is stopped altogether. In this mode, the fruits accumulate more sugar and add durability.
Air humidity is also of great importance: melon is a drought-tolerant plant, but it is impossible to create dry air in a greenhouse, even systematically ventilating it. However, the relative humidity should not exceed 60–70%, especially during fruit ripening.
The issue with the temperature in the greenhouse is solved simply. Perhaps in May you will have to heat the air using any device, but in the summer - on the contrary, ventilate. For most of his life, melon loves a temperature of 25–30 ° C. The exceptions are a few days after emergence, when it is necessary to lower the temperature to 16–18 ° C, and the beginning of the formation of fruits when 20–22 ° C during the day and 16–18 ° C at night are sufficient.
Melon is an interesting plant: daylight for its development needs a long, but not very much. It develops poorly with a lack of solar radiation, but it behaves "incorrectly" if the daylight hours in the first months of plant development significantly exceed 12 hours. That is why melon should be planted as early as possible so that it can bloom before the longest days.
Thus, the period of illumination should not be prolonged, and the intensity may be worth adding if the weather is cloudy for a long time. To do this, greenhouses are equipped with fluorescent or LED lamps or special phyto-lamps.
The spectral composition of the lamps should be identical to the composition of solar radiation
Topping up melons in a greenhouse is carried out somewhat more often than in open ground. The minimum number of top dressings is three: in the phase of two real leaves, with the blooming of the first flowers and at the beginning of the growth of the fruits, when they reach the size of an average plum. The first two dressings are best carried out with mullein infusion with the addition of wood ash, and the third - only with ash infusion.
However, if it is noticed that only one fruit grows on a bush, and the rest have stopped in size, top dressing should be added. It is better not to use mineral fertilizers, especially a month before harvesting. Especially should be limited to the introduction of nitrogen fertilizers: they are required only before tying melons.
In the open ground, the melon is pollinated by insects: ants, bees, etc. Since there are none or very few of them in the greenhouse, the gardener has to take the responsibility for pollination. The procedure is simple, but painstaking. Therefore, if the street is warm, you can ventilate the greenhouse with the hope that bees will fly into the open doors. Especially often they fly in the morning, you can even attract them with an open jar of sugar syrup. And yet, we must learn to artificial pollination of flowers.
First, a large number of male flowers bloom on the melons, and only after a few days do women appear, opening in the morning. It is very easy to distinguish them: men grow on thin pedicels, their stamens are clearly distinguishable. You can use the brush, collecting pollen from several male flowers in the morning and moving it inside the female. You can just pick a few male flowers, tear off the petals from them and touch the stamens several times on the inner surface of the female flowers.
Male and female flowers are easy to distinguish
Formation of bushes: pruning, pinching, pinching
The most skilled work in caring for melons is the formation of a bush, which includes the systematic pruning or pinching of shoots, removal of stepsons and excess fruit. Unfortunately, even with the strict observance of all the rules of agricultural technology, it is impossible to grow more than 5–6 fruits on a bush, and in the case of large-fruited varieties, only 2–3 specimens are ripe.
There are several approaches to the formation of the bush, and they vary in open ground and in the greenhouse. Однако обычному дачнику можно особенно не вникать в тонкости этого искусства и обрезку проводить лишь в минимальной степени: лишние плоды в теплице без каждодневного ухода (а ведь немногие из нас могут постоянно наведываться на участок) просто сами отомрут.
В целом же, стоит знать, что при выращивании в теплице дыню чаще всего формируют в один стебель. Однако это не должен быть главный побег: на нём у большинства сортов почти не образуется завязей. Ещё на стадии 5–6 листьев молодое растение прищипывают, удаляя верхушку. Буквально через несколько дней после этого у него начинает расти несколько боковых побегов, вот на них-то в основном и формируется урожай.
Прокормить все боковые побеги в теплице растение не в состоянии. Поэтому, как только определится самый мощный из них, остальные боковые побеги обрезают, а за оставленным ухаживают. Как только он достигнет длины 35–40 см, его мягкой бечёвкой свободно подвязывают к шпалере. Всё, что на нём образовалось ближе к земле, обрывают или обрезают. Побег начинает расти и ветвиться, давая побеги третьего порядка, самые плодоносные.
Любые схемы формирования кустов наглядно показывают, что именно надо удалить
На каждом боковом побеге оставляют по одной завязи. Над завязями оставляют не более 3 листьев, верхушку над последним прищипывают. Если побег оказался неплодоносящим, его удаляют почти целиком. Центральный побег (который, фактически, стал главным) прищипывают, когда он достигнет потолка теплицы. Все плодоносные побеги подвязывают к шпалере, стараясь направить их вертикально. Появляющиеся из пазух листьев пасынки выламывают, пока они ещё молодые.
Видео: формирование куста дыни
Поскольку растущие плоды быстро набирают массу, они могут оторваться и упасть. Поэтому при достижении ими размера крупного куриного яйца дыньки помещают в специальные или любые имеющиеся сетки, подходящие по размеру, которые тоже подвязывают к шпалере.
Назначение сетки — сберечь плоды от падения, но они так и лучше освещаются
Особенности ухода в различных регионах
Поликарбонатная теплица представляет собой замкнутое пространство, поэтому уход за дынями в ней мало зависит от региона; отличаются в основном лишь сроки посева семян и сбора урожая, а также, иногда, в суровых регионах появляется необходимость дополнительного подогрева.
Например, в Подмосковье, а тем более на Урале, в Сибири, а также в Северо-Западном регионе, включая Ленинградскую область, очень редко сеют дыню семенами даже в теплице, предпочитая высаживать рассаду. Для выращивания рассады используют торфяные горшочки.
В Подмосковье рассаду высаживают в теплицу без обогрева в первой половине мая., размещая от 2 до 5 растений на 1 м2. Для поддержания необходимой влажности почвы при относительно сухом воздухе грядки мульчируют опилками, нейтрализуя их подкисляющее действие золой. Все неплодоносящие побеги обязательно вырезают, удаляют и всё то, что находится ближе, чем 30–40 см от земли.
Климатические условия Беларуси очень похожи на подмосковные, здесь тоже редко сеют семена сразу в грядку.
На Урале дыни в теплице сажают вместе с помидорами и огурцами: приходится беречь каждый квадратный сантиметр. Дыни высаживают рассадой на холмике высотой 5–6 см, и уже через 5–7 дней их подвязывают к шпалере. Формируют кусты как в один, так и в 2–3 стебля. Еженедельно в воду для полива добавляют немного мочевины, а со второй половины лета — золу.
В Северо-Западных областях предпочитают сооружать очень высокие грядки, да и на них использовать толстый слой мульчи. Обязательно проветривают теплицы, чтобы не допустить скопления влажного воздуха, но всё равно проводят искусственное опыление.
Большая часть территории Украины, за исключением самого севера, как и юг России, обходится в выращивании дыни без теплиц, а если здесь и применяют теплицы, то только для выращивания рассады, которую потом переселяют в открытый грунт. Ведь под ярким солнышком плоды вызревают лучше и становятся слаще!
Видео: основные операции при выращивании дыни в теплице
Болезни и вредители дынь в теплице, борьба с ними
Большинство сортов и гибридов дыни очень редко болеют и подвергаются атакам вредителей, поэтому огородники часто вообще не обращают внимания на необходимость борьбы с ними. Чаще всего дыни в теплице страдают от мучнистой росы и антракноза, иногда их одолевают пятнистости.
- Мучнистая роса появляется сначала на листьях, потом переселяется на побеги. Выглядит она как мука: маленькие белые пятна. Листья очень быстро опадают, а если болезнь зашла далеко, портятся и плоды. Тщательная уборка в теплице перед посевом — хорошая профилактика этого заболевания. При появлении признаков болезни используют опрыскивания растений препаратами серы.
Мучнистая роса действительно напоминает муку
- Антракноз выглядит как крупные желтоватые пятна на всех частях растения. Впоследствии на пятнах начинает появляться налёт грязно-розового цвета. Особенно опасно заражение в условиях повышенной влажности, поэтому частое проветривание теплицы позволяет его избежать. Болезнь лечится 1%-й бордоской жидкостью.
Anthracnose spoils and fruit
- Olive spotting manifests itself as brown spots on the leaves and ulcers on the shoots, sometimes ulcers migrate to the fruits. Prevention and control measures are the same as in the case of powdery mildew.
When olive spotting spots are brownish
Melon aphids and spider mites are the most common pests of melon. They suck the juices from the leaves, greatly weakening the plants. Prevention - weed control and crop rotation in the greenhouse. With a massive invasion of insects, plants are sprayed with a concentrated solution of laundry soap or Karbofos according to the instructions.
Aphids suck out juices, quickly destroys leaves
If in the past years no diseases were observed in the greenhouse, preventive spraying is not carried out, otherwise it is possible to use relatively safe formulations. In most cases, foliage treatment with infusion of wood ash with the addition of laundry soap is sufficient. Gardeners who do not shy away from chemicals use, in particular, copper chloride solution (0.4%) every 10–12 days.
Copper chloride is a drug that is somewhat more convenient to use than Bordeaux mixture. But safer is the use of prophylactic biological products, for example, Fitosporin. Quite good results are given by solutions of Tsitovir or Zircon, used at the stage of 3-4 leaves and when buds appear.
Harvesting and storage
The very first melons in polycarbonate greenhouses can be obtained in early July, but usually harvesting occurs in August and September. The melons growing in the nets are evenly lit, therefore they ripen a few days earlier than those lying on the ground. Determining the degree of maturity of a melon is very simple, not like a watermelon: they should be painted in the color characteristic of the variety and more or less strong and pleasant to smell. If the fruit is nearly ripe, it will reach during storage. If you pick obviously green melons, you have to throw them away.
You can not leave melons in the bushes and longer than expected: many varieties burst when overripe. Fruits are cut with a stalk of convenient length. They are transported to the storehouse on a soft litter, protecting them from impacts. Early varieties of melons, usually grown in greenhouses, are not stored for long, but even the due date they should be stored correctly, preferably separately from other fruits, and even more vegetables. The optimum temperature is 1-3 ° C, air humidity is not higher than 80%.
The appearance of polycarbonate greenhouses has greatly simplified the cultivation of heat-loving crops, including melons. Such greenhouses reduce the complexity of caring for plants, better maintain heat, and allow more sunlight to pass through. Melons in polycarbonate greenhouses are successfully grown in most regions, including in the north of the Leningrad region and in Siberia.