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Seedless Watermelon Seedlings

Basics of Commercial Propagation of Seedless Watermelon

Watermelon production has proven to be best during the warm summer months. This is so because watermelon is a long-season crop. The scientific name for the vegetable is Citrullus lanatus and it is part of the Cucurbitaceae family.

The Origins of Watermelon Production

Although commercial farming from seedless watermelon seedlings is relatively new in South Africa, watermelon farming can be traced back to ancient Egypt. In fact, written records date farming the vegetable in the Americas as far back as 1629. It is now widely grown in all the warmer parts of the world.

More About the Plants

The plant grows as a vine with runners along the surface. It has a taproot system that can extend up to a 1 m into the soil. With numerous lateral roots branching from the main root, it takes up considerable space. It has a long trailing-vine stem that can reach up to 5 m in length. From this branch, secondary shoots form and further branching takes place. The younger branches are covered in long, fine hairs for protection against heat. The plant has dark-green leaves, consisting of three large lobes and smaller lobes. The yellow flowers are petalled.

Many Varieties

The fruits vary in size and colour, and everything from cylindrical to round shapes are grown. The appearance of the fruit skin ranges from striped patterns to solid green. Many varieties exist, ranging from seedless to large, oval, black-pitted types. Watermelon seedlings are available from reputable nurseries such as Hishtil SA. Seedless watermelon seedlings can also be ordered for commercial farming purposes.

Commercial Propagation

The seedless watermelon seedlings available from nurseries are usually propagated in greenhouse facilities where the environment is strictly controlled, and the plants are properly protected against pests. Commercial farmers can order these seedlings for delivery anywhere in South Africa. It is imperative to transfer the seedless watermelon seedlings as soon as possible after they have been delivered on the farm. As such, the farmer should prepare the soil for transplant before taking delivery of the seedlings.

Temperature Sensitivity of The Plant

The plants are sensitive to cold temperatures, with frost being a major threat to crops. Temperatures that are both too high and too low affect plant growth negatively.

Growing in The Right Soil Conditions

It is best to transplant the seedlings to non-saline silt-loam or sandy-loam soil. If they are transplanted into extremely sandy soil, the farmer has to ensure sufficient irrigation for an improved yield. Stay clear of clay soil unless careful irrigation practices are followed to prevent extended root-zone saturation. If they are exposed to water saturation for too long, the perfect conditions develop for root-rot pathogens to thrive. The pH of the soil should be between 5,8 and 6,6 for optimal yield potential.

Where to Order Seedless Watermelon Seedlings

Farmers can get in touch with the team at Hishtil SA for more information about the availability of seedless watermelon seedlings for commercial farming practices.

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