Features of growing and caring for watermelon Top Gun
For the successful cultivation of watermelon, you need to choose a good variety that would suit the climatic conditions and characteristics of the region. One of the high-yielding hybrids is the Top Gun F1. The features of its cultivation are devoted to the article.
Characterization and description of the variety
Watermelon Top Gun is a type of Crimson Sweet. It was received by Dutch breeders. Berries ripen in the early stages - from planting seedlings to fruit ripening takes 58–62 days. Plants form a highly developed root system, extending 1 m deep into the soil.
The sheets are large, shelter the fruit from sunlight, preventing the occurrence of burns and overheating. Pumpkins are tied large. On one plant they can be 1-2 pieces. The average weight of each is 8–10 kg. Individual fruits when grown under optimal conditions and with quality care can reach 16 kg.
Fruits are rounded cuboid in shape. The peel is strong, which allows you to transport watermelons well over long distances and store for a long time. The flesh of a pumpkin is bright red, juicy, sugar, crunchy. Seeds are few, they are small in size. Sugar level is 11-12%.
- When growing plants of the considered variety, gardeners note the following positive qualities:
- early ripening;
- high productivity - 70–80 t / ha;
- resistance to anthracnose and fusariosis;
- attractive type of fruit;
- good transportability.
Did you know? The fact that watermelons were grown back in ancient Egypt is evidenced by the fact that their remains were found in the tombs of the pharaohs. Berries were buried with bodies as a source of food in the afterlife.
The main disadvantage of the hybrid is the inability to propagate it with its own seeds. Top Gun is suitable for cultivation on open beds and in the protected ground. Its fruits can be consumed fresh and fermented. You can make juice and jam from them.
In what regions does it grow?
Hybrid Top Gan is suitable for cultivation on open beds in the southern regions of Russia, under the film or in protected ground in the middle lane and regions located to the north.
Secrets of agricultural technology for a good harvest
In order for the crop to be successful, it is necessary to purchase high-quality seeds and choose a place that would meet the requirements of the plant.
Since Top Gan is a hybrid, its seeds need to be purchased only in a specialized store. Some manufacturers indicate on the packaging that the seeds do not need preparation for planting.
If such information is not available, then to accelerate germination, they must be soaked in warm water, heated to + 50 ... + 55 ° C, for 1 hour. For disinfection, they are placed in a potassium permanganate solution for 30 minutes or treated with the “Tiram” fungicide.
The composition and structure of the soil
Watermelons grow well on fertilized sandy and sandy soils with neutral or low acidity.
The soil must be prepared in the fall. It needs to be dug up and under the digging to make manure as fertilizer. In the spring you need to make harrowing. To improve the quality of the soil before planting a watermelon, it is sown with peas, winter wheat, lupine. These plants saturate the earth with useful substances.
Important! Clayy, often flooded, acidified and poorly heated areas are not suitable for growing watermelons.
Temperature and light
Since watermelon is a warm and photophilous culture, it should be planted when the soil warms up to + 12 ... + 15 ° С at a depth of 9 cm. At lower temperature conditions, the sprouts will germinate later and will be weak. The air temperature should be set at + 15 ° C.During the growing season, plants should receive a total of from 2000 to 3000 ° C.
Seedlings are grown at a temperature of + 23 ... + 27 ° C. When shoots appear, lower it to + 18 ... + 22 ° C. heated greenhouse seedlings are planted in mid-May, in unheated seedlings - when the temperature + 20 ... + 25 ° С is established on the street.
Watermelon Growing Technology
Hybrid Top Gan is able to produce high yields both in the greenhouse and in the open. The main tasks of the gardener are to choose a good site and observe the planting technology.
In the greenhouse
The soil is prepared in the fall - it is fertilized with manure and mowed grass. In order to make it loose and light, add 1 bucket of sand per 1 m².
For planting in a greenhouse, a 70 × 70 cm scheme is recommended. You need to deepen the seeds into the soil to a depth of 3–6 cm. Sowing is done manually. If seedlings are planted, then 2 sprouts are placed in one hole.
In the greenhouse, a trellis is necessarily built, which is necessary so that all the organs of the plant receive light evenly, and also so that the fruits do not touch the soil. Watermelons, which will lie on greenhouse soil, can affect rot. If the greenhouse is large enough, then watermelons can be grown in the vicinity of other crops, in particular melons, bell peppers, tomatoes.
On the open ground
The site for planting watermelons needs to be allocated well-lit, which most of the day is illuminated by sunlight. At the same time, it should be sheltered from the north winds. If gourds are in the shade for a long time, the fruits grow less sugary and later ripen.
When choosing a landing site, crop rotation rules are taken into account. This is necessary in order to obtain stably high yields and to prevent the spread of pathogens and harmful insects.
Did you know? Watermelons are grown on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, the crust of which is painted black, so they are the most expensive in the world. In 2008, one watermelon was sold at auction for $ 6300 thousand. The average price for one unusual pumpkin is $ 250.
It is better to select beds under a watermelon on which winter wheat, perennials, corn, root crops, onions, cabbage used to grow. Do not plant this crop after melons, including any kind of watermelon. This can be done only after 3-4 years.
In open beds, the hybrid is planted according to the scheme 140 × 100 cm. The depth of cultivation is 3–6 cm. In heavy soils, it must be reduced. On open beds, seeds are sown manually or special seeders are used. The first landing time is covered with a film.
If the soil temperature during planting is + 16 ... + 18 ° С, then seedlings must be expected after 1.5–2 weeks. At a higher temperature, they will appear in a week.
The subtleties of care
Care for watermelon in open beds consists of regular watering, fertilizing, loosening and mulching row-spacing, preventive treatments against diseases and harmful insects.
Watermelon does not tolerate both waterlogging and lack of moisture. Before flowering, the plant is watered as the top soil layer is completely dry. During flowering and the formation of ovaries, 1 watering per week is carried out. The optimum level of soil moisture during this period is 85%.
During the fruiting period, watering is made rare, and their volume is significantly reduced. 2 weeks before harvest, they are stopped completely. If the summer is rainy, the beds are covered with a film to prevent overmoistening.
In order for the yield to be high and the fruits to be of high quality, the plants need to be fertilized. It is important to make a feeding schedule.
When compiling, you can use the following recommendations:
|7-10 days after planting||superphosphate + potassium salts + ammonium sulfate|
|After the appearance of the ovaries||the same composition|
Important! The use of fertilizers can increase productivity by 2 times and increase the amount of sugar in fruits by 2–5%.
Loosening and mulching
For gourds, it is important to carry out procedures such as loosening, weeding and mulching the soil. Loosening the earth is necessary a day after each irrigation or rainfall. This event avoids the formation of a dense crust on the soil surface and improves its moisture and air conductivity. Loosening should be done shallow so as not to damage the root system.
Since plant organs are located on the ground, it is important that weeds do not obscure them, so you should monitor the cleanliness of the soil and timely weeding. Mulching is necessary to preserve moisture in the soil and restrain the growth of weeds. As mulch use straw, mowed grass, peat.
Pest and Disease Control
Subject to the recommendations during planting, quality care and preventive measures, the gardener will most likely not have to deal with diseases and pests on the site.
If this could not be avoided, treatment should be started in a timely manner, since ailments and parasites can significantly reduce the yield and lead to spoilage.
The most dangerous for Top Gan watermelons are the following diseases:
- Mosaic. Symptoms of the disease are light spots on the leaves, swelling on the pumpkins. The disease, like any viral disease, does not respond to treatment. You can only prevent the infection of watermelons by the timely destruction of weeds and heat treatment of seeds before planting.
- Powdery mildew. Infection is indicated by a white coating on the leaves, resembling flour in appearance. If a disease is detected, damaged organs should be removed and burned, the plant should be treated with a karatana suspension (25%).
- Root rot. Common causes of root rot are soil waterlogging and temperature changes. To prevent infection, a moderate watering regimen should be observed, periodically sprinkled with wood-ash between rows and treated with Fundazolum (0.1%).
- Gray rot. It develops in high humidity and cold temperatures. Treatment should be carried out by spraying with the following mixtures: zinc sulfate (1 g) + urea (10 g) + vitriol (2 g) + 10 l of water; crushed chalk + solution of copper sulfate in a ratio of 2: 1.
More often watermelons are harmed by the following insects:
- Wireworm. This insect damages the root system. In order to prevent him from entering the site, it is necessary to fight weeds on time. Processing plants will help to save the “Topaz”, “Strobi”, “Tilt”.
- Spider mite. In a hot and dry period, watermelon beds are attacked by spider mites. These sucking insects feed on plant juices and live on the lower leaf plate. Their presence may be indicated by the presence of a web on ground organs. If there are few pests, then first you can remove the affected leaves and burn them. In the case of a massive lesion, it is necessary to carry out treatment with the drug "Fundazole", colloidal sulfur.
- Aphid. More often watermelons are affected by black aphids. She settles on the lower leaf plate and sucks the sap from the plants. The first symptoms of infection are twisting of leaves, leaf fall, falling flowers. If in time to notice the appearance of a small number of insects, they can be washed off with soapy water, sprinkled with wood ash or ash-tobacco mixture. In case of severe infection, Inta-Vir treatment is required (1 tablet per 10 l of water, 1.5 l / 10 m²).
- Sprout fly. The insect is especially dangerous for freshly planted seedlings and seeds. It can cause great damage to the root system and sprouts. To get rid of the flies, they carry out triple treatment with insecticides. Suitable "Zenkor", "Hurricane forte."
Harvesting and storage
Harvest is better to harvest during the period of the so-called removable maturity.It usually occurs 5-6 days before full maturity. It is important to clearly predict the date of collection, since there is no certainty that unripe fruits will ripen during storage, and overripe berries are unsuitable for prolonged laying and selling.
Are the watermelons ready for harvest, determined by the color of the pulp, seeds and dryness of the stalk. Also, ripeness is judged by a dull sound when tapped on a peel. If the fruits are planned to be transported, they must be removed when the flesh is bright pink and the seeds are black.
Important! Cut watermelons must be together with the stalk with a sharpened knife or secateurs. If the fruits are plucked, then soon they may rot.
Another storage method is wrapped in natural fabric and suspended in nets from the ceiling. Also, fruits can be stored on shelves covered with straw. With the right method of storage, berries are able to lie without loss of taste and marketability until winter. In order to detect rotten fruits in time, it is necessary to inspect the crop once a week.
Top Gan watermelon hybrid is actively grown in the south and in the middle lane. It is appreciated for its excellent taste and high yield. To grow a lot of quality fruits, you need to choose a good site and take good care of the plants.